Go fail again, it's OK
Because nothing ever goes wrong
This week I’ve spent a few days in Moscow and currently I’m in Tula. There’s Yasnaya Polyana not far from here. it’s a manor where Leo Tolstoy lived and worked most of his life. Tula is beautiful, if you come to Russia someday, put it on your list.
My short vacation is coming to its end, so I’ve decided to write down all the thoughts and insights I’ve been contemplating in my head past two weeks. Dive in and see what I’ve brought you today.
Insight of the week. Failures our best teachers
We are so obsessed with our failures that we miss a good opportunity to succeed when it comes our way. So why don't we focus on this very moment instead? Why do we keep considering failure a bad thing? I was asking myself all these questions for a few weeks. Two good metaphors came to my mind:
The marathoners don't run a marathon on their first attempt. First, they run 1 km, then 2, someday they try to run 5. Then they run 10, 20, and only after years of training—a marathon. They enjoy the process and never care much about their failures because it’s alright not to be capable of running 42 km from scratch.
Kids are another good examples that we pay too much attention to our failures. Kids don’t, and neither should we. They don’t care if they fall thousand times before they’re able to stand holding to the edge of their bed. They don’t care if they fail to hold their head by themselves. They keep trying, and in the end, they get there.
Both ideas support one thesis: consistency and process matter more than random success or luck. Learning by doing, learning by making mistakes, and learning by failing is the best way to master any craft. That’s how came up with this principle:
Failures are our best teachers. If you’ve failed recently, don’t panic. Don’t stop dreaming, and don’t stop moving forward. Just go fail again.
This idea came to me at 5 a.m. last Thursday when I was trying to fall asleep again. Suddenly the whole story started to unfold in my mind, so I jumped up, took my laptop, and started typing. I published it in Timestripe, but I think you might find it useful, too. Read the whole post →
Leadership principle. Talk about it
Silence is a good friend of reflection and creativity, but an insidious and dangerous enemy of any relationship. Silence is a very good and fertile environment for misunderstanding and bias, while hysteria is also not an option.
If you want to build a healthy relationship with anyone: your life partner, customer, or a fruit seller—you have to talk about problems and unpleasant things. So far, a real conversation is the most efficient way to work things out and reconcile.
If you have disagreements with a client about suggestions you’ve made, talk.
If you feel the tension in relationships with your life or business partner, talk.
If you feel something is wrong between you and your friend, talk about it.
If someone yelled at you, it doesn’t always mean they are upset with you. Maybe this person is tired, hungry, stressed with something at home, etc. You can’t know, so talk. The conversation is the only way to prove or refute your perception and conclusion about the situation you’re in. It’s also the fastest way to figure things out, find a solution, and move on. Use it to build relationships, not undermine them.
Good leaders discuss problems, they feel and highlight things that bother their teams, and never look for lame excuses such as “this is unimportant” or “I don’t have time for this”. If you notice someone doing this, know this person is not a good leader.
Writing trick. One message, one idea
If you want to be heard, follow a simple “one message, one idea” rule in your texts, emails, websites, and presentations. Don’t overload your audience with details, keep it simple.
No matter how big or small your audience is. Even if you’re writing for one person or just for yourself, follow this rule. Keeping the focus on one idea will always put your copy in a better spot than any mediocre text on the web.
One sentence, one idea. One paragraph, one idea. One essay, one idea. One post, one idea. See, I just did it!
A few more words on writing
Last week, after one of the Substack Grow’s lectures, I had a warm talk with Laura Kennedy from “Peak Notions”, Elizabeth Brownrigg from “Walking the Inspired Path”, and Mary McLaughlin from “Art of Freedom”.
We had a great time chatting about writing, sharing our views on the sales & marketing approach to what you write about. All four of us agreed on the next three points:
Writing is your identity—it defines who you are. If you want to change your writing, you should make a change in your identity first.
Writing can be aimed at a small audience. On the contrary, writing for a tiny audience is much better at the start as it lowers requirements and expectations of the quality.
Chase the quality and depth of your ideas, not the numbers. Many aspiring writers focus on statistics and conversions, neglecting the importance of the message they convey. They don't catch on that statistics depend first and foremost on how entertaining their writing is to read.
On my part I can say that a decent piece of writing has no secret formula. It can't be created by arranging words in a certain order. Writing that inspires people and goes viral, first of all, has a true reason for existing and conveying its message. There's no good text without a good purpose.
What questions and prejudice do you have about writing? What stumbles you when it comes to writing a text or a post on social media? What frightens you?
Share your thoughts and questions in the comments to this post or email them to email@example.com. I’ll answer in the following editions.
Photo of the week
This week I visited an exposition “Hero’s Path” dedicated to Victor Tsoi, the most popular Soviet and Russian rock singer. His music is timeless. Listen to it and you won’t be able to tell when it was written in. It could be 1985 or 2020.
One of his songs has the title “A star called the sun”, and one of the exposition halls represented the solar system where the sun is Victor, and the planets are his friends and relatives—people whom he trusted the most. I loved the concept and its visualization. Even in the picture, it looks stunning!
That’s it for today. Hope you’ve enjoyed this email. And if you have, share it with your friends and people who may like it. I’ll appreciate your support and feedback.
See you in two weeks.
Tula, 9-10 July 2022
Ask me anything via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram
Make a donation: oops, so far there’s no way to support me from abroad, but I’m looking for options. If you’re in Russia, donate via Alfa, Tinkoff, or Yoomoney.