During the Great Depression, Kraft Foods was unsuccessfully marketing a low-priced cheddar cheese powder.
It was a total failure.
Until one sales rep, searching for anyway to get rid of his inventory, taped packages of the unwanted cheese powder to boxes of macaroni. He then sold the new packaged item to grocery stores as “Kraft Dinners.”
When headquarters discovered how well they were selling, it made the makeshift packages into an official part of its product line – which is now one of the most famous meals in America.
What’s interesting to me about this story is how close you can simultaneously be to both success and to failure.
When things aren’t going well in our businesses, it can feel like success will only come hard fought and is very far off.
Maybe if we just keep slogging ahead and doing what we’ve been doing we will persevere and reach our success.
But sometimes a little creativity and problem solving can completely and totally 180 the situation and a total failure can turn into a hit.
Of course, it’s not always that easy.
But if you’re feeling closer to failure than to success, know that they really aren’t that far apart at all.