• Craig Brown

Failure is not the goal.


There's a bee that's been buzzing in my bonnet for a while now: The celebration of failure.

When I was a kid, I went to a primary school that had an electric fence around it (to keep the cattle out, not the kids in!), and there was one kid who got a zap from that bad-boy nearly every day. One time I saw him pee on it.

Prior to that, he had no fear of failure.

Failure in business should be viewed something like that electric fence. It's a thing to be respected and feared. It won't kill you, but it'll give you a nasty shock – and that shock lets you know you've strayed off the path.

Give the fence a wide berth and try again. Just try not to touch it next time.

It's not like I don't get it – I'm not a complete moron.* I do understand that the sentiment of this bullshit is genuinely positive, they're trying to say that we need to be easier on ourselves about not succeeding. But when we laud failure as a methodology (as though failing is the short term goal), we paint a picture for budding entrepreneurs that those who came before them have just been wildly running around bumping into walls – and that every success was merely a fluke.

That's simply not the case and we need to stop this rot immediately, it's really not helpful.

"I start every project trying to fail. That's the true key to my continued success."

- No one ever.

Sure, failure is a possibility, you should plan to accomodate it. But showing failure no fear is not the way to plan a success. If you don't succeed at something and you don't know why, then you can investigate what caused it and SHAZAAAM you've learnt something. Something that can prevent you from failure next time.

On the other hand: if you fail at something and don't care - you're doomed to keep making similar mistakes. It's a small but important delineation.

Learning can be painful and that's cool. Some folks–like that kid at my primary school–need to take a few more zaps in order to find the path.

So, stop cheering each other on to failure and start trying to fucking succeed.

*I haven't been tested. This is just my opinion.


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