How to Fail Fast

The other night, I went to bed with a quiet fear slowly growing in the pit of my stomach.

I had just finished editing a new video for YouTube, and I really didn’t want to share it.

It’s not that the video was controversial, or even all that bad. But it was unlike any other videos I’ve created so far. And when I compared it to videos from my favorite creators, I knew that it just didn’t measure up. It was so damn amateurish!

But you know what? I published it. And even scarier, I’m including a link here if you want to watch it yourself.

Because here’s the lesson for today:

You have to give yourself permission to make lame stuff.

I’m coming to realize that if you want to someday do something well, you first have to do it poorly. You can’t let being bad at something hold you back—or you’ll never to do it at all.

And maybe that’s what we mean when we say “fail fast, fail often.”

Remember: Most famous actors you know today had their first awkward roles in low-budget plays. Every top-level athlete started out as a sweaty kid trying to keep up.

And every business superstar was once a scrappy beginner. Heck, Marie Forleo’s earliest video (that’s still on her channel, at least) is filmed in her living room while she’s cross-legged on the couch!

So, maybe you think you’re too old to be a beginner. Or you don’t want to lose credibility. Or you hate being a beginner at anything.

I get it. But here’s the thing: No one cares. That’s not being mean. That’s setting you free. No one cares if you start something new and totally fail at it. You won’t lose credibility, because most people are rational enough to understand that we’re all multi-faceted beings, and being new in one area doesn’t discredit your other skills. You have nothing to lose.

But on the other hand, you have a world of new experiences to gain. Being a beginner at something means you’re committed to learning new things. And dear goodness, isn’t that what makes life interesting to live?

What can you be a beginner at today?

Go sign up for that archery class you thought sounded really cool when you were a kid.

Go make that cold call that scares you shitless. Sales is a skill too, by the way—you’re going to fail at it before you get better.

Go learn how to use Instagram stories for your business.

Go buy a plant, and read up on its species so you can figure out how to actually keep it alive.

Any skill can be learned if you’re willing to take the first step… and maybe look a little silly while doing it.


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Build a better business

Every week, I send out actionable advice on marketing and growing your business—including subscriber-only tips, trainings, and announcements that never make it to the blog. Want in?

Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.