Stop Fearing Failure and 5 Other Things I Learned At Inbound18


A couple of weeks ago, I got the opportunity to visit Boston and attend my first INBOUND conference. Not only was this my first INBOUND conference, but it was also my first “big kid” conference experience.

As I walked in the front doors of the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center and rode the escalator down into Club INBOUND, I was overcome with excitement and an eagerness to learn. I was also overwhelmed by the thousands of fellow marketers and sales professionals.


From misconceptions I held about culture to total shifts in how I approach marketing, sales, and customer service, I left INBOUND with a new perspective. Here are six takeaways from INBOUND 18.

Conversation Is Shaping The Internet

Soon, when we go to research our favorite product, we won't be typing keywords. Rather, we will be asking complete questions. The future of search and website content is becoming much more conversational. Think of it as “action-based” search.

Get Outside Of Your Comfort Zone And Make It Happen

Beth Comstock of GE delivered our keynote on the first full day of the conference. I enjoyed her presentation because it hit home.


I’ve been scared of getting outside of my comfort zone and doing more. I’ve been sitting around waiting for someone else to tell me what I can do and when. It’s time I gave myself permission. And the same goes for you.

Stop being afraid to fail; it’s not an f-word to be feared. Failure is dealing with risk, and risk should motivate us. You don't stumble into the life you want to live. You take it.

Solve For The Customer

Whenever we devise new ideas or design new solutions, we must always think about the customer. We must solve the problem they are facing. We must make their lives better.

hubspot flywheel

There are many ways to create an exceptional user experience. For example, we can use AI to engage with a potential customer. We can use videos to nurture leads. Think welcome emails with a quick message from your business, or a how-to video that gets delivered in their inbox when their product arrives.

Find Out How To Make Video Work For You & Other Tips From INBOUND 18

Start Solving For The Bigger Picture

I’ve been guilty of just solving for the here and now. Sometimes, we focus 100% of our time on what's going on now.

In Beth’s keynote, she mentioned focusing 70% on the now, 20% on the next thing, and 10% on what’s new. We need to create solutions for the big picture and empower others to do the same.

Create An Environment That Encourages Collaboration

As a group of people who work together every day, ROI is no stranger to collaboration. Sometimes, though, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, “Am I boosting creativity and allowing people to thrive?”

It’s a hard question to answer. All week at INBOUND, we talked about the flywheel and removing the friction for customers, but sometimes we have to look internally.

I learned about elephants and penguins — bear with me here. Elephants travel in herds. When members of their herd become hurt or sick, they stay with them until the very end. They care for and nurture one other.

On the other hand, a penguin keeps moving and leaves those who can’t keep up behind. We have to know if we are a culture of elephants or penguins. When one of our team members falls down, we should pull them back up and support them.

But creating a collaborative environment takes effort and time.

There are four ways to build a culture that thrives collaboratively. You should have Psychological Safety, which means you can trust your team has your back. Also, ask yourself, “Do I make it safe?”

Next, when having conversations be sure to ask “Yes, and” questions. These types of questions don't stop the process, but instead, allow it to keep moving.

Oftentimes, we ask “Yes, but” questions, which can disrupt collaboration and come across as critical. Another option is to use storytelling. Does our story prove we have our teams back? Look for those stories, find the gap in the story you are telling, and fill it.

Lastly, it's about the collaborative play. We should be able to be innovative and be emotionally invested in our work. Reward togetherness with your team and celebrate the smart failures that come your way.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Failure

Failure is no longer scary to me; it’s part of the process and path to success. You don’t learn if you don’t fail.

Thank you, INBOUND, for giving me the charge I needed to help lead the ROI team into the future.

I wouldn’t be able to go back to Amarillo and apply the things I’d learned if I wasn’t ready to embrace failure.

Let’s fail, learn, and keep growing. Let’s “Grow Better.”

Thanks for reading about what I learned at INBOUND! Want to know more about how to implement video, AI, chatbots, more at your business? Schedule a free strategy session with us!


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