I HAD a fascinating encounter recently with an aspiring businessman. He was explaining the strategies he employed to get a project off the ground. There were the usual 10 things to do, successful models to copy, a list of potential buyers and marketing ploys.
But then he said something that shocked me. ‘‘I’m also doing live stage work, performing in local bars and clubs a couple of nights a month.’’
What did that have to do with starting this project, I asked, thinking we’d changed conversations. ‘‘It allows me to practise working in front of people who are critical, and it enables me to fail.’’
I was still confused, since he’s not an entertainer. But the point he was making was that getting up in front of an anonymous audience, doing something he enjoyed but that wasn’t crucial to any need for success, allowed him to learn the art of failure. It enabled him to feel frightened, perform, bomb, feel humiliated, and to come back again and try something different next time. Continue Reading →