Everyone I know who has returned from a recent trip to Iceland loved it. They raved about it. So I was excited to go this past August. And after I got back to the States, it took me weeks before I was able to say out loud: “I really didn’t like it. At all. I couldn’t wait to leave.”
There wasn’t anything in particular that I didn’t like about it. It was simply that everything was working against me. Despite being exhausted, I didn’t sleep on the flight from Denver to Reykjavik. The shuttle van forgot about me, so upon arriving in Iceland, I waited in the airport for almost 3 hours. I rented a camper van and on my first full day in the country, a giant rock smashed into my windshield, sending tiny shards of glass into the passenger seat. Both the heater and the mini fridge in my van conked out.
And so I couldn’t wait to leave. But I didn’t want to admit it. I took funny pictures and posted them on Facebook. I tried to keep a positive outlook. And I didn’t want to admit to myself or anyone else that I just wasn’t enjoying the trip. When I returned to the U.S. and people asked me about it, I initially didn’t feel that I could genuinely talk about it in a good way. So I slowly started admitting that I didn’t enjoy Iceland. And then I began to brazenly say, “It wasn’t a great trip. Iceland and I did not ‘gel.’” And in time, it got easier to say.
While this was a personal experience, it transcends to the business world, too. How many times have we tried to launch a new product, or program, or service, and it just didn’t work? And how many times have we admitted failure? Probably not very often. However, if we make ourselves vulnerable, others will open up too, and we can learn from each other’s mistakes. So reach out if you’re planning a trip to Iceland. I have some “lessons learned” to share with you!