A Business Failure and what I learned from It


Today I wanted to share with you a business failure I’ve experienced. Everyone will experience these hiccups, but they should always be turned into learning experiences.

That is what I plan to do today. Writing it all down, accepting that it happened, taking responsibility for my part, and forgiving the other actions I had no control over.

My business is rooted in honesty. I encourage every client I work with to be honest with me. In return, I am open and honest about my process, every design I create or feedback I give. So here is to an honest post about business failure.

The Failure

I will be summarizing experiences from the projects over the past year. I will not be mentioning any specifics or names. This post is not about shaming anyone, but about learning so that I can better serve my future clients.

So what was the failure? Supplying designs that were not used or were changed within a couple of months. My goal is always to create something beautiful and timeliness for my clients. This allows them to feel confident in their brand and focus on their business.

When a past client redesigns/changes/scraps any designs that I create for them, it shows me that I didn’t succeed in my task.

I now look back at the projects and try to find what caused this outcome. This includes red flags, feedback/communication, and knowing when to quit. Let’s go over these in more detail.

Looking for Red Flags

I know that every inquiry that comes in isn’t going to be for me. Whether it’s a difference in style, needs, or even tension in our personalities. I need to be more aware of red flags. I have now implemented a Pre-Call Questionnaire that allows me to ask a few important questions that will identify any red flags.

One specific thing I’ve learned from this failure is that most businesses just starting out aren’t ready for a full branding. If they are still defining their mission, personal style, and audience, my process will not be the best fit for them.

Encouraging Honest Communications

I often see hesitations in feedback due to “offending” us creatives. Obviously, responding harshly or negatively is a no-go, but honestly is KEY. Know why you don’t like something, build upon what was delivered and discuss your vision. This allows for a process that will result in effective branding. I need to encourage this upfront in every process, and if they seem unable to do so, it won’t work out.

On that note, busy-bee’s don’t work well with me. My process is heavily influenced with the communication process. I also have a tight deadline. If the potential client is extremely busy, it hinders the process and results. I have learned to ask these questions upfront and define the timeline early on and my expectations for their part.

Knowing when to quit

Ouch. This one can be a bit difficult. I don’t see myself as a quiter. I want to deliver the absolute best for my clients, and if that means going above and beyond…I do so.

However, there are times to quit. If your business is suffering because of the project, it isn’t a good partnership. If the client’s expectations are not being met, then I shouldn’t keep pulling their resources and time.

Accepting Defeat

It was hard accepting these failures. Knowing that I did not serve my client as well as I wanted to, was a defeat. But in order for my business to grow, my skills to sharpen, and my methods to refine, I have to accept this defeat and learn from it.

In the end, my business is continuing to grow and I’m blessed to be able to work with so many amazing businesses. If you think you are ready for a rebrand and love my methods, designs, and aesthetic, then reach out! We can see if we will be a great fit and discuss your ideas for the future.


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