Monday, February 18, 2008

Dealing with Failure

Failure is a success if we learn from it.

Malcolm Forbes

In a recent interview, I was asked what my biggest failure was. Interesting, I could not come up with just one. I believe one of my biggest reasons for success is that I fail more often than most people. It goes with my "Fail often, fail fast, fail cheap". It goes with "you only fail from not trying - not from trying". And having a failure, does not make you a failure.

I am thinking now about do I learn from those failures. Or more importantly, do I learn enough from them? I am not sure. Perhaps I need to debrief more? It is an interesting thought for me because i consider myself to be a constant learner who is capable of changing and adapting.

Of course true wisdom is being able to learn from others' mistakes.

Part of what allows me to have many failures is I tend not to dwell on them. What happened, happened. It was a mistake or a failure - move on. Failures do not define me.

So what I need to learn is how to learn from my failures and at the same time keep my "move on" attitude.


At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how do you go about failing quickly?

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think successful people all have or have had failures, and usually a lot of failures. As you say, you only fail when you stop trying, and successful people usually don't dwell on the failures. Correct too that having failed at something doesn't make a person a failure. That is the danger, to attach identity with failure and let oneself center in that place of self doubt and defeat, instead of recognizing that a person is no more their failures than they are their successes. Identifying with either one carries with it pitfalls.

Wisdom is learning from mistakes, both our own and others, and it is also learning from our successes, both our own and others. Some people, myself included, can have a tendency to look more at the failure for what it can teach, and either forget about, or minimize, the successes. Both present important opportunities for learning and growth.

Good post to bring into awareness.

p.s. I hope it starts to warm up a bit for you soon!

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

Failing quickly is partly about setting limits. Set what you will risk and a time limit.

I am also a believer in testing fast. Do it now.

At 3:54 AM, Blogger A said...

Jim thanks for the advice, fail fast was great, to set your risk levels was greater.

Ill keep this in mind, fail often fail cheaply, fail fast. I wish i had found this advice before...wld have saved lot of precious time i wasted on wrong ventures and wrong people.

I wish you would write on how to asses people on how productive and relaible they will be to help you succeed in your venture.

how do you choose people to hire or partner?



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