From my previous failures and what I’ve been able to observe, there is nothing more valuable and powerful than a major or personal failure. I believe that failure is what brings things to life and positions them to be great. I think it forces introspection, humility, and that extra drive to prove something to those around you – specifically those who have watched you fail or been apart of your failure and now question your abilities. As I reflect on my failures and interact with those who have also failed I begin to see a pattern where the entrepreneurs who have failed typically are the ones who become the most successful.
Some really good startup quotes.
“The challenge with most startups is just dealing with the emotional ups and downs, which can be huge.”
500 Startups’s Dave McClure
“You worry all of the time.”
Zendesk founder Mikkel Svane
“I hit this wall of fear when we were about 30 people.”
Julia Hartz of EventBrite
“I’ve had my share of failures. That’s kinda what makes a person ready for success.”
Scott Kveton of Urban Airship, who pitched VCs unsuccessfully 30 times before hitting pay dirt
“You’re gonna screw up.”
Dan Levin, COO of Box
“Not all of us can lead. But this is a special type of sport.”
Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger Network
“If we don’t allow ourselves to make mistakes, we will never invest in things that are radical.”
Jeff Clavier, VC, Soft Tech
“Be brazen, but don’t be arrogant.”
Kate Rutter, cofounder of LUXr
Out of these quotes, which ones connect with you?
As you know, or as you are learning, failure is a very important part of your journey. Yes, I know I’ve blogged a lot about failure lately, but it’s only because of how important failure really is.
All successful entrepreneurs fall at times and then climb their ass right back out of a heap of crap only to be better, stronger, and more ready for the next challenge – I know that this is true for me. How about you?
The key to failing is getting right back up. You can’t stay down long and cry like a little bitch. You have to jump right back up and flaunt it – show off your scars and wounds so that other people can learn from them as well.
What matters in the end is that your shield is scuffed and beaten up because it shows that you were willing to fight. If you come back with a clean and shinny shield that just shows that you’re a pussy.
If you want to help and transform others, don’t talk about your arrival, talk about your journey, your battles, your wounds, and your redemption.
You hear about people with setbacks – I’ve had mine. Setback are awesome! Why? Because they are opportunities for clarity, humility, growth, and wisdom. You learn your strengths and you learn your weaknesses. You learn to ask for help. And you learn who you need to win the fight.
Hey everyone. I’m fired up to share this new project with you. I recruited a stellar team and were about to kick things off.
What do you think the project is all about? You guessed it. Failure – something that I’ve done a lot of as an entrepreneur and I’m sure you have too. And let me tell you, you learn a hell of a lot more from your failures than you do your successes.
It started back when I raced motocross and I would get all busted up from crashing – if you weren’t crashing you weren’t going fast. And after you crashed, you got right back up and kept going. My dad always said, “Son, you can’t stay down long or people are going to rip past you.” The key is getting right back up and jumping back in to the race.
Sometimes it got to the point of breaking bones – about 15 for me. Then I had to stand on the sidelines, but It gave me a chance to think about what I did wrong and how far and fast I could really go. The point is I never would have learned if I didn’t push things to the point of crashing and breaking bones.
The same thing happened when I jumped into startups and entrepreneurship – I got my ass kicked, fell down, and learned the hard way.
One failure in particular happened a few years ago when I one day woke up drowning in debt and stupid decisions. I had built a company and positioned myself inside the company managing the day to day – what a mistake. I quickly learned that entrepreneurs make sucky managers.
What was supposed to be one thing quickly morphed into a battle that ended up pretty badly. I wanted to build tech products, but instead ended building a damn agency that grew too big, too fast and then the economy fell apart; that ended the battle.
What I should have done early on was hire a manager or CEO and I could have moved onto my next startups. I didn’t. Instead, I tried managing it and the thing blew up in my face.
This failure (It was kind of a big one) destroyed relationships; destroyed my finances and left me pretty beat up for awhile. It also forced me to file for personal and business bankruptcy, costing me some three-quarters of a million dollars. A hard lesson, but a good lesson that has made me stronger and defined me as an entrepreneur.
I learned several pretty hard lessons. I learned what I was good at, I learned what I was bad at, and I learned who and what I needed to win the game. Most of all, I learned that you better be one tough bastard if you want to play this game.
Right now I have five start-ups that I am a part of – you can read more about all them by going here.
And this project, “F-Up, Get Up, Keep Going.” We don’t know exactly what this project will become, but we do know that if we start by sharing great stories it will turn into something pretty awesome. But we can’t do anything without your help. We need you to share your stories of failure. What you learned from the path of fucking up, getting up, and continuing to push forward – we know you have great stories. Send those to us in video, audio or text at danny at dannybeckettjr dot com.
Together we’ll share stories and teach other entrepreneurs how to build and run great start-ups.
Let’s do this thing.
I know that I’ve talked allot about failure lately, but it is just so real and awesome! People who are afraid to fail don’t end up doing much with their lives. God built us to fail. And God built is to fall. We just have to keep getting back up and thriving everyday to win.
If you think failure isn’t part of winning in life then you are more than a failure, you are an idiot.
Wait a minute, who is this guy saying that failure is awesome. How can failure be seen as awesome? If you honestly have to ask that question, you are not fit for what it takes to win. Winning requires failure.
If I offended you, I’m not sorry. You need to keep your job, play it safe, and do what you do best…working for someone else. There is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is built to push the envelope to the point of literally breaking bones – back in my racing days, if you hadn’t broken a bone you got weird looks like, “You are a racer, no way, shut up!”.
If you’ve decided to keep reading this and you’re not totally pissed off, let’s be honest about something. Failure is brutal and more often than not, it hurts like hell. Some of the worst pain you’ve ever felt. Sometimes it’s even so bad that it takes you to your knees crying and weeping like a little baby – I’ve been there. Not because of physical pain, but more because of mental and emotional pain. It’s cool to man up and cry….I won’t judge you.
In my racing days we used to have a saying, “If you’re not falling down, you’re not going fast”. It’s true. This meant that if you were playing it safe and not pushing the envelope then you probably weren’t winning races. You were losing races. See, the guys and girls who gave it all they had and took changes won the races. And, the races they didn’t win, they went down hard, got back up, and kept riding.
Winning is hard, failing is hard, but it’s just what has to happen if you want to win. You can’t be afraid to push the envelope and get a little nuts. Yeah, you will fail and it will hurt like hell. Just get back up, learn from it, and move on.
In my racing days, I took some bad crashes where I broke bones, messed up organs, and busted up my face. But, it never stopped me from getting right back on the bike and having a good time.
Take some chances, push the envelope, get nuts, and do it now before you end up living some boring ass life.
Have a great week friends!
Are you afraid to epically fail? Not me, I epic fail on purpose. We need more people willing to take risks and epic fail on purpose. Well, epic fails that don’t totally wipe us out, but that make us bolder and more confident in our abilities. Epic fails that teach us lessons about what works and what doesn’t.
Epic failure is something I enjoy very much. Why? Because, each time I fall down and scrape up my knees I learn something very valuable that I wouldn’t have learned before. I learn how far I can go, how high I can jump, and how much money it’s going to cost!
When I fail, it moves me away from what doesn’t work and closer to what does. I like the sound of that – moving closer to what works. We all want to know and understand the things that work, right? But, how can you learn the things that work until we’ve tried and epically failed at the things that don’t work.
Think experiments. We may try hundreds, if not thousands of experiments until we find a solution. The same is true with projects, ideas, startups, dating, and the million other things we try to figure out in life. But, we have to be willing to epically fail at these things.
Parents don’t always teach us this, schools screw it up, and so do your bosses. Don’t listen to these safe boring people, they are going nowhere. You need to epically fail at things, it’s part of the learning experience. You can do it, epic fail. Just don’t wipe yourself out!
It’s time to persevere, and there is no better time than now. Why? Well, let me quick tell you why. The new year is just around the corner and it’s time that we rid all challenges, difficulties, and any past failures and move forward with a positive attitude and outlook on the future.
Today, around the world there are thousands if not millions of innovative leaders that are struggling to do good, meaningful work in a time of overbearing bureaucracy, horrible leadership, and non stop failing solutions.
If you look around, you will see that everyone is working harder, and in most cases, in greater isolation than ever before.
Between the fast pace of work and life, family, balance, and the fear and anxiety, it is becoming almost impossible to have the energy and enthusiasm to keep going. However, this also means that everyone must stand up, brush off the years of good efforts that have been taken away by events beyond our control, and lets continue our efforts to do and achieve great things despite all difficulties, and failures.
What do you say? Let’s go!
We all fail in life, right? Can you honestly think of someone who hasn’t? I mean, I’ve failed, you’ve failed, we all fail, and in my mind, it’s just part of life and the crazy, interesting, journey we’re all on.
The BIG question though, that I’ve been thinking about lately is, how do we react as leaders when this happens?
Have you ever failed? And after the failure, were you able to look beyond the failure and see all the positive results of those failures?
For me, I’ve always been very good at this, being that I was an athlete and I always had to look at failure as a way of winning. And If I looked at it any other way I would continue losing. It’s when you look at failure as a way to win, that you actually start failing to win – and this is what you want!
I’ve failed at a lot of things in my life including start-ups, and you know what, I’m pretty excited about it. You would think that I would be sitting here crying a river like most people, but I’m not. Instead I’m reading, learning, studying, asking tough questions, reflecting on my screw ups, and working on a bunch of new start-ups with amazing and brilliant people.
Realizing that it is a combination of things that cause a start-up to fail, one question that I’ve asked myself over and over after having a start-up fail pretty bad is, “What makes start-ups succeed or fail?”