Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Playing The Bigger Game - PART 3

The MEGA World of Lil Mogul
by Lil Mogul

STEP 3: Assign Value To Failures (Instead of Fearing Them & Punishing Yourself)

Playing a bigger game means putting yourself out there and taking some chances … many of which will fail.
Let me repeat that:
Many of the chances you take will lead to failure. Not some. Many! However; here’s the secret: Those people who succeed? The ones you’re (secretly) jealous of? They were willing to fail a lot on the way to their success. Even for the “big shots” out there, you’ll find no shortage of people who refuse their calls … reject their ideas … never return emails …

That’s okay, because you’ve got to dig through a lot of rock to uncover those diamonds. Don’t take my word for it – check out what this “loser” has to say:

"I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." – Michael Jordan

Yeah, it’s easy for Michael to say, right, because he was always a big shot, right? Uh … no! He tried out for his high school varsity team and … failed. He didn’t make the cut. So he quit, because he’s a failure and that’s what you should do when you realize that you’re a loser. Oh, wait, no he didn’t. He got put on the junior varsity team instead so he could work on his skills. He went to basketball camp. Worked at it, and got to varsity by junior year. And the rest is history. And that history includes losing over 300 games – 26 of them that were completely his fault. In front of everybody. Oh, the dra-ma.

Here’s the thing: Those failures were part of his strategy of continually getting better at his game and figuring out what strategies worked.

Now, I’m not going to tell you to just think positive and keep trying, for the sake of being motivational. That’s crap and you know it. You don’t care that he lost 300 games because he’s rich and famous and there are shoes named after him. Things are still hard for you. You don’t care that Edison tried 10,000 times (really?) to create a light bulb, because life is tough for you.

That’s because you’re taking your failures personally. You’re worrying about what people will think of you and what it will feel like. You’re looking at failure as a loss. Failures aren’t losses. They’re investments...
Think about this very carefully.

Failures help you aim and focus. Remember the game 20 questions? You didn’t expect to guess the right thing the first time (or even the 10th time). If you’ve played the game enough you know the pattern. Getting a bunch of “No” answers up front is great because it reduces the number of possible things to guess. It’s the same way with business life – you can try something, see if that strategy works, and if it doesn’t you can try a different strategy. Nobody says “You sank my battleship” on the first try, and nobody cares.

Failures help you make progress faster. A paradox, but the truth. Once you actually start taking action, you find out a lot more about what you really want and how you want to go about it. You will often find that your business idea is either flawed or doesn’t scale. This helps you immediately focus on coming up with strategies that will get you there faster. There’s no substitute for putting your ideas out there, watching them flounder and learning from them. If you’re not doing that because you’re afraid of the searing fires of hell that accompany failure you’re looking at it the wrong way.

Those aren’t the fires of hell come for your soul (and reputation!) – they’re a refiner’s fire, burning off the dross and helping get to the gold inside that you’re really after. There’s the old military expression “No battle plan ever survives first contact.” Once you get in the trenches you’ll see where you went wrong – and get valuable clues to what you really need to be doing.

Failures attract the attention of other “failures.” And you want this, big time. Because when you put yourself out there – even if you fall on your face – you’re getting the attention of people higher up the food chain than you are. People who know the value of trying and failing and retrying. You’re showing them you’re willing to pay your dues – just as they did – and you’ll win their respect (and perhaps some cooperation as well). Remember, the people up the food chain have had the stones to fail more than you have. Start catching up if you want their attention.

Failures have essential by-products. Let’s say you try some joint venture with someone else in your field and it bombs. Failure? Not if you have a stronger relationship with the partner, or with affiliates, or even with the people who you were exposed to. Not if you learned something new about technology, or came up with a new product idea, or discovered that your launch bombed because your audience was really looking for ___X___.

Just because you didn’t get what you wanted doesn’t mean it’s not insanely valuable. Dr. Spence Silver came up with a failure of an adhesive in 1968 – it woudn’t stick strongly to anything at all. 6 years later, his colleague came up with the idea of using it for Post-It notes. Missing the original goal can be just fine. Find a use for what you have on hand as a result of the process.

Real winners know that failures are necessary investments for THE FUTURE success. Don’t be afraid to fail. Just make sure you’re failing forward. Don’t accept any other option on the rough side of the mountain. Yeah, it sounds painful but I’ll walk you through some good stuff to make it easier. I’ve got your back. Game on.
Until Next Time… have a great week!

Lil Mogul

No comments:




Blog Widget by LinkWithin