The biggest lesson I had to learn was how to fail faster… That’s why when I left Xerox at five o’clock, I would go up the street to the nonprofit charity, helping homeless kids, and I would dial for donations at night. I had a goal every night of getting rejected thirty times. The more I increased my failure rate, the more success I had at Xerox.
-Robert Kiyosaki in The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg
Thirty rejections a day! Thirty!
I do a large amount of reading, and cannot remember the last time I read something so completely stunning.
Not the fact that he failed 30 times, but that he went out with a goal of coming home with at least 30 failures.
I suppose the biggest successes are built, often on a mountain of failure. Before Microsoft Bill Gates started a data company that went nowhere. Before Twitter Evan Williams started a podcasting platform that was crushed by iTunes.
The concept of failing faster goes hand-in-hand with lean startup theory: fail fast, fail cheap, move on to the next idea.
My Blueprint for Increasing Failure.
It is 3 a.m. on a Thursday night (Friday morning I suppose), and I can’t sleep. I keep coming up with new concepts for organizing these “failures.”
So far, here is the plan.
I will try to test one new business concept every week.
If the concept passes a series of metrics, then it gets the green light to move onto the next phase. If it fails I tweak the campaign, or I restart the process.
Most of the testing just takes time, so it is easy to fit around my freelance projects.
I can hardly wait!
Until then the only excuse for not failing is succeeding.