What's your relationship with failure?

26 replies
Hi Makers. Curious to hear your thoughts about failure. So many of us are working on projects that may succeed or may fail. I used to fear failure but over the last few years I've been teaching myself to take more risks and get comfortable with failing. I see failure as a chance to learn. What are your thoughts about failure?


Peyton Goen
@abadesi I feel that failure is bound to happen, and if one is too preoccupied with avoiding failure, they will also inadvertently avoid success. Much easier said than done, however.
Tyler Lastovich
@abadesi Failure and I have a very on again, off again thing going. Long distance seems to work better, as Failure tends to be smothering.
Tyler Lastovich
@abadesi For a real answer: over the years I have come to think of failure as the natural process of iteratively tuning how a person sets expectations. Without the expectation of a 'better' outcome no one would ever fail. Understanding how to set and communicate expectations is a critical, yet under-practiced, skill that not only reduces risk, but also allows you to do bigger and better things with greater consistency. That, in turn, tends to smooth out the startup roller-coaster and creates a more positive environment for everyone. Since I have gone deeper into investing, I find myself taking many more small risks and looking for downside protection ahead of time when taking bigger leaps. IMO set yourself up to fail smaller, but not always less often. :)
Tkachenko Arthur ~UA~
@abadesi it's part of the process. But it's a hard thing to deal with. The best thing that I hear few days ago - "You're not alone. We understand it" and it cheer me up a bit. For Maker i think it's just another skill. You know, nobody when was a baby - didn't start running from the first day, right? It was a slow and simple process of learning things. It also depends on age and "responsibilities". I want to fail again soon, but not sure if I'm ready to do things similar that I did 5 years ago. Summary: If you don't fail - then you don't push yourself to the line
@arthur_tkachenko Yes! I love that summary. Do you think you take more risks or less risks than 5 years ago?
Tkachenko Arthur ~UA~
@abadesi I think i'm doing a bit smarter and don't start a big fire. Right now my risks affecting only my family. Before I failed me/family/teammembers/their families. So I think I'm still making risky desicions, but remembering my past experience
Adekoya Michael
Failing is way of making you better. Some people believe once you try something and it doesn't work out, it means you have failed. However, it is not so. You fail or become a failure when you give up.
@abadesi I welcome it. We're all going to fail. What are we going to do about it? How well can we adapt when faced with it? If I try to wrap a burrito and it falls apart. Am I going to try again? Yes. If I end up making a mess then I'll accept failure and turn it into a burrito bowl. While I'm eating, I'll strategize on how to successfully wrap a burrito for the next time. Learn and adapt, people. 😂🌯
Hai Nguyen
@abadesi I failed many times because I did not try hard enough. Now I'm narrowing down my failure to situations where actually people fail me and not vice versa (and not I fail myself). I don't blame the world for not giving me what I want, but sometimes knowing I did everything I could is an encouragement for me to move on to the next adventure. In Asia we believe in karma. We know we need to lose something to gain something else. In exchange for the efforts that went down the drain, I receive experience, the connections I made, the insights I learned. So instead of calling a failure failure, I would call it a conversion of efforts into experience. I've been working with some makers for a while. My advice is you should not jump into the conclusion that you've failed too quickly. Let's consider you need to put the project on hold, maybe for a few months, maybe for an indefinite amount of time. There can be a big demand for your product one day. Who knows? 😸
Daniel Falabella
@abadesi I have a very good relationship with failure. It follows me everywhere I go...
Louis Grenard
@abadesi I keep telling to myself that if it fails, then I learn a lot on the way. Moreover, failure is a step to victory, isn't it? ✌️ What's important and help for the future is to understand why it failed and how to not reproduce that.
Mohamed Barami
@abadesi I use it as a fuel to try again, and a source of clarity to re-think new strategies, and try again.
Matt Kenefick
I used to not mind failure all that much; but that changes over time. For example.. you try once and fail, that's fine. Try something else and fail, still fine. In the middle, you adapt, change strategies, etc.. but when you fail again on the 8th, 9th, or 10th try.. it becomes frustrating. What am I missing? Is the timing just not right? Is the market wrong? Is the design poor? Is the team not the best? Or is 11 just the magic number?
How do you react to failure?
1 Answer
Failures are events, they're not you. ~Zig Ziglar