3 reasons to embrace failure

In this episode, I give you three reasons why you should embrace failure. You might see the news highlighting successful entrepreneurs or startups that raised $100 million, or they were purchased by a bigger company for $1 billion. The news glamorizes successful celebrities, musicians, authors, or just people in the entertainment industry who succeeded because they secured the big contract, and they got the big payday. The issue is that you don’t see the other fifty million people trying to do what they’re doing and failing at it, broke, hungry, without a place to stay and living out of their car. The thing is, most successful people got to where they are from learning and embracing their failures. That’s what this episode is all about. Embracing your failure to learn from it, and then ultimately succeed.

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Here’s the transcript from this podcast episode, please excuse any typos!

I recently heard a story I didn’t realize about Tiffany Haddish was living out of her car as a comedian, trying to make her way into the acting world in the comedic world and finally she, she made it but she struggled for, you know, at least half of her life until she finally got to the point where she succeeded. So she learned from her failures, she didn’t give up she didn’t, you know act negative which is the first reason you should embrace it as negativity, I mean, nobody likes a negative Nancy or a Debbie Downer. And you have to push away the negativity that is associated with the failure so let’s say you open the brick and mortar store you your fashion designer you wanted to have your own clothing line, and you open the store you, you spent all your savings you created this line of clothing, maybe you purchased clothing from other places and you filled up your store, but you didn’t get a lot of business, but the pandemic came and your store suffered, you probably lost money you probably had to close your store down. But here’s the thing. You might have failed at that moment, right your store might have closed down, you might have lost money, but you’re still alive, you’re still able to work, maybe get a job temporarily till you figure out what’s next. And you should write down a list of things you learned from the experience, maybe opening a store was a bad idea, maybe you should have instead started an Etsy store online which is basically free.

There’s no overhead there’s no brick and mortar, you know inventory and rent and utilities and, you know, business license and tax and all that kind of stuff, insurance, so maybe you don’t need a store, maybe you learned that you can sell the same amount, if not more clothing through your Etsy portal. So you need to stay positive, instead of negative with the opposite positive right you need to think about the fact that, well, I opened the store, I was able to sell some clothing, I was able to show people that I have it in me to be an entrepreneur. You have to focus on the things that you learn to make the experience right. Maybe opening a store was a bad idea, but what would be a good idea? Now, put your positive energy into that. If it’s an Etsy store or selling your clothing line on your website, or maybe another consignment shop somewhere else. Focus on that to get the money back that you lost, and then thrive. You can do it if you focus on the positives. If you think about the negative here, if you’re constantly thinking about the negative aspects of your failures, you’re never gonna get out of that deep dark hole of depression. So focus on the positives, every single day, try to do better than you did the day before.

That’s part of what number two is, learning from your mistakes right learning is important, because I’m going to tell you a secret. You very rarely learn anything from success. Okay. And it’s funny, I didn’t even realize this until I recently was talking to somebody who was asking me about the last documentary I just finished. It was my third movie. Okay, the first movie I made, which was 11 years ago, I learned so much and I made a lot of mistakes like a lot of mistakes, but I made this movie right and it worked out and it was successful. It is still my second movie. I made six years ago, five years ago, and I applied all the mistakes from that toward that movie, and it was so much, it was such a better experience for me as a positive experience, because of all the things that I avoided. I did so much better. In this second movie, it was easier for me to make. I enjoyed doing it much more. I didn’t fall into a lot of the pitfalls, but I still made some mistakes. I still learned from the experience. Right, so I took what I learned from that one. And you guessed it, I applied it to my third movie, which I just finished about a month ago. And, you know, I feel as though this last movie I just made. I made, very few mistakes, if any at all I mean I made a couple of mistakes, but the fact of the matter is, I learned from the first two movies, and I got so much better at making a movie that now this third movie was just so much better if the experience was just the best I could possibly, and I can’t even imagine when I make my fourth movie. The amount of skill and knowledge that I’m going to be applying to that movie. From that it’s just going to be like a boilerplate kind of blueprint that I’ve created of how to create a movie.

And so, you have to apply that kind of mentality. So if you built a tech app or a website or some kind of gadget, and it didn’t do well, right, you built it didn’t do well you didn’t sell any and you couldn’t get any users, Right, but you learn how to build the app, you learn how to do a 3d printed gadget, you learn how to talk to people and get feedback, you learn something right. What did you do wrong? What mistakes did you make, take those failures, right, and apply them to your next one, avoid that stuff, and your experience will be so much better.

Instead of being afraid to do something because you fail, which is the third tip is, or the third reason really is. Don’t be afraid, man. You’re gonna have this risk aversion in your mind where you’re going to be like well I can’t take another risk because I failed that I lost money and I lost time and I can’t possibly risk another year of my life on another idea or a couple $1,000 or whatever it is, on another idea I can’t do it, I can’t take the risk. That’s where you’re wrong. You can take the risk. Because if you don’t, you’re going to miss out on a possible opportunity that will change your life forever. All because you made a mistake. I hear people that have gone through one or two divorces, and they still are getting married to a third person. I mean, they didn’t get it, they weren’t afraid to get married for third time, because they made mistakes, the first two maybe the third time was the, was the one maybe that was their soulmate, maybe that was the love of their life and the first two, they learned a lot from the relationships, and they knew how to apply, better communication better relationship goals, etc, to the third, spouse, and maybe that succeeded. I don’t know. Same goes for, you know, building websites and building apps and building gadgets and maybe opening up a store, everybody, and every business, every idea learns from the previous idea, and the mistakes that were made. I mean, I’ve said this before in many episodes of my podcast, Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times at creating a light bulb, right, and he succeeded one time. And so he learned from those 10,000 failures, until finally he created the perfect light bulb. So, you have to keep trying and trying and trying and getting better skills while you’re doing it, learn from your mistakes, jot down a list of mistakes you made when you do your next business make sure you stick to that list say I’m not doing these 10 things, and if anybody who you work with tells you otherwise you say listen, I’ve already been through this. I made my mistakes.

I’m not doing it again, you don’t want to follow my rules and follow my you know my lead. Then, I don’t want to work with you. You’re better off without them, you’re better off on your own, following the path that you feel as though is the correct path, and look in the end, it comes down to the fact that nobody’s gonna succeed. Overnight, right, this entrepreneurship lifestyle. It takes a long time to get to a certain level of success. And success doesn’t always mean financial success, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna be rich and living on a yacht, you know, but it might mean that you have freedom when you have some extra time for your friends and family or time for your hobbies, because you know you are creating something new and you have extra time on your hands and you’re able to do what you want create your own schedule. Maybe that’s what success means. So you have to stay positive. Learn from your mistakes and take those risks to achieve that goal. Because you’re not going to achieve it by, you know, being scared being active and not taking risks as I’m just telling you is not going to happen, and ask any entrepreneur out there, what they did to succeed and they’ll probably tell you, those were the three top three things they did, right, don’t live in fear and stay positive. If you have any more ideas as to how you can learn from your failures or your mistakes. As always I’d love to hear your comments and your thoughts, your feedback, leave them in the comments and I will respond to everybody like I always do. Hopefully, these three reasons to learn from your mistakes are helpful. I know it’s been helping me out for years and I stick to it and I do it every single day, no matter how difficult the days are and how difficult the work is you got to keep your head, you got to stay forward move forward and you got to just push through those obstacles, and as always I will see you all in next week’s episode.



Jason Sherman