Be A Stumbling, Bumbling Idiot Like Me

Boy, when I look back into my past, it’s funny to see what I said and did. From the rise and fall of UberCamp, to my multiple admissions to “blog less” or stop blogging, I’ve been able to see quite a bit of indecision in myself. And it’s helped me learn about myself, a lot.

See while maybe most people would think making a public ass of themselves all the time isn’t professional or conductive to real business, I would say overall that it’s helped me. By constantly throwing my ideas out there impulsively as I think them, I get an incredible amount of negative feedback. And while it may also seem uncommon, negative feedback is what I thrive on. How can you make yourself as close to perfect as possible without first knowing your flaws?

Believe it or not this wasn’t just me venting impulsively (okay, mmmmaybe partially), this can have practical application in your life and work. Couple points :

a) Don’t be afraid to pursue any idea that comes to your mind. Even if you get all the negative feedback in the world, you’ll still never really know until you try it.

Throw every idea out to as many people as you can (while being confidential if need-be). So maybe you have a killer product idea and you don’t want to reveal it, but you want some type of feedback from fellow marketers. Give away as much information as you can, talk about general strategies you’re thinking of employing, and get advice! Practical example :

Determining a rebill price for my product was one of the toughest things to figure out. I wanted to have a legitimate value for the product being sold, so I came up with a pretty low price. Shot that idea out to a bunch of my biz friends, and pretty much got all feedback that said “Not going to work dude.” They were right. The numbers just didn’t work out. Eventually I got the idea that instead of charging $100 for a bottle of 16oz Pepsi, I could add perceived value by shipping them 2 bottles of 10oz Pepsi, at the price of $50 per bottle. It increases the cost to me a bit since I have to ship 2 bottles, but the end value to the consumer will (hopefully) feel like they are getting a much better value at $50 per bottle instead of $100. Obviously all of these numbers are highly embellished, but you get the picture. Ran that idea by the same friends, they thought it was a much more practical idea then what I originally had planned.

If I hadn’t asked my friends with experience and looked like a newb (which is what I felt like), I probably wouldn’t have come to the eventual conclusion that I did.

c) Keep putting yourself out there. Just because you ran into a tree and fell down doesn’t mean you can’t get back up and run right back into it. Things will fall off the tree every time you hit it, and that’s how you learn.

Not really a post about much here, but if you have all these ideas bottled up and just don’t want to look stupid…look stupid. Who cares?


  1. November 18, 2009

    Very good point. I’ve said and done my own share of stupid things when I was younger, but I can look back at them now and laugh (and learn) from them. And in business this holds true too. The greatest successes have become great through a pathway of flops and failures. Learning by doing. Indecesion will teach you decision. Live and learn.

    And btw, rep to you for being publicly open about your own mistakes. Too many people are “too good” to admit they too fail and embarass themselves from time to time. We’re all human. :)

  2. November 19, 2009

    There is so much that can be learned from our failures. Trial and error make our successes. As Thomas Edison said, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ‘

  3. November 19, 2009

    “I recommend biting off more than you can chew, at any time” :) Alanis, and Uberaffiliate are right; dive in even if you can’t swim. If I had a penny for all the times someone doubted I would ever succeed, I’d be very rich indeed. I have learnt to believe in myself, to keep pushing myself towards my dreams and to constantly try new ideas for freshness. It works.

  4. November 19, 2009

    Not trying to push forward is the biggest failure, anyways good points you made in the post.

    Dino |

  5. November 20, 2009

    Paul, you know as well as we do that you gotta put your sac out there if you want to do something great and that means, more often that you would like, someone will use it as a punching bag

    ~ Corey

  6. November 21, 2009

    The greatest successes have become great through a pathway of flops and failures. Very good Post

  7. November 21, 2009

    it sounds great! be an ass and get paid too! do you ever just get into a state of mind that says “im going to get the cards and things I want for my business — and put that recipe out on the limb” it’s brilliant, but unfortanely, we sometimes have a hard time with distinguishing between our ambient stimuli while we act so brilliantly, incredably — do you feel me? do it but stay alert to finer opportunities outthere is the real trick — stop talking so big, boys! it will kill potential, live at the lowest point you can — hang with loosers who smoke anything (seriously)– then you’ve tricked the monster that hold you back, because it/he cannot see you comming around the block to stardom!! in short, eat sardines and crackers like jerrys icecream did!! (fact)

  8. November 22, 2009

    This is a respectable confession that you have made from being honest and open.
    The key is to keep strong and your head up over all hurdles, never give up!

  9. November 23, 2009

    Life is definitely a learning process, which even the most successful people fail at some point in their life, those who learn from it are in the end more successful than most =D

    Till then,


  10. November 24, 2009

    Your take is very refreshing, and brave, I must add. Not many people are able to handle criticism well, but to thrive on it takes a special person indeed! I also like your analogy of running into the tree repeatedly causing new things to fall out. Very well put!

  11. November 26, 2009

    As Carl Segan used to say, we all believe that our own faux pas are the worst and beat ourselves up over them.

    I just wish Carl had cleaned his act up a little prior to his death. He was sorely tempted on his last night on Earth to do just that, but just couldn’t bring himself to pray.

    That’s OK. I’m confident that even though Carl rejected anything “supernatural,” he is in a better place, a place that rewards his good heart, despite his not acknowledging another good heart while he was here.

  12. November 27, 2009

    without failure, success in incomplete..

  13. November 30, 2009

    You are not suppose to confess the fact this sooner…….
    Just kidding dude

  14. December 1, 2009

    Experience comes with how many times you fall.Thus an experienced man is a guy who had many downfalls but still manages to operate on the surface due to his load of experience. People tend to see ‘experienced’ as having positive connotation. Thanks for your thought-provokiing post.

  15. December 1, 2009

    I’m a teacher and studied methodology for couple of years and I must say that some of the characteristics match a perfect language learner. When you learn, you must take the risk and it’s better if you don’t really care about your classmates’ opinion. The best way to learn is to learn on your mistakes.

  16. December 3, 2009

    Good points. You can learn a lot through failure. When you have a new idea, it definitely helps to find out what other people think before pursuing it. Even if the feedback if all negative, it might help you figure out a better way of doing things. If you’ve got knowledgeable contacts, you really should be asking for their advice when in doubt.

  17. December 5, 2009

    Following through on your ideas and working for yourself are some of the best learning experiences you will ever have. I have the same impulsive idea challenge you do, but it has taught me so much about business, and myself. It’s great to bounce ideas off colleagues, but sometimes you just have to follow your gut!

  18. December 16, 2009

    I think that many of us have the same impression (My God! I was such an idiot!). I think the same from time to time but that doesn’t mean I am an idiot. This is possible but not certain :)

  19. December 31, 2009

    I think we actually learn more from our failures then from our successes!

  20. November 3, 2010

    Hi! :) Is it Okay if I ask a thing kinda off topic? I’m wanting to view this web page on my new iPad but it surely will not indicate up effectively, do you’ve any options? Should I attempt and uncover an update for my software or a thing? Thanks upfront! Jennine x :)

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