Chasing Failure

chasing failure

Sometimes I can be a bit slow.  About 4 or 5 months ago, a client at the Hasseman Marketing Customer Appreciation show told me about a book I should read.  “It’s called Chasing Failure…and I think you would really love it.”  I figured I would love it.  Doug Marmie has recommended several books for me in the past…I have enjoyed them all.

“Thanks,” I told him.  “I will remember that!”  Then I promptly forgot it.

Fast forward to a week or so ago and Dustin Haywood recommended a book to me.  “It’s called Chasing Failure…I think you would like it!”  I might be slow…but not that slow.  I immediately downloaded the audiobook.

The concept of the book is simple but powerful.  Most of us chase success.  That’s great.  But one thing in common with all successful people is that they have failed.  They have missed the shot, got fired from the job, started the business that flopped, or written the book that no one wanted.  Most of us work so hard to avoid failure.

But what if, chasing failure was actually the fastest way to success.

So author Ryan Leak took his own advice.  As a 29-year-old former college basketball player, he reached out to NBA teams and asked for a tryout.  He explained his idea of “chasing failure,” and said he wanted to chase his dream of becoming an NBA player.  Several teams (much to Leak’s surprise) wrote him back…and the Phoenix Suns agreed to give him a shot.  He created this short film about the effort here.

In Leak’s words, “Chasing Failure took me further than chasing success ever did.”

Doug and Dustin were right.  I do really love this concept.  There are so many people that are frozen from the idea of failure.  They have unspoken dreams about jobs or businesses or projects that go unrealized because “it might not work.”  So they do nothing.  And by doing nothing, they can’t chase success.  They are frozen by the potential of failure.

What would you do if you could not fail?

To be clear, chasing failure does not guarantee success in any way.  You absolutely still might fail.  But by embracing that and leaning into it, you will open yourself to opportunities and experiences that would never have had playing it safe.

So what goal inspires you, but also has you frozen?  What excites you, but you have never taken action to create?  Today might be the day to chase failure…and see where that leads.

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