‘Failure Forces You To Strip Away The Lies You Tell Yourself’ – Tucker Max, CEO Of Book in a Box

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Just before Christmas I caught up with regular Breaking Biz guest Lucas Carlson, who reminded me of another previous guest Tucker Max, and the great things he’s doing with his startup Book in a Box. Lucas actually ended up using Book in a Box to create his non fiction hit ‘Finding Success In Failure’

Starting a business that walks you through the perilous world of publishing was a complete no brainer for Tucker, who has vast experience of the industry following his three New York Times no.1 bestsellers. In fact, Tucker’s latest book is almost like a middle finger to his old ‘fratire’ publishings as he teams up with an evolutionary psychologist team to create THE dating book for guys.

As someone who has always provided us with straight forward, practical business and life advice, we took this little segment from our first ever interview with Tucker. You can access the full interview here.

 

Generally speaking, in any industry or in any arena… listen to people who have both succeeded and failed at what you’re trying to do.

So for instance, I’ve never been married, so would you listen to me if I gave you advice on how to have a good marriage? Well you’d be an idiot to listen to me! I have never succeeded or failed at marriage so I really have nothing cogent to say except what I’ve heard other people say, right? I have no experience.

I apply that lesson to taking advice in all fields. For example when I began Angel investing, I didn’t just go to some guy who was like ‘Oh yeah I picked two big companies and they both succeeded so I know everything.’

Here’s the problem with listening to people who’ve only succeeded. All they know how to do, is repeat what they’ve done to succeed.

That’s really all success teaches you, is ‘hey, keep doing what you’re doing, because it worked.’ Whereas, when you fail, failure forces you to strip away the falsities or the lies or the half truths or the rationalisations that you tell yourself and it forces you to look at the stark reality of your failure and understand why it failed.

Multiple failures, if you keep failing, are sort of a feedback mechanism that let you know that something you’re doing or some idea about what your doing is wrong and you have to keep doing it until you find the right way.

And what that really does is it teaches you how to think and so, generally speaking, if you’re starting a business and you want to know who to listen to, listen to the people who have both failed and succeeded because they can give you both sides of the coin. They can teach you how to look at issues the right way, and teach you ideally how to see these things for yourself.

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