Wrong Outcome Success, Right Outcome Failure

If I had to choose, I'd prefer to succeed in achieving the wrong outcome for a client than to fail in achieving the right outcome.

Wrong outcome success: Designing a landing page focused on the wrong target audience.

Ideal client response: "We appreciate all the thinking that went into this but it's not exactly what we're looking for. Maybe we weren't clear on that, let's make sure we re-calibrate so we're on the same page going forward. Once we're aligned, we're excited to see what you come back with."

Right outcome success: Designing a landing page that poorly represents the brand for the right audience.

Ideal client response: "We're beginning to worry about your ability to do this work for us. While you clearly understand our goals, you really missed the mark. We'll need to discuss feedback and get back to you on next steps."

Wrong outcome success can be turned around with a simple conversation.

With right outcome failure, we have to regain the client's trust while figuring out how to improve the work. Even with feedback, this can be a challenge, especially if we thought we hit it out of the park.

Of course, neither are desirable but we can't always count on right outcome success. We can, however, choose to put our best foot forward. If it doesn't work out, look for the lesson and apply it next time.