10 Things I Learned From Reading “How To Fail At Almost Anything and Still Win Big”

In blog, Books, motivation by Michael Michelini

As I pack up on my last day leaving China, it is bitter sweet to read the final chapter of Scott Adams’s (author of the Dilbert comic series) book  “How to Fail At Almost Anything and Still Win Big”.

I took highlights in my Kindle, and wanted to come back and type it out – hope this can help inspire you as well.

In order of how I read it in the book

1) Success Creates Passion

When he was a banker, he was instructed not to give loans to people following their passion. You need a business mind, model, and a system that works. Not emotions and love and passion – as you may keep working on it but never succeed.

A business person who is looking for success, will then have passion once the business he or she does starts to succeed.

Timing is also important, he mentioned previous video platforms before Youtube, but not surviving the bubble crash and not being around at the right time in the tech stack.

2) Be a System Driven Person (Goals are For Losers)

This one I can relate to! For so many years in my work I am focusing on the process and improving the process instead of just looking at the achievement.

Scott reinforces that saying those just focusing on a single goal – once they reach it – what next? And goals are about “fighting”, where a system based mindset is about always building. If you fail with a goal mindset – you are discouraged. If you fail with a system mindset, you learn and adjust.

3) If you want success – figure out a price and pay for it.

Things are not easy. If you want to do big things – realize it will be a big investment and suck it up and accept (pay).

4) Priorities – Things You Need To Get Right To Succeed.

To get the basic foundation right – knowing what you need as building blocks for succeeding on your path.

Get those right, and focus on them, to make your system. And if you fail while on your system, you keep improving your skills and focus on ENERGY management.

He says having proper energy management is the most important thing. For example – he and I are both morning creators. Know that your max energy is in the morning, and then your afternoon you have management tasks, etc.

Use your energy flow to your advantage. Also have a flexible schedule to adjust based on your energy optimization.

5) If people are not excited about your project at beginning, they never will.

He talks about an indicator for his Dilbert comic is if people clip it out of the newspaper and put on their refrigerator or office cubicle wall.

When you introduce something to the world – if people are not noticing it and enjoying it right away- it will only be harder in the future. So to adjust and make products people are excited about.

6) Learn how to tell stories

He gives a good outline on telling stories:

A) Setup – brief
B) Pattern – that you will later violate
C) Foreshadowing – let listener get some clues
D) Characters – basic outline of people in story
E) Relatability – tell stories that are about the people listening
F) The twist – this is what makes it a story, something that is unexpected.

7) Be Funny First – Give Permission to others to be Funny

I can relate to this – I often make fun of myself or a situation in a group of people to break the ice. To show we can be at ease and calm.

Many will be shy and quiet at the beginning, as they are not sure if they can be funny or not – so you doing it first gives them permission to do so.

8) Affirmations – 100% desire

He believes in affirmations and goes into it quite a bit. Knows many will be skeptical, and says it works when you, yourself, 100% want it and believe in it. If there is doubt, or there is reason you yourself may not want that target action to actually happen – then affirmations may not work.

9) Happiness is These 5 Things

Get these core things right first, and you will be happy.

A) Flexible schedule – to be able to work and do things based on our own energy levels.
B) Imagination – dream, think creatively
C) Sleep – get enough quality sleep.
D) Diet – he even says to test different types of food, some makes you sleepy or other reactions.
E) Exercise – every day, exercise.

10) Top Skills To Develop (For Most People)

These are skills all humans will need to have basic ability on to be successful.
A) copywriting – writing things out correctly and for business.
B) Public speaking – connect with others in an audience
C) Persuasion / Psychology – be able to understand human nature and convince people on your idea.
D) Basic tech – cannot be totally helpless with technology these days.
E) Social skills – creating small talk, being relatable and approachable.
F) Voice technique – having professional talking voice builds authority.
G) Grammar – showing you pay attention to details and have education
H) Basic accounting – know how to read financial statements.

So those are the 10 points I took. Will try to refer back to this on a regular basis, and hope it helps you as well.

Definitely recommend giving it a read, you can grab it on Amazon here – “How to Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big

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