Monday, August 1, 2011

Fail Often

I am haunted by an article that I read many years ago on a plane heading to the west coast; it was an article about a survey that the top 100 successful business people took and the key result was that they claimed that they failed at 70% of what they attempted.

Of course, it takes some time to grasp something that is mathematically at odds with our assumptions; success is based upon the fact that one does not give up but rather keeps learning, evolving, and trying.

Or as Thomas Edison has said, "I have not failed, I've just 10,000 ways that won't work."

That is why, when I read things like, "(b)efore changing careers, experts say, ask yourself some basic questions. For example, are your current skills obsolete, or will they soon be back in demand? "  I cannot help but wonder how anyone could have skills that are obsolete?  If you are continuously learning, evolving, and trying then exactly how can ones acquired knowledge, aka skills, become obsolete?

But then again, I never really grasped the concept of "career change" because I am a challenge seeker rather than a resume builder; I want to know what the challenges of a job are not the skills required to perform the tasks of a job.

It’s kind of like the question of, "...if you could do things over would you do things differently?"  Of course, all of us would!  But the reality is without continuously learning, evolving, and trying nothing would be different; the end results would be the same.

Wisdom is nothing more than trying, failing, learning, evolving, and trying again...over and over again!  Success is nothing more than learning to fail faster!

Every benefit has a cost and if you fear failure then you will never enjoy success.  I have been fired more than once and I need two hands to count the number of times I have been “…sent to the house” but in each and every case, each and every time I was back at work within two days.

Think about it, 100 of the top business leaders admit that they fail 70% of the time!  If you have a success rate higher than 30%, and lets be honest, most of us shoot for at least a 75% success rate, then obviously, based upon a poll of the highest achieving business leaders, most of us are not attempting to accomplish much.


Friko said...

fail again, but this time fail better.
You'll get it right eventually.

Carl said...


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