6 Reasons Why It’s Ok To Fail Today

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“If you hit every time the target is too near or too big.” Tom Hirschfield is spot on. Here’s why.

“Who would you rather hire,” a friend in business asked. “A candidate who always played it safe and often succeeded or a candidate who always took risks and often failed?”

Stumped. On one hand, you want to hire a consistent winner. On the other hand, that candidate likely hasn’t learned what it takes to test, try, fail, pivot, and rise up again.

As one essayist wrote: “Failure is something to be avoided like the plague. Popular culture portrays failures as losers with low self-esteem and zero work ethic–which could not be further from the truth.”

The author writes that CEO John Chen told her, “I wanted to start a new business and I didn’t want to teach those people the pitfalls of failure or where the problem is. The people who actually have failed before gave us a lot of good insight and experience, and also have the proper attitudes about not thinking everything is smooth sailing.”

It’s true. Failure is not bad. Failing and not trying again certainly is. As one of our partners said after a miss, “We just earned our PhD. Let’s not waste this learning.”

Here are six reasons it’s ok to fail today:

  1. “You either win or you learn,” as one coach said. Fail. Learn. Keep going.
  2. The industry — every industry — is changing too fast to stand still, to rest on what’s worked last year or last quarter, and to replicate an old model. Fail up. Fail in a way that you are moving forward not falling back.
  3. Your competitors are failing — and getting better. They are taking risks — some big, some small — to get ahead of their competition. They are moving, thinking, rethinking, introducing new ideas and products, and so should you.
  4. Smaller, nimble, innovative companies will run circles around larger, entrenched, and risk-averse companies. You see things that others don’t — and when you do see opportunities you can move faster, more effectively and efficiently than any C-suite executive.
  5. The best business leaders have battle scars. They’ve gone through the fire and have come out on the other side wiser, more refined, stronger in character and conviction about who they are and what they do.
  6. Don’t worry too much about what others think. So you missed this time. Big deal. At least you are in the game. Do your thing.  If others are so interested in your ups and downs, fine. That just shows they are not focused on their own game.

(c) Aspiration Entertainment, 2020

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