How To Fail Your Way To Success

How To Fail Your Way To Success

Fail Your Way To Success: Why most people don’t

The number one reason people don’t succeed is simply because they fail to start (whatever it is). They become paralyzed by the fear of failing.  To be able to fail your way to success you first have to embrace failure as your best friend.  Realize it’s there to help you.  

Within Each Failure Lie The Seeds To Your Success

Have you ever watched a toddler learning to walk.  Take a step, fall, get up, another step or two, fall, get up, and the pattern repeats until one day the child is walking (and of course walking leads to running).  But there would be no walking, nor running without the falling.  Failure is how we learn, so you see it’s quite possible to fail your way to success.  

Fail Your Way To Success
If you can fail your way to success like these folks did you’ll be in good company.

4 Keys to Fail Your Way To Success

1.  Fail Early

One of the most important keys to fail your way to success is to start trying early in life, your career, etc.  The sooner you start attempting success the sooner you’ll likely find it.  It’s also important to leave yourself enough time in life to enjoy your success.  Robert Kiyosaki says that it took him 3 attempts at business before failing his way to success with with the Rich Dad series.  But because he started early in life when success came in his 30’s he was left with plenty of time to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

2.  View Failure The Way Thomas Edison Did

Edison failed at the light bulb 10,000 times. When asked about is 9,999 failures he replied ‘I have not failed. I have just found 9,999 ways that do not work’.  Learn to view your failures as a stepping stone instead of an end in your path, and you will developed the correct mindset to fail your way to success.

3.  Fail Fast

Keep the time between failure and the next try short.  The faster you fail the sooner you’ll have success.  Only 1 out of 10 small business succeed, so be willing to start 10 with as little gap in between as possible.  It may not take 10 starts, perhaps you succeed on try #2, or #3.

4.  Fail Forward

Don’t make the same mistake twice.

Fail your way to success – Examples of famous people who did

  1. Michael Jordan failed to make his high school basketball team on his first try, has lost more than 300 games (more than most NBA players have actually played), missed 26 game winning shots, missed more than 9,000 foul shouts.
  2. Starbucks got their business model wrong the first time.  The original focus was on selling coffee beans to customers and teaching them how to grind the beans and make freshly brewed coffee at home. It wasn’t until the early 1980’s when Howard Shultz entered the picture that Starbucks began focusing not on selling coffee beans, but on making coffee, tea, and espresso drinks for customers inside the store.
  3. Oprah Winfrey endured an abusive childhood, and was fired from her first television job because…she was unfit for TV (somebody is eating their words).
  4. As a child Paul Orfalea thought to be dim witted, and placed in a special needs class…he later revolutionized the copy industry when he founded Kinkos.
  5. John Mackey and Rene Lawson Hardy were forced to live in their store because they could not afford rent in the early days before founding WholeFoods.
  6. Expelled from school, considered “mentally slow” by his teachers, and “sub-normal” by his own parents, and a laughing stock by many of his peers until he published the “The Theory of Special Relativity” – he’s Albert Einstein.
  7. Considered weird Prince was booed off stages during his early years.  His true musical genius recognized by only a small tribe until 1999 hit record stores (remember those?).
  8. Considered unfit to lead, and rude in 1985 Steve Jobs was booted out of the company he co-founded.  In 1996 he returned, in 1998 introduced the iMac and transformed Apple into the most successful technology company to date.
Remember it’s not about the battle, it’s about winning the war.  If you persist you’ll fail your way to success and be remembered for your successes not your failures.  So pick your head up and keep moving, if you’re failing you’re in good company.
Something to make you go…hmm! “Failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar (Thanks Zig)

Do you care more about customers or the competition? A Response To David Meerman Scotts Post

steve jobs macintosh

David Meerman Scott had a very interesting post on his blog post the other day titled ‘Do you care more about customers or the competition‘.  I took some time to let it marinate before commenting on his website or making this post.

In the post he mentions that he’s glad to see that Tim Cook asked Scott Forsatall to resign over his unwillingness to sign the company’s apology over the crappy steve jobs macintoshApple Maps that were made a part of the latest iPhone software, because “it signals that Cook cares about customers rather than “beating Google” which as far as I
could tell was the only reason to swap out the mapping platform in the iPhone.”  I agree with this point.  David goes on in the post to site how he believes too many companies these days are far to focused on the competiton and not enough on their customers.  Concluding the post David ask “Who do you care more about – your customers or the competition?”  This is the question that got me to thinking…hmm!

As I thought about what historically made Apple successful I came to the conclusion that, in my mind, it was neither a focus on the competition nor the customer.  In fact what made Apple wildly successful was basically ignoring both.  What Jobs and Woz did with the first Macintosh was to create a computer that they themselves wanted to use.  If fact there was no customer demand at the time for what they originally created, and none of the competition had produced anything like the first Macintosh (it had a graphical user interface, and a mouse).  Even their majority of their peers did’n want it.

Prior to the introduction of the first Macintosh all computers used command line interfaces, and the only working definition of a mouse was a that thing you wanted your cat to catch.  No one had even heard of a GUI or a mouse and it was that introduction of a product that consumers had no idea could be done, and that was so insanely different from what the competition was producing is what drove the demand.  Essentially by ignoring what was popular, and focusing instead on their Core beliefs, Apple created a market for what they were producing … the worlds best personal computer.

If you trying to become the best in the wold at something then your Core Beliefs are what you should largely over obsess on – not customers, not competition.

For someone who does not know Apples history (having lived through it, or read about it) it’s easy to think that they have always been the worlds most successful technology company.  But they haven’t.  Steve Jobs was a risk taker who was willing to stay focused on his core belief that it was better to own the entire process (software, hardware, manufacturing, and distribution).  That takes some serious gonads my friends.  In the short run Apple suffered with anemic market share while Microsoft, and Dell became industry leaders and consumers sucked up  less expensive, less creative, and less reliable PC’s.  However, time has now proven Apples strategy better for Apple as a company and for consumers.

Warren Buffett is another example of someone who dominates his market by largely ignoring both the competition and consumers.

Finally, I leave you with something to make you go … hmm!  Consider what the world would be like today if Apple had focused on what customers wanted and what the competition was doing – no MacBooks, no iPods, no iPhones, no iMacs, nor iPads.

Oh…here’s one more.  The next time you’re considering focusing on customers or the competition ask yourself this – WWSD (What would Steve Do?)