Not Far to Fall

Not Far to Fall

By H4O Founder, Spencer Dusebout

In last weeks blog I talked about why you should celebrate failure.

This week I want to talk about how to fail in the most positive way possible.

Imagine a rock climber climbing a rock when suddenly they find they gripped a loose rock that gives out. To their horror they find themselves in a freefall…for about 1 second because they were only 4 feet off the ground. Their heart is pounding, but they get up and walk away with a few scratches and a lesson learned.

Imagine that same rock climber gripping that loose rock but at 30 feet. Or, maybe don’t if you are squeamish…

The higher the stakes, the more catastrophic the failure. This illustration demonstrates why you want to fail as quickly as possible – you get the benefits of failure and learn your lesson, while limiting the damage.

There are many entrepreneurs who put their life savings into their company only to figure out it isn’t working. Sadly, they would have been better off trying to sell just a couple products, and losing just a little bit of money, before they spent everything.

So… fail often, and fail as quickly as you can. Spend as little time and money as possible on an idea to recognize if it is viable or not. Think in terms of “is this viable or not,” not in terms of are we going to be bigger than Facebook in 5 or 10 years?

For us young people, we really don’t have much room to fall. No mortgage, no kids, etc. means taking a chance has minimal damages. Fall now, don’t wait to fall until later in life when there will be consequences.

You will climb that mountain, but you will likely fall a few times beforehand. Be wise, and don’t fight to hold on at the bottom if it isn’t working, just let go.