You know Winston Churchill? The twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom who also won The Nobel Prize in Literature. He failed the sixth grade. He experienced many political failures while also losing every single election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister of England at the age of 62. How about The Avengers Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk)? Did you know that he went to almost 600 auditions before he landed his first role?
The lesson: Keep going.
Failure is not only an important part of “the process”, it’s absolutely necessary.
Here’s another way to think of it…
Imagine a pendulum.
Now imagine the rod of that pendulum being at rest. It’s straight down and perpendicular to the table. Further, imagine that the left side of the pendulum (the side to the left of the rod) represents failure while the right side of the rod represents success.
Similar to our careers, when the rod of the pendulum is at rest we won’t experience failure nor will we experience success. And as you already know this represents how the majority of people approach their careers.
They find a way to stay in their comfort zones ensuring that they rarely experience failure. Yet taking this approach also minimizes their opportunities to experience success.
Then there’s another group. It’s a group that isn’t content with settling for the status quo.
This is the group which knows that in order to achieve great success throughout their careers they must also experience great failure.
Remember, think of the pendulum…
The higher you swing the rod up to the left side of failure the higher the rod will swing back to the right side of success.
The point is this:
You can’t have success without failure.
So go out there and fail.
In fact, fail big because the bigger the failures the bigger the successes.
The Ascent is a series where I document the experience of building YPE. It’s written from the following perspective: Advice I give to myself based on the lessons learned every day.