To Fail Or Not To Fail? Entrepreneurs Speak…

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. ~Og Madino

To fail or not to fail? That is the question. Fail Fast. How about don’t fail at all?  That was the statement James Altucher posed in a public forum. Entrepreneurs jumped in sharing their beliefs, values and thoughts on the concept of failure.  Names have been omitted as I share excerpts:

What It Means To Fail

  • A person who hasn’t failed is more likely to have never been successful
  • The message of “fail fast” is not to encourage failure. What it speaks to is moving action with ideas instead of analysis paralysis and never-ending planning. No amount of analysis and planning can prepare you for the reality of launching something. This is what “fail fast” means. It does not mean to emphasize failure. Build it (now). Measure it. Learn from it.
  • The wisdom in “failing fast” is that you should test your ideas hard and fast. If it’s going to fail, better know sooner rather than later. But, yes, failing is not fun at all and shouldn’t be a badge f honor unless you can speak to what you have learned from it.
  • Fail fast is not supposed to be taken as a literal plan. It is a frame of mind entrepreneurs are suggested to take when there is a large unknown. The fact that it’s unknown means you have no guarantee that you won’t fail. So it makes more sense to operate in a way where you have affordable failures instead of large ones you can’t rebound from.
  • Failures are shameful, painful, and not shared. Experiment, test for the good and bad. Do something you don’t like to confirm. Get in touched with yourself. Be clear with your goals etc. You will feel more success and fewer setbacks with how you learn and experience the world.
  • We ought to believe in our ideas and craft them in a way we believe failure is not possible. The idea of “fail fast” sometimes naively lures us into playing the game to fail rather than to win
  • Is it possible to never fail and be trying new things? Pushing things to its edge or standing for things? The opposite of failure is not trying anything because its risk-free in our world. So being willing to fail and even fail big speaks to a conviction to do something maybe extraordinarily new. Failure stings …but so does living with little drive and not learning from past experiences/experiments.
  • Edison’s approach of saying he didn’t fail 100 times; he learned 100 things. I prefer to teach people and make them better not punish failure. Of course I believe in study, preparation, and teamwork to minimise the chance of failure. If our approach is “failure is not an option”, then you are like that ex-CEO of Yahoo who infamously posted how she didn’t have Plan B or Plan C, because she didn’t plan to fail. I have never met people who have used failure as a badge of honor but have met people who told me how they used an instance of failure to learn and get better.
  • If you have never failed, you haven’t pushed yourself or taken challenges and put yourself out there.

So there you have it. Entrepreneurs and leaders sharing their thoughts on failing fast. What’s your take? Do you agree?

Personally, I believe never trying is a certain path to boredom, apathy, and remaining stuck. Try something new today.

Cheers!

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Author: Dr. Shelly C

Dr. Shelly Cameron is an Author, Speaker, OD Consultant and Coach. She has researched the topic of Success and written 3 books on Success Strategies and Leadership. Her research on the Leadership Challenge was published in the Journal of American Academy of Business Cambridge (JAABC). She now uses the results of her research to connect others to Success.

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