Failure Is Your Friend

And even more: failure is more friend of yours than success is.

Why? You know. Everyone knows, many understand why, but few really believe that and even fewer value failure more than success. So why? Because you can not really learn something if you won't do anything wrong.

Yes-yes, I know. That's a cheap philosophy.

I started freelancing from a damn small job: I had to fix some broken code on some site. It took 3 or 4 hours for me been almost unexperienced then. Finally I found a typo which was the root of evil. I received $10 for that. TEN BUCKS! Guys, I was 18, I've been paid $120/mo for a boring data entry work, and suddenly I got $10 for what I enjoyed. I was happy.
Later the same buyer hired me for a little more serious work. Fix another broken site made by even less experienced programmer.

It is offtopic now, but I can't keep it inside and suffer alone, I have to share it: that guy SELECTed all the data from MySQL table and then sorted it in his PHP code. That's all? NO! He didn't use sort(). He wrote his own sort_something() function. A bubble sort. I'm pretty phlegmatic, you know, but when I saw it, I couldn't hold a tear.

I succeed, and we decided that I get a big (as I thought then) contract on $300 and two months. And I failed. There was my fault, there was buyer's fault, too. But what if I could succeed then? I would still have been working on boring projects for $200-$300/mo, or maybe found a comparably boring full-time job for extra $50. I'd known nothing more than I knew 3 years ago and didn't think I can do more and get more. That failure gave a unique experience. It taught me how to communicate and collaborate with clients, gave me that feeling telling me whether I can work that man or not, it taught me to work efficiently.

When you stop making mistakes, you stop growing. You won't progress any more.
At first, you may feel yourself cool and mature. A Professional. With capital P. Or even with all the letters in caps. You do everything right, right? So what's wrong? The simple thing – you avoid doing anything you may fail. Not something you surely will fail – a real pro wont' ever take a job he's not good enough, that's normal. You only do what you surely can do. A set of more or less basic things. You start dying as a developer: the world is changing too fast. Our world is changing even faster. You should run as hell even to stay where you are.

Fear of failure is your enemy, not the failure itself.

Failure is the mother of experience which is, consequently, 50% to 90% of success. Other 10%-50% is incidence. What? I can't hear you. Ah, luck... No. Definitely no. It's not luck. I'm successful (I am) not because I'm so lucky (I am, too). I'm successful because I take jobs I can't do and do them. Because I incidentally appear in a right place in a right time, and I am not afraid to take the challenge.

Don't be afraid. Failure is your friend.

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Category: work Words: freelance, failure, fear of failure, experince, success