I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of failure lately.
In podcast Episode 19, Mark Manson mentioned that successful entrepreneurs have a strong tolerance for failure, but I would take that a bit further. I think the truly advanced entrepreneur celebrates failure.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, you need to make it your mission to get to that point of celebrating failure. It starts with making the decision that your true north is growth. The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn and grow your experience as an entrepreneur.
Because you learn from your failures more than from your successes, you should constantly be trying new things and understanding that failure is another notch in your belt. Just like minute muscle tears or bone fractures, you come back stronger than before.
But that’s only if you can shake society’s ridiculous definition of failure and throw it in the trash.
Failure is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact you should wear it proudly. Failure has nothing to do with your identity.
Your successes and your failures don’t define you. They are all part of the bigger game of business, a game that you are slowly learning and advancing through. A game without any walkthroughs or cheat codes.The more you fail, the better you get at it.
I can see 3 very separate stages of growth in entrepreneurship. With the proper mindset, each phase should actually be seeking to fail through different techniques.
Childhood – Seeking failure through duplication
When you are first starting out you will usually grab onto an idea, R&D it (rob and duplicate), just to start with something. You’ll likely fail the first few times you do it, but each time you’ll learn something, and even more importantly you’ll get better at tolerating the failure.
Eventually you’ll find something that sticks and make some money. This is where 99% of entrepreneurs are at, and this is where they tend to stay. The key is continuing to develop new experiences and pushing your comfort zone.
Adolescence- Trying out different cliques – Seeking failure in a multitude of industries and business models
The next stage of development is understanding that even though you found something that made you money, you still don’t know jack-shit. It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and start experiencing different industries and different business models.
Try out SaaS, try out corporate B2B, try creating a course, try forming a community. You will learn so much from these experiences, and it will push you to maturity. And maturity is where you can make a real difference – where you can change the world for the better and build unimaginable wealth as a nice by-product of the value you add to society.
Adulthood – Pushing boundaries and seeking failure through innovation
After you’ve failed in your first dozen or so different industries and business models, you’ll have enough experience to actually attempt to innovate. Generally this means mixing and matching from what you’ve learned in the different industries and models.
Taking a monetization model from a mature industry and applying it to an immature industry. Or disrupting an industry by removing 1 or more pieces from the value chain.
This requires a high level understanding of business, a level that can only be learned from FAILING HARD, FAILING OFTEN, AND FAILING ALL OVER THE FUCKIN’ PLACE.
You will fail in this step too – but failing when trying to innovate will teach you a hell of a lot more than failing when you’re duplicating an established model.
And you will succeed.
When you do you will leave your mark on society and you will have begun to realize your true potential as an entrepreneur.
That’s the end game, and to get there you have to START. Start something, learn from it and enjoy the process.
You may not make your first million, but it will be the first step that you’ll take TOWARDS making your first million.
And if you never start, you can be sure that you’ll never make that first million.
And to start RIGHT NOW, you can take our 10-minute exercise to Start your Business