Sometimes You Have To Start Over

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In 1967 Herb Kelleher a lawyer from New Jersey was sitting at a restaurant assisting his client Rollin King to finish up paperwork that would close Rollin’s failed airline company. In the middle of their discussion, Rollin took out a pen and began sketching out an idea on the back of a stray napkin that lay on the table. He drew 3 dots in a traingular formation and labelled them Dallas, Houston and San Antonio respectively. With 3 simple lines he connected the 3 cities creating an airline route that would give birth to the highly successful Southwest Airlines. That napkin revolutionized the airport history and defined Southwest Airlines strategy of simple and efficient flying.

A great story…right…except that it never happened! In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Rollin King admitted that although it was great story to tell…the napkin sketch story was false!
One of the most important things for a writer is integrity. To protect it they have to ensure that their facts are right and sources credible. In an ideal world the writer should vet his information first before writing an article or story. But that is an ideal world and as we all know the world does not function ideally. Many times a writer will complete a substantial amount of writing before completing the fact checking…

I was one of those writers stuck in this dilemma, because I tried to use the same Southwest Airline story in my book How Stupidity Saved My Life. I had already drafted out the chapter and had mentally structured the paragraph and flow of the story. But for some reason unknown to me, I decided to investigate the credibility of the story. I scoured the internet searching and researching (to be honest I just went to wikipedia) and ultimately I found out that the story never happened. I was stuck in a conundrum, complete the chapter with incorrect information or scratch the whole chapter and start again. I picked the latter, it was a hard decision because it meant starting over and completly restructuring the chapter. But at the end of the day it proved to be a worthwhile effort. The chapter read better, but more importanly I felt comfortable with the integrity of the product I was putting out.

Every now and then we are faced with similar situations. We pour our energy and time into a project or a task, but for some reason or the other things don’t quite turn out as they should. We are faced with 2 choices continue with a sub-par product we don’t believe in or spend additional time restructuring the existing product into something respectable. Successful businessmen pick the latter, because they understand the importance of bringing out quality.

When HP released its Tablet in 2011 it was meant to compete with Apple’s Ipad. HP had a key deadline they needed to hit, so against best practices…they released a rushed product full of bugs (amongst many other issues). The market reaction was abysmal, people hated the product cause it was too slow and greatly overpriced…within 3 months HP scrapped their entire tablet line. But the damage had been done, HP’s reputation was damaged and their existence as a PC competitor was in doubt.

On the flip side, Apple their competition have been known to ignore deadlines if the quality of their product was not sound. For instance the first version of the iphone was close to completion and was about to be released to the market. However, then CEO Steve Jobs was not fully satisfied with its overall design and structure and ordered the iphone to be completely overhauled and redesigned negating months and months of work. However, the result was a better phone that soon became one of the fast selling commercial products in the world.

Are you stuck in the middle of a sub-par project or contemplating releasing something that you are not really proud of? Whatever the case whether you are a writer, designer or budding entrepreneur…always remember that starting over despite the annoyance is sometimes the best path to creating that magical product that you have been dreaming about.  Start over!

Ofili is an award winning motivational speaker, author, success coach and entrepreneur who blogs about life, success and entrepreneurial excellence. Follow him on BB pin:32A137F8, twitter ,facebook or subscribe to his blog for more success TIPS!” His latest book is titled HOW STUPIDITY SAVED MY LIFE, to find out how it saved his life click
Wishing You Extreme Success,

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Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
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5 comments on “Sometimes You Have To Start Over

  1. I shud just hit the ‘restart’ button in me life! Everything seems to be hanging at the moment… Nice one mate

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