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Failing Up

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

This year, at our annual Infor EAM user conference, Connect, we asked a number of our attendees the question, "Do you remember a time when you failed at something and it turned into something better?"'

I call this failing up. Failing up happens when you start out to do something and in "failing" you end up doing something else. Then, this something else ends up being far better than what you originally set out to do.

Want a real life example of failing up? Jeff Kinney is the author behind the children’s series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jeff says he never intended to write kids’ books. He was an aspiring cartoonist whose work was always rejected because it looked too childish.

"I just could not draw like a professional cartoonist," he explains. "I was like, 'I draw like a middle-schooler, right?' And eventually this idea came to me...maybe if I act like I'm doing it on purpose, everybody will think that I was doing it on purpose, and they won't be able to reject me...that's where the idea of Diary of a Wimpy Kid came from."

So many times, we are afraid to try something new because we are afraid to fail. What if Jeff gave up and just succumbed to what everyone was telling him? We all have special talents and sometimes the only way to succeed is to fail up.

So, go ahead and try something new. Go ahead and fail. Maybe, it will lead to something greater in the process. Don’t be afraid to fail up!

Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.


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