Stanford economists recently studied a group of retail entrepreneurs for a period of twenty years.
Their research found that failed entrepreneurs were far more likely to be successful in their subsequent efforts. Turns out, the tenacious thirty percent of business owners who bounced back from their initial failure were more likely to be successful in their second, third, and even tenth time around. They literally failed their way to success. They kept at it, trusting that their prior experience at starting a business would increases the longevity of their next endeavor, and ultimately won the long arc game.
Yet another example of the positive power of polyamory. Serial entrepreneur or not, anytime a creative person gives themselves permission to pursue multiple projects simultaneously, they’ve just immediately increase their odds of success. Because a diverse set of business activities not only increases their overall level of knowledge, but it safeguards them against the daily discouragements, delays, distractions, depressions, derailments and disappointments of the process.
When I first started my career as a writer, I only allotted myself one major creative venture at a time. Which seemed helpful for staying focused, but unfortunately, was hurtful for maintaining momentum. I recall one particular project that I spent nine months perfecting. Upon its launch, the marketplace greeted it with a shrug and a golf clap, at best.
I was devastated. Couldn’t write for week. But had I deployed my creative efforts more polyamorously, perhaps that setback wouldn’t have been so crushing.
That’s the danger of putting all your creative eggs in one basket. The minute that basket gets taken away, you’re vulnerable to one hell of an existential crisis. Besides, we’re not supposed to be one thing in life. Diversity is equity.
And so, don’t worry about spreading yourself too thin. Focus on volume. The best way to beat the odds is through massive output. That way, when life’s inevitable failures occur, you can bounce back and quickly move onto the next great adventure.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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