Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward

One of the nastiest biases distorting our perception is survivorship bias. It means you only ever get to see the successful cases of evolution. The winners. The survivors.

Even with someone who’s nowhere near world-fame or crazy riches like me, it’s easy to look at my profiles on Medium and Quora, see millions of views and say: Oh wow, that guy is winning!

What you don’t see are all the failures that quietly died throughout the years. And the list is long:

  • In 2014, I started a content marketing blog. After 2 posts and realizing I didn’t know what I was talking about, I shut it down.

  • In 2015, I wanted to launch a premium course called “Do More, Stress Less.” No one bought it.

  • In 2016, I wanted to build an app with friends called AniQuote where you could animate your quote pictures. Never happened.

  • That same year, I made a free course to help you fall in love with reading again. It’s still online, but the premium reading course I wanted to make never followed.

The list goes on and on. Failed ideas, failed Instagram channels, failed products, services, and partnerships. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

That’s why I love Will Smith’s lesson about failure:

Fail early, fail often, fail forward.

“Failure is where all of the lessons are. You gotta live where you’re almost certain you’re gonna fail,” he says. “Practice is controlled failure.”

You want your failures to come early, to happen fast, to be small and contained. The reason I have so many failures is because I ditched them as soon as I realized they were doomed. I try to do that as best as I can. Because it allows me to find what works.

Fail early, fail often, fail forward.

And don’t quit until we see you as a survivor.

-Nik

PS: If you’re celebrating, Happy Easter! 🐰🥚And if not, have a great day either way!


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