Lessons from Building Praxis – Part 2
Are you willing to fail?
Everyone is too scared of failure. But also everyone glorifies failure too much. ‘Failure porn’ is a real genre of Medium articles and trendy startup swag. It’s pretty stupid.
Failure sucks. It’s awful. It should be avoided. You shouldn’t feel weird for not liking failure. You should want to win.
But some things are worth failing for. When you find one, you need to act, and fast.
The willing to fail test
I had a lot of business ideas prior to Praxis. All of them shared a common trait. They all required several things I didn’t have if I were to pursue them.
“If I knew for sure about X, I could try this.”
“If I had X amount of money, I’d try this.”
“If I could find person X, I’d try this.”
I liked the ideas, but I needed less risk in order to take a step. In other words, I was willing to launch any number of them, but only if I knew there was very little chance of failure.
That’s a sign that I’m not the right person to launch that company. If you’re in it because you think it’s a sure thing, you will quit when it gets really, really hard. And it will.
Praxis, on the other hand, was so all-consuming and captivating that none of those objections mattered. I didn’t have money and I didn’t know how to get it. I didn’t have the team, expertise, market knowledge, or any assurance demand was real. I didn’t care though.
I was so obsessed with the question, “Is my theory about a better way to build a career correct?” that I needed and answer more than I needed the answer to be ‘yes’.
This was the first business idea I was willing to fail for. When I thought about trying Praxis and failing, it felt ten times better than the thought of not trying it at all. That was the test. That was how I knew this was the one.
That’s when I cashed in all my chips. I don’t want to fail, but I want my answer more than I want to not fail.