As much as I love the idea, it still scares the bejeesus out of me. This isn’t about “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” – maybe it is. Just a little. But not much. Not really.
Failing faster is doing the stuff that you think you may fail at (fear) and purposefully pushing the bounds. Like the question you asked yourself earlier this week. What if you failed faster? What if you figured out what didn’t work in 3 weeks instead of 6 months? What if you got the business cards printed and started handing them out NOW? What if you just put the plan together and got freakin’ going?
It can be done…as this week’s grab bag shows in all kinds of ways. And, don’t think that if you are just starting out that advice from a $12 million company or a JV-funded tech start-up doesn’t apply to you. Pssstttt…it so does. Reach in and see what you come up with!
“Hindsight is 20/20. Just go do it. You don’t have experience until you have experience. Learn fast, fail fast, tweak fast.” And so begins the answer to question two of Julie Smolyansky’s interview with Forbes. Who? Julie took over as the CEO, president and treasurer of Lifeway Kefir when she was 27 years old. That was in 2002. Sales have grown from $12 million to $75 million since then. But, you say, that is BIG company with lots of people to help…this can’t apply to lil ol’ me. That is crap. Every company and every business has to try and fail. Work with customers and figure out what they want. Fall down. Get up. Fail fast…and learn fast.
“Failure taught me things I could have learned in no other way.” Ever heard of JK Rowling? Her background of failure is oft-repeated as encouragement that things can totally suck – and you can turn it around by following your passion, no less. If you haven’t heard or refuse on the grounds that Harry Potter can’t be cute because of that wicked scar, listen up anyway. At least for five minutes (it gets a little snoozy after that…). In this 2008 Harvard commencement speech, JK focuses on the benefits of failure. You can get the gist – really, I mean it – by listening for five minute. C’mon. Five minutes! And you’ll be able to say you heard a Harvard commencement speech. Bonus.
Nikki Groom’s Manifesto for Extraordinary Women is exactly what the title says…and it is totally for extraordinary women…specifically extraordinary women entrepreneurs. And item #8? Actively make mistakes. Take risks. Don’t let failure bring you down. Learn. Move on. (This version of the manifesto is from the blog post…but sign up and get the fancy version. It’s pretty cool.) Nikki herself is pretty awesome…and totally a go-to gal for copywriting. I could go on and on about my awe of super-talented copywriters but that might get a little weird…just go check out Nikki for yourself. Now.
Here’s how I like to think of failure: It is sorta like a driver’s test to make sure you are ready. Ready for success. It’s a crappy test – just like the parallel parking part – but it’s a necessary evil. All the more reason to fail faster.Pin It