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I do a solo show challenging the idea, concept, and existence of failure. I’ll tell you why it doesn’t exist and how (astonishingly) you’re actually right if you think I’m wrong.

It’s a condensed, deep, and introspective episode that will get you thinking about mindsets no matter what you believe. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the usual.

Show Notes
    • Failure Does Not Exist
    • 02:42 Failures are hurdles. Hurdles that could have been prevented, but mere hurdles nonetheless. They’re not the end of potential, they’re the catalysts of success.
    • 03:23 They are not the end of something that was good, they are the beginning, the growing pains, the hurdles-along-the-way-TO… success.
    • 03:35 When you’re caught up in it and you’re wallowing in self pity are you going to see that? No. But if you can zoom outside of your current situation, outside of your now, you can choose to see failure this way. You can choose it. It’s a choice.
      • Is debt a failure? Yes—IF you resolve to remain in debt and never work to get out of it.
      • Is a business you started that was never profitable in its first year a failure? Yes—IF you wrap your identity in those results.

You are not the results of what you do.

    • 04:26 There’s this tendency to associate with the results of something. “This thing I did failed, therefore I am a failure.” That’s an identity issue. There is no such thing as a person who is a failure, only a person who chooses to identify with the results of something they did.
    • 04:50 What I did wrong with Learn Lettering and what I could have done better.
      • List growing cold
      • Number of emails in launch sequence
      • Capturing leads
      • Autoresponder series
      • Money back guarantee
    • Defining Failure
    • 11:08 I have removed the word failure from my vocabulary. It describes no feeling of mine.

The literal definition of failure is “lack of success.”

    • 11:25 Guess what? Lack of success is something I do not accept. I do not accept a lack of success. I will find a way to get there.
    • 11:37 Sugar water and ants analogy.
    • 13:20 Here’s what I’ve found in hindsight:
      • Apparent failures tend to look less severe in hindsight.
      • Apparent successes might even tend to look less perfect in hindsight.
    • 13:52 What I did wrong with my Computer Repair Business and what I could have done better.
      • Scaling
      • Hiring
      • Advertising
      • Focus
    • 16:39 It may seem like I don’t talk about my failures much, but really I do. It’s just that I treat them so differently, people may not recognize them because I don’t treat them like the end.

Successful people do not think in terms of failure.

    • 16:56 Failure does not exist. It exists for you if you believe in it.
    • 17:02 If you think I’m wrong, then you’re right. “Wait, hang on, what? Did he just say if I think he’s wrong then I’m right?” That’s correct. If you think I’m wrong that failure does not exist, then you are right because it does exist—for you. Failure exists for you because you believe in it.
    • 17:32 “What are some examples of your own failures?” I struggle with that question. Things don’t immediately come to mind. You know why? It’s not because I’ve never messed up or I’ve been perfect my whole life—I haven’t been perfect, I’ve messed up plenty of times—it’s because that word is not even in my vocabulary.
    • 18:03 What I typically do is say “I can tell you where I did some things wrong and how I went about correcting them.” The thing is, I never even for a second considered those things failures. They didn’t get the failure tag, they weren’t filed away or labeled as failures so that they come up immediately when people ask about my failures. I see those events as data. The results of those efforts are merely data that serves the purpose of course correction.

“This is something that did not produce the desired results.”

    • 18:51 I don’t associate personally with the results of something that I did. Now understand, that doesn’t mean that I’m not responsible for my mistakes. I take responsibility—but I don’t wrap my identity in the results of what I do.
    • 19:15 Some people think “Oh, that’s so cliché, you learned from your failure so it’s not a failure.” No. It’s not a cliché. It’s how successful people think.
    • 19:24 I don’t see failures. I see something that didn’t work. Calling something a failure is to acknowledge that state as its conclusion. I see failure as a catalyst to enable success.

If something is intermittently a “failure,” it’s merely a success-in-progress.

We don’t call it anything until it’s a success.

Failure says “I’m done and I’m willing to call it quits.”

  • 28:29 Maybe there’s something in your past that you consider a failure. What’s something you did in the past that feels like a failure to you? What’s something you did that had an outcome that was not what you wanted? Distance your identity from that event:
    • “Ok, that thing didn’t work.”
    • “The results of that situation were other than desired.”
    • 28:59 These are objective observations. Now ask yourself:
      • What do I now know not to do as a result?
      • What clarity did I gain from that event?
      • What might I try next considering what I discovered with that experience?
      • What alternative has that brought me closer to?
    • 29:23 True failure is one of two things: never starting at all, or choosing to wrap your identity in the results of something you did.
  • 29:35 You can’t change what you can’t change, you can’t control what you can’t control. But you can always control your response to the results of something. Your response is what defines failure.
  • 29:52 The important part is your response. If someone else calls the results of something you did a failure? No, of course not. What about if they call the results of something they did a failure? Then yes, it is a failure to them.
  • 30:08 Remember, you are not the results of something you do.
    • Don’t let your identity get wrapped up in less-than-desirable results such that you confess “I am a failure.”
    • Choose to view results as course-correction.