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Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing Can Help You Win Paperback – December 26, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Bold, bossy and bracing, Fail Fast, Fail Often is like a 200-page shot of B12, meant to energize the listless job seeker."
—New York Times

"Big goals are great—but not if they're paralyzing. In this fun and inspiring book, Rabineaux and Krumboltz show that taking small steps and accepting failures ultimately lead you down the path to success."
Laura Vanderkam, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
 
“If you're not occasionally failing, you're not trying hard enough. Fail Fast, Fail Often offers helpful tactics for conquering paralyzing fear and taking the strategic risks necessary for success.”
—Todd Henry, author of Die Empty and The Accidental Creative
 
“Chock-full of practical, inspirational stories and advice that will help get even the most reluctant of us off the couch and on to more exciting life pursuits.”
—Denise Pope, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Education, and Co-Founder, Challenge Success
 
Fail Fast, Fail Often vigorously examines the counterintuitive idea that not striving for instant perfection is essential to the creative process.” 
—Carl Alasko, author of Say This, Not That and Emotional Bullshit  
 

About the Author

Ryan Babineaux, career counselor and co-creator with John Krumboltz of the popular Stanford University continuing studies course "Fail Fast, Fail Often," received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in educational psychology and his M.Ed. from Harvard University in psychology and human development.

John Krumboltz is a professor of education and psychology at Stanford University. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the winner of numerous prestigious honors, including the Outstanding Research Award for the American Counseling AssociationHe has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications, including Luck is No Accident: Making the Most of Happenstance in Your Life and Career.
 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee (December 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399166254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399166259
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am a big reader of books on positive psychology and entrepreneurship. But this is the first time I have been motivated to write a review. I found Fail Fast, Fail Often to be amazingly helpful and inspiring. Immediately after setting at down, I had clear steps I wanted to take to change my life. And I'm actually going to do them!

The fact that the authors are both career counselors shows, in that the advice given is very practical. The book is broken into chapters related to different themes—such as how to avoid analysis paralysis, how to overcome resistance, and how to use your failures to accelerate your learning. Each chapter includes specific advice on how to put the ideas into practice.

Often, I find self-help books consist of one good idea that is repeated and padded to get it to book length. No such problem with this book. I was amazed by how much I took away from each chapter. For example, I have read many popular books on dealing with procrastination. But the chapter on dealing with resistance in Fail Fast had the most useful discussion of procrastination I have ever seen.

I also have to compliment the writing style. Although the book includes discussions of research studies, it reads more like a conversation with two wise friends. It really threads the needle between being authoritative and encouraging. After reading it, I felt charged with energy. Highly recommended!
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The word "failure" is often carelessly used and so I begin with my own opinion that -- with rare exception -- a failure is a consequence from which nothing of value is learned. This seems to have been what Thomas Edison had in mind when correcting a colleague who deemed an experiment deemed a "failure." It was, in fact, a valuable learning lesson, one that increased their knowledge of what doesn't work. In this context, I am again reminded of a passage in Paul Schoemaker's latest book, Brilliant Mistakes: "The key question companies need to address is not `[begin italics] Should [end italics] we make mistakes?' but rather `[begin italics] Which [end italics] mistakes should we make in order to test our deeply held assumptions?'"

This is what Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz seem to have in mind when observing, "People who are happy and successful expend less time planning and more time acting. They get out into the world and try new things, make mistakes, and in doing so, benefit from unexpected experiences and opportunities" that they would not otherwise have. The key is to learn how to "make small changes to what they [begin italics] do [end italics]...to break free from habitual behaviors and initiate new adventures, act boldly with minimal preparation, and leverage their] strengths for rapid change." Babineux and Krumboltz agree with Helen Keller, as do I: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." That said, neither she nor they recommend placing one's self in harm's way by taking foolish, impulsive risks. Be proactive, yes, but focus on opportunities that require "smart action."

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Babineaux and Krumboltz''s coverage.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought Luck is No Accident for a paper I was writing on the topic of career counseling. I enjoyed that and then a career counselor recommended Fail Fast, Fail Often. It's help me put aside my perfectionism, which makes me spend too much time on tasks that could be accomplished in 1/3 of the time. It's also given me the courage to fail because you can't succeed without it. I have read about certain principles in other books, but the easy way it's presented in the book, plus the examples of working with clients, really brings the principles home and inspires me to apply them - especially the micro win actions you can take right now.

The book has given me permission to fail, choose joy, have fun and feel safe knowing it's all part of the process in creating a career and life I feel great about.
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Format: Paperback
I happened upon this book the other day at the store. I wasn't actually sure what I was looking for, but I found myself browsing the aisles of the business section and the title caught my eye. I picked it up and immediately loved it's message.

This book is perfect for someone like me, a person who has a lot of ideas on what to do in my life, but always finds ways of talking myself out of it. The authors speak in frank and honest terms and really make you focus on what's important: making yourself happy and living your best life. Sometimes ideas you have are great, sometimes they're not. But, you'll never know what works until you try. I'm so glad I read this book; it has really given me the motivation to change my life and make the move towards a new career path.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book provides practical tools to break from the habits that are holding people back. Just simple and small adjustments to your life can have big impacts in work,play,and life in general.
You don't have be a genius to anything you want, you need to have the will to stick it out long enough to realize whether to pursue or move on to something serendipitous that is waiting for you around the corner.
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