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By: Ross Paterson

XM Truth: You can absolutely fail too many times.


I am a skeptic of the motivational speaker who states boldly, “Fail often, fail big, encourage failure.” Maybe they make all their money speaking? Experienced entrepreneurs are comfortable with experiments that fail, but that is seldom the goal. The companies we see winning in their markets seem to follow this model:

Be Wise: Use your experience, involve smart people. Many failures can be flushed out on the white board first.

Be Effective: Design experiments that test failure points on a small scale before going big. Measure and keep data like a scientist; shorten the learning curve.

Be Fast: Make adjustments and move faster than your competition towards the successful answer.

Be Humble: Don’t let your pride or identity get too close to the plans, projections, or results. Especially if you are already winning. (Proverbs 16:18)

Leaders must again find BALANCE. The balance between the paralysis of the “perfect plan” and going bankrupt with no measured fear of failure. The Xtra Mile is waiting.