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The Best Way to Get Comfortable With Failure

July 5, 2013

Today’s tip was inspired by race car driver, Danica Patrick and the benefits of making mistakes.

Crash the Car

car crash

I saw an interview with race car driver Danica Patrick where she talked about pushing the limits of her car. The object of racing, she said, is to push yourself and your car to the very edge, to the point where you almost crash, because that’s the fastest you can go.

You push up to the edge, back away, and try to push things further, even just for a short moment. As you get more comfortable with these moments, you can expand on them.

Your business is the same way. You increase your income by pushing yourself, even for just a day. You then do that for a week. The weeks become months and the months become years. And it gets easier and easier because you’re expanding your capacity to perform the entire time.

“Crashing the car” can be a good thing.

But how much do you ease up once you’ve gone too far?

Find the ease, but don’t play it easy.

The next time you attempt whatever you’ve previously failed at, you’ll be playing a different game — you’ll have knowledge and experience you didn’t have before. You’ll understand what went wrong before and be able to adjust for it.

I could give you a hundred examples of how I’ve screwed things up, both business and personal, sometimes to the point of having to kill them off entirely. My first book was like that. I thought I knew what I was doing, but I made so many mistakes with it, it was better to pull the plug than try to fix it anymore.

Was it a total loss? No. That first book was a blazed the trail for future books and my latest book, a marketing book for musicians, would would have been released with major mistakes had I not put it through a process I learned from it.

The best business tool can be found at a comedy club.

Want to get comfortable with failure and learn how to work with it? Take an improv class. If you can’t find one via Google, your local comedy club will point you in the right direction.

Improv, also known as improvisational theater, is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created on the fly, at the very moment it is performed on stage. It is often comedic in nature. The dialogue, the action, the story, and the characters are created by the actors on stage, sometimes with help from the audience, as the improvisation unfolds.

Sometimes everything seems to work. Sometimes it’s a total failure. And sometimes what seems like a total failure will actually be the best part of what you create.

Just like your business…

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Every Friday, I give tips on how to build the foundation needed to have a successful business and platformSee other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for me to cover something specific, let me know via Twitter.

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