Fail Fast, Fail Often :
How Losing Can Help You Win
Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz
The Happiness of Tipping Point
“Find a place inside where they’re joy, and the joy will
burn out the pain”.
Joseph Campbell, American Mythologist Writer and lecturer.
The joyful tipping point
• 3-to-1 ratio is 3 positive emotional
experience for every negative one.
• Using small win to ignite joy,
engagement and creativity at work.
• Don’t let a day pass without having fun.
Everyday should include opportunities to
enjoy pleasurable activities and to make
progress at meaningful work.
Tracking your joy
• What did you do today that was a lot of fun?
• What is something interesting that you learned?
• What happened that made you appreciate your life, work, family, or friends?
• What did you encounter that made you curious?
• What di dyou experience that ﬁlled you with awe?
• What did you see that was beautiful or inspiring?
• What new things did you try or new place did you visit?
• What fulﬁlling social interactions did you have?
1. Draw a map with signiﬁcant place. It could be an every
day place or one day place, for example, home, park
and work place. Then draw a circle as a pie chart.
2. Consider the degree of joy your experience. Give them
the score. 10 is enjoyable and 1 is really bad.
3. Use the map to guide you the good experience.
Extend more for your future experience like the mind
map. For example, my area of reading is to create
more output such as doing podcast and drawing a
4. Introduce your new idea of joy. For example, I would
like to introduce my area of drawing cartoon to be
used in the book manual.
Fail fast, fail often
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable
but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwrite and cofounder of the London School of
Do it badly, as fast as you can
• Howard Schultz’ creator of
• At the time Starbucks stores only
sold whole bean coffee and had no
seating. I had a vision of creating
specialty coffee stores that
integrated the romance of espresso
and provided a place for community.
• The coffee shops of today evolved
through thousands of experiment,
adjustments, and revisions along the
Fail fast to learn fast
If I want to success at ______, I must ﬁrst be bad at ________.
• If I want to become successful businessman who makes shred decisions, I must
ﬁrst spend time making crummy business decisions.
• If I want to write a novel, I must ﬁrst write bad ﬁction.
• If I want to become ﬂuent in Chinese, I must ﬁrst speak a lot of horrible Chinese.
• If I want to become a serious artist, I must ﬁrst create trivial art.
• If I want to become a talented and courageous rock climber, I must ﬁrst be an
awkward timid, climber.
Be a Beginner, Not an Expert
• Present yourself as a newbie who is eager to learn.
• Be playful and curious
• Focus on learning not on how well you can perform.
• See other people as teachers and ask for help.
• Expect to make mistakes.
• Try to discover what you don’t know; reject the idea that you
should appear as an expert.
• Seeing that you are off course.
• Realizing you need to learn more.
• Product testing
• Discovering that you have been
• Seeing how you need to work harder
• Learning that it is not your best idea
• Market research
Failure is what you make of it
• You always do what you already know about.
• You try only things you know you can be good at.
• You don’t try things that might undermine or invalidate your
• You get involved only in things when you know you can be an expert.
• When things do not work out the way you want, you take it as a sign
of your imcompetence and you quit.
• Identify your fear - ﬁnd something that you want to try but have
hesitated to do because of your fear.
• Reverse your thinking - come up with a way that you can fail at it
quickly as possible.
• Do it anyway - get out there and give it a try.
• Fail forward - use your exploratory actions as a means to learn and
discover what you need to know.
• Find the next challenge - seek out the next opportunity to do things
at the limits of your abilities.
“It is miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
Albert Einstein, Nobel prize winning physicist
5 keys to curiosity
1. Curiosity keeps you aware and present - recognize opportunities to
explore and learn.
2. Curiosity has an expiration date - acting immediately for new
3. Curiosity provide energy to experiment, investigate, change and grow.
4. Curiosity help you learn quickly the most effective way to expore things.
5. Curiosity gets things moving - freeing a ship that has been struck in the
Creating a fun to try
A great way to have fun and invite happenstance in your life
is by pursuing new activities that you are curious about.
• Learn to speak a foreign language
• Take up Tai Chi
• Perform in a theater group
• Coach a kids’ sports team
• Go bicycling in Europe
Don’t Marry a Job Before Your First Date
We must be willing to get rid of the life we have
planned so as to have the life that is waiting for
Why career matching does not work
• Your interests are continually in ﬂux.
• The world is evolving and new careers are available all the time.
• You are a multifaceted, unique person who cannot be matched to just
one single industry or occupation.
• True joy comes from creating your own approach to life; matching your
type to a speciﬁc career is oppressive and limiting.
• Committing to a plan makes it difﬁcult to adapt along the way and
capitalize on unexpected opportunities.
Lean planning is smart planning
• Google do not wait until they
know all the features the
product will need, but
deliberately rush it to the
public when it is still in the
MVP - minimum viable product.
Testing the product with the user
to ﬁnd an acceptance then start to
develop product until it complete.
Test your assumption on the career
• If you think you have the wrong educational background or work
experience for a given career. Find example of successful people in the
similar background. If it is did not stop there, should it stop you?
• If you think something might be too hard for you, ﬁnd a way to test if you
are up to the task. Enroll in a difﬁcult course or ﬁnd a way to get involved in
a challenging project.
• If you are hesitate to pursue something because you think you may lack
the necessary intelligence or talent, get to know some people who are
successful in that area. Then ask yourself, Are they so different from me?
Could I learn the skills that helped them to excel?
It is ok to change your mind
• People often worry that ethyl will look like quitters if they fail to stick to
their career plan. Many people made substantial career shifts.
• A computer programmer who became a professional photographer.
• A cancer researcher who became a yoga instructor.
• An investment banker who became an illustrator.
• A historiean wo become a coffee shop owner.
• A real-estate agent who opened a restaurant.
Discover your success
• Make the smallest viable action plan
• Be good at taking small steps that allow you to try and learn many things.
• Perform experiments to conﬁrm or disprove your assumption about occupations that
you are curious about.
• Be prepared to change course; expect to make many small adjustment.
• Avoid big investment in education, training and preparation until you have learned as
much as possible.
• Keep your plan informal - telling people that you are testing out a number of different
Think Big. Act Small
When I face the desolate impassibility of writing 500
pages, a stick sense of failure fast on me and I
know I can never do it. Then, gradually, I write one
page and then another. One day’s work is all that I
can permit myself to contemplate.
John Steinbeck, Nobel Prize-Winning, Author of the Grapes of Wrath
Going Big Wins can stop you in your
• It makes tasks so hard that you become overwhelmed and
paralyzed from taking action.
• It pushes the satisfaction of completion into the future and dampens
• It requires a substantial commitment of time and resources,
increasing cost and risk.
• It promotes opportunity blinks - pursuing a single course of action
while ignoring others.
The Power of Small Wins
• They break complex projects into simple and easily understood steps.
• They provide an ongoing sense of engagement and completion that keeps you motivated.
• They remove uncertainty and reduce stress.
• They allow you to beneﬁt from incremental progress and feedback along the way.
• They promote immediate action based on your strengths.
• They encourage you to be ﬂexible in your actions and to remain open to emerging
• They free you from varying about the future so you can fully enjoy the present moment.
Keep it speciﬁc - deﬁne who, where, why and when.
Keep it easy - easy to accomplish
Keep it fun - provide opportunity for an enjoyable.
Keep it immediate - start right aways and complete in a very short time
Keep it cheap - entail minimum investment of time, money, and resources.
Keep it real - real world actions: build a prototype, talk to someone, visit location,
ﬁle a document.
Keep it social - take action steps that include the opportunity to interact with people
and gather feedback.
Example of Action Steps
• I will talk to a person employed in the fashion industry by Friday of
• I will write an one paragraph synopsis of my children’s book and
show it with my niece on Sunday.
• I will show one of my photographs to an attendee at the
photography workshop this weekend.
Build your strength - social groups
• My friend Steven’s sister is a vice president at Random House. I will
ask Steven to introduce me to his sister so I can ask her about the
children’s book industry.
• I will tell my boss about my interest in team building and ask if I am
lead a brown-bag discussion on it.
• I am interested in exploring work as small-business consultant. I will
volunteer to work on the grants committee at the artist’s guild I
belong to so I can ﬁnd out more about the ﬁnancial operations of
Celebrate your small win
• Once you complete your action step, take a
moment to celebrate your small win. Hurray.
You did it! Enjoy the feeling of vibrancy that
comes from getting out there and shaking
Go for a Micro-Win
In this activity we would like you to come up with a micro-win an
action step so small and easy that you can do it the next 5 mins. Here
are some ideas.
• Send a short email to an old friend.
• Wash one dish in your sink.
• Read a page from the book on your nightstand.
• Mediate for one minute
Be an Innovator
“The way to get good ideas is to get lot of ideas
and throw the bad ones away.”
Linus Pauling, Noble prize-winning
See the world like an anthropologist
• The 30 second snapshot - recording every aspect of your setting.
Scan up, down, close to you and far away. Listen for the sounds,
feel what you are touching, and breathe in the smells.
• If you do this practice a few times a day, it will open your mind, help
you to pay more attention to your world, and enhances your
sensitivity to your moomenatray experience. It will also encourage
you to be curious and notice whatever is intriguing, surprising or
touched with meaning.
What question help you to think outside of the constraints of your
current situation and explore different options.
• What are ﬁve new things I can try to stir up my life?
• What if I did not have a monthly mortgage payment or car
• What if I became allergic to computers (or writing business report,
ﬁling expense)? What should be different?
• What if I lived in Bali? What would I be doing each day?
Asking why and why not question
Why and why not question can help you recognize hidden
assumption and self-imposed constraints.
• Why do I feel it is too late to become a physician?
• Why do I have fewer close friends that I would like?
• Why am I afraid taking risk?
• If I hate my job so much, why do not quit?
Overcome Analysis Paralysis
• Too much thinking can stop you in your tracks
• The more confused and hesistant you will
• The more likely you will be to allow trivial factors
to bias your behavior
• The less energy you will have to take action and
preserverd in the fact of challenge
Shrink the decision
When facing tough decision, you can shrink the decision.
Big decision Shrink the decision
Do I really want to switch career?
Am I waiting to take a person who
Do I want to go back to working full-time?
Am I willing to spend an afternoon in a
full-time work environment to see how I
feel while there?
Do I want to start dating again? Am I willing to meet someone for coffee?
Jump on a Springboard
Force to do the action
• Your house is messy and you have tried unsuccessfully to
get yourself to tidy things up by writing to-do list and
scheduling time to clean but you never stick to your
• Springboard action : Invite your friends over for a dinner
party at your house in 2 weeks.
Stop Resisting and Start Living
“All worthwhile people have good thoughts, good
ideas, and good intentions, but precious few of them
ever translate those into actions.”
John Hancock, Signer of the declaration of independence
When you resist When you take action
You deny your dream by pushing them
into the future.
You get things done each day so that
you are energized by constant
You feel limited by your problems. You act based on your strengths.
You wait for the big payoff in the future. You act on your present opportunities.
You hold off trying until you feel
You try things so that your conﬁdence
You feel hopelessly stuck because
nothing ever changes.
You wake up excited to do what you
Don’t trust your mystery moods
• You take a day off from working on your novel because
you are not feeling passionate enough.
• You get home from work and start to change clothes so
you can go to the gym. But then you decide you are too
tired, so you sit down and watch TV for the night.
• You begin dating someone new and you instantly click.
But after a month, you begin to have a vague sense that
things aren’t quite right. You take this feeling as a sign
that you must not be a good match and call things off.
Move your mood
Doing something that your are not feeling up to the task. Do it
anyway to change how you feel.
• If you are feeling uninspired to work on the book you are writing,
sit down and start typing so that your creativity can start to ﬂow.
• If you are feeling overwhelmed by a complicated project, side
down and spend a few minutes working on one of its easier
components. This will make the project feel more manageable
and build your conﬁdence in your ability to tackle it.
Turn someday into today
One day Today
I will lose weight. I will eat a light lunch.
I will get out of debt. I will save one dollar to pay off my credit card.
I will get in shape. I will go for a walk after work.
I will improve my relationship. I will buy a card to show my love.
I will reconnect with my friend. I will call my friend Steve.
It takes a community
“It is hardly possible to overrate the value..of placing human
being in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and
with modes of thought and action unlike those with which
they are familiar… Such communication has always been,
and is peculiarly in the present age, one of the primary
sources of progress.”
John Staurt Mill
How diverse is your community?
• Take a moment to consider the
diversity of your social relationships.
• Children, teenagers, young adults,
• Come from the United States, Eastern
Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia.
• Live in a rural setting, cosmopolitan
apartment, foreign country,
Ways to participate social group
• Surround yourself with role
• Meet a new person each
• Sustain contact
• Form a mastermind group
• Interview an expert
• Become a teacher - tutor in high
• Attend a conference, workshop or
• Set up a mealtime or tea-time social
• Join a club or community group
Tips for introverts
1. Have low expectations - chance to have a pleasant conversation or two.
2. Never make a cold call - ﬁnding commonality between yourself and the
person you are contacting.
3. Do not give up - ask too meet three times
4. Dealing with rejection. You pat yourself on the back for trying and move
5. It is ok to say no. If you don’t feel like continuing that relationship. “I wish
I had the time, but I really don’t.”
Tips for introverts
6. It is all about practice. The more you get in the habit of meeting
new people, attending social events, and asking for introduction. The
better you will get at it and the less awkward it will be.
7. Just be yourself.Instead of trying to be more interesting, learn how
to appreciate others, admire their strengths, enjoy their tories and
learn from their life experience.
• Do it badly as fast as you can
• Fail fast, learn fast
• Be a beginner not expert
• Be curios
• Lean planning
• Think Big, Act small
• Build your strength
• Move your mood
• Participate in social group
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