Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Try to Fail

How many things did you try and fail at over the Christmas holiday? Okay, admittedly Andrea only failed at making Yorkshire pudding. "I read the instructions 5 times and still read them wrong." (It's a long story with temperature variations so we won't bore you here.) So while the dish was edible it didn't rise into a fluffy pastry that is its trademark serving style but rather was more like a flat pan of corn bread. Okay, big deal easy to get over. We still celebrate this failure because 1) she tried and 2) she learned. Next time will be different.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Working to Failure

Our strategy of failing is effective in many aspects of business, life, and as we practiced yesterday, also in the gym. Our goal is to do 3 sets of 12 repetitions of weights, increasing the weight if possible each time. And on the final set, the goal is to "work to failure" - to lift the weight as many times as possible until you absolutely, positively cannot lift one more time. This is where the true muscle growth and development happens. In fact, people that lift weights without pushing, without failing and going until they cannot go anymore are not getting the real benefits from the process.

The fact is the harder you push the muscle the more muscle you create. As we understand it, the muscle is built by working it and creating ever so small tears thereby causing the muscle to repair which makes it grow larger and bigger and of course stronger. So next time you're at the gym, remember that just like everything else, the more you fail, the more you will succeed!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Celebrate Failure

It’s natural to be excited about our successes and to celebrate them, to give ourselves a reward or even throw a party. But, if the key to success is to increase our failures, then it only makes sense to celebrate our set backs as well. Yes, you heard right: if someone turns you down, celebrate it! When’s the last time you rewarded yourself for failing? Probably never! Instead of mentally punishing yourself for not succeeding, what if you bought yourself an ice cream cone and said, “I’m one step closer to success!” Maybe failure would stop having the negative hold it has on your thoughts and emotions.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Failing Is All Around

Could you imagine playing a video game and winning your first time out? Of course not... failing at the game and learning how to overcome the obstacles is all part of the fun! There's a fascinating discussion on "failing forward" in a recent article in Association Now magazine that discusses the links between gaming, failing, and the huge implications to learning. (It turns out failing really helps you learn!)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Failing in Sales

Sales is all about failing. If you sell anything, you'll agree. In an article entitled, The Fail Your Way to Success Method of Cold Calling, Jeffrey Gitomer states that the cold call itself won't usually get you a sale but that what it does give is just as important: a follow up opportunity. He says there is a long term benefit as well: this teaches you that most sales are made after the seventh "no." This is at the heart of "our "go for no" philosphy. The more "no's" or "failures" you get the more yesses you will ultimately bring yourself. Too many of us look at no's as a one-time rejection and don't see them for what they are: one more stepping stone on the way to success.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Case for Failing

Most of us are so worried about succeeding that we do everything within our power to avoid "failing." And that is a sure recipe for mediocre performance. As Thomas Watson (Senior Founder of IBM) said, "If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate." We couldn't agree more. That is why when it comes achieving breakthrough performance, we say fail more! Fail faster! History is littered with "successful failures" - people who tried and failed over and over eventually finding more success then they ever imagined.

Subscribe in a reader