Good morning Believe Nation. Today’s message is dare to fail. Over to you, Aaron Sorkin.
♫ I wave up every morning ♫ Espresso keep me going ♫ I wake up every morning
You’ll meet a lot of people who, to put it simply, don’t know what they’re talking about. In 1970, a CBS executive famously said that there were four things we would never, ever see on television, a divorced person, a Jewish person, a person living in New York City, and a man with a mustache.
“Develop your own compass and trust it. Take risks. Dare to fail. ” – Aaron Sorkin
By 1980, every show on television was about a divorced Jew who lives in New York City and goes on a blind date with Tom Selleck.
Develop your own compass and trust it. Take risks. Dare to fail. Remember, the first person through the wall always gets hurt. You’re going to fall down, but the world doesn’t care how many times you fall down as long as it’s one fewer than the number of times you get back up.
So failure is one of the most common themes that I come across on the channel, and if you look at, one side, the people who are so afraid to fail, and then on the second, the people who are successful have failed so many times.
Any successful person that you look up to, anybody in any field, got there by failing and failing and failing and failing. They’ve had a few successes and way more failures. There’s a couple things around failure that I want to address thanks to this video.
The first is, the message of this video is dare to fail. I don’t think you have to be that daring to fail. I don’t think you have to go out and do some huge, big thing and mortgage your house and go all in on this idea and it has to work and it’s this massive project.
“The people who are successful have failed so many times.” – Evan Carmichael
That’s one option. I think you can fail way smaller, and I think you should. I think as soon as you get an idea that you want to try something, that you owe it to yourself to go out and try, and fail as small as possible just to see.
Like, you want to start a YouTube channel. Maybe that’s one of your goals or aspirations. “I want to start a YouTube channel.” Great. What’s involved in starting a YouTube channel? And suddenly, you’re going to say, “Well, I need a camera and I need lighting “and I need a microphone and I need to do research. “I need to learn editing skills “or I need to hire an editor.”
And you start adding up all of these things, and all they’re doing is putting road blocks in front of you that prevent you from doing anything. And instead of going big with it, I’d say go small. Just start.
Because so many people will start it, will try, like you spent all this money buying all the gear, doing all this stuff, and then you do a couple, and you don’t like it. How many things have you gone and tried and you didn’t enjoy it? Or maybe you enjoyed it once, but it’s not going to be the thing that you want to do for the rest of your life or at least the next couple years?
“When you have this idea of something that you want to do, just start.” – Evan Carmichael
And that happens to so many people! “I’m going to invest all this money into all this gear “to make great videos,” and then you make two, and you stop, because it’s not what you want to do, and you’re stuck with all this gear.
And so when you have this idea of something that you want to do, just start. Start, with no money, with no connections, with no resources. Just start. If you want to start a YouTube channel, then you know that you have a phone to do it, and if you don’t have a phone, then one of your friends has a phone, and you can borrow it from them and make your first video.
The video quality is good enough. The audio quality is good enough. You can go outside and get some decent light, and you are good. Make that video and start. And if it works and you love it and you want to eat it up, you want to do more, great. Make another one, and make another one, and make another one.
You can make a business case around it? Amazing. Buy a proper camera. Hire an editor. Get lighting. Get a microphone. Work your way up. Or, you do the first one, and you hate it, and you realize you never want to do it again. Perfect! Get the knowledge, because otherwise, you have all these dreams that just sit in your head, “I wish I could do this. “I wish I could do this.” All these things just sit up as wishes that never result in any thing.
Go out and do, and fail on a small scale. It does not have to be some big, bold, daring dream or goal, and even if it is, chunk it down to what I can do today to get started on that. Whatever huge, big dream, ambitious goal, you have, amazing, I love it. What’s the first small step that you can do to take action towards it?
The other thing about failure that I need to address is people see it as some final thing, that because you failed, because the first thing didn’t work out, then that’s it. Failure is not a bad thing. Failure is just feedback on how not to do something. Failure just means that you can get up and do something better the next time.
“Go out and do, and fail on a small scale.” – Evan Carmichael
If I go back on my YouTube channel and look at my first video, it wasn’t very good, right? It’s not something that I am insanely proud of apart from having the courage, I guess, to go out and do it, but it’s not something that I watch over and over again, and like, “Man, look at this amazing video.” The video was not very good.
But it also wasn’t a failure. Just because it didn’t get 100,000 or 1,000,000 views, it wasn’t a failure. It was the best effort that I could’ve done at that point. And then I made another video and another video and another video, and 3600 videos later, it’s getting better. And hopefully, tomorrow’s video is better than today’s, and tomorrow’s Evan is more impactful than today’s, and it’s an ongoing process of growth. The only failure is if I stopped. The only failure is if you quit.
If there’s something that you really want to do and you try it the first time and you suck at it, first, expect to suck, ’cause if it’s the first time you’re doing anything, you’re not going to be great at it from the start. But it’s only a real failure is if you have this dream and your first attempt doesn’t work and then you stop. That’s failure.
Otherwise, it was just an attempt. And tomorrow you try again, and the next day you try again, and every day, you get a little bit better and a little bit closer to your goal. That’s how success works.
“It’s only a real failure is if you have this dream and your first attempt doesn’t work and then you stop. That’s failure.” – Evan Carmichael
So the question of the day today is, I’m curious, how do you define failure?
What does it mean to you? I’m curious. Leave it in the comments. I’m going to join in the discussion. I also want to give a quick shoutout to Adam Russ. Adam, then you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word. It really, really, really means a lot to me, and I hope you enjoy the read.
So thank you guys again for watching. I believe in you. I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is, and I’ll see you again tomorrow morning for another shot of Entspresso.
♫ I wake up every morning ♫ Espresso keep me going
Evan: Hey, Believe Nation. If you want a little bit more inspiration and motivation around failure, here are some bonus clips that I hope will help.
After finishing my adventures on Dark Knight, I decided we needed to go into a completely different direction. When I think of the notes for the tune, I try to think of, “What’s the solid world “we’re going to pour this tune into?” And that’s what we’re doing.
“You have to invite failure if you want to go and experiment” – Hanz Zimmer
Basses, can you make your accents a bit more fierce? We’re experimenting. Mighty big. That’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re not supposed to stand still.
You don’t really want to be observed at your greatest failures, and you have to invite failure if you want to go and experiment, and if you’re to try to do something original, we have to have a certain amount of privacy to have the courage to fail.
I listened to the people who were successful in selling their product. I would learn new things from different ones, new approaches, and that’s fair.
“If it’s worth doing and you believe in it, go ahead and fail, and the more times you fail, the closer you’re getting to success because you should be learning on every simple thing that you do.” – Zig Ziglar
You must be a constant student. A lot of people are afraid to try anything new because they are afraid that they will be embarrassed until they get good at it. Well, one of my favorite sayings is, “The most important thing you can do “is to understand that anything worth doing “is worth doing poorly.”
Interviewer: What do you mean by that?
Until you can learn to do it well. My first few sales calls were pathetic, but I knew it was worth doing, so I kept after it. My first few speeches were a disaster, but I believed that I could develop into that, so I kept at until I could do it effectively.
And all skills are exactly the same way. No running back that sets the records ever set a record the first time he picked up a football. And you go right down the line with that.
So if it’s worth doing and you believe in it, go ahead and fail, and the more times you fail, the closer you’re getting to success because you should be learning on every simple thing that you do.
Interviewer: What have been the best advice you received from your teacher or professor?
Ooh, I’ve gotten a lot of great advice from teachers, mentors, professors, throughout the years. So, first of all, you got to be open to taking some risks and not being afraid to fail. Failure is the key to success. So when you get to college, you got to raise your hand.
You have to be engaged. Don’t be the kid thinking, “I shouldn’t be here,” and, “Maybe I’m not smart enough, and maybe,” no. You are more than capable of going to college, being successful, and going on to do whatever you want in life. I sit here because I am you all. There is no difference between me and you.
Working class kid, growing up on the south side of Chicago, growing up with doubts and fears just like all of you all do. I know exactly how you all are feeling, and kids out there who were thinking, “Maybe I’m not ready. “Maybe I’m not good enough. “Maybe I can’t afford it.”
“First of all, you got to be open to taking some risks and not being afraid to fail. Failure is the key to success. ” – Michelle Obama
But what teachers and mentors have told me is that, yes, you can, and you must. So get in there and be bold with your intelligence. Raise your hand. Get support when you need it. And know that we all got here because somebody helped us.