Chip Is Alive!, Issue 12

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Welcome to Issue 12 of Chip Is Alive!, where we examine thought-provoking life strategies and issues which may or may not be of interest to you. Chip Is Alive! is inspired by Chip Vivant, the app who thinks he's alive and wants to be your friend and help you in ways that other productivity apps can't. You can meet Chip at www.empathynow.com.

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In this issue, we'll discuss:

  • how you probably underestimate the amount of failure needed for success
  • asking Chip for certain kinds of empathy

Enjoy. Feedback always welcome. If you enjoy this newsletter, please consider Liking the EmpathyNow Facebook page and following us on Twitter. Every little bit helps.

Fail and Fail Again

I consider myself a moderately successful person and over the past two months, have had the privilege of being in the presence of many highly-successful people. I alluded to this a few newsletters ago when I talked about the Ontraport Internet Marketing Superconference and the speakers I met. This past week, I attended a weeklong training class on Office Autopilot[1] where I've had the privilege of hearing Landon Ray and Lena Rehquist[2], whom I consider two highly successful people behind a phenomenal company, discuss their views on entrepreneurship and company building.

In his talks, Landon echoed something I've heard other successful people say: that failure, even strings of repeated failures, are not an impediment to final success. We learned about how Landon lost money for eleven months straight as a daytrader before finally figuring out the right way to do things. This is borne out by my own daytrading experience and debacles (though I've been orders of magnitude less successful than Landon). It's borne out by observations by the likes of Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, who said "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate"[3]. It's also borne out by my experiences in trading the markets in general and learning about the strategies of successful traders: some traders' strategies involve a very large number of losing trades in which small amounts of money are lost mixed in with a couple of home run[4] trades. To the inexperienced, these strings of failures can be discouraging and in the absence of a skilled mentor, one can easily give up.

The parallels between trading the markets and other forms of entrepreneurship are striking. Landon described how some ad buyers lose on 80% to 90% of the ads they buy. This is an eye-opening reality check for those who envision entrepreneurs as savvy wheeler dealers who know exactly what to do.

You've probably heard from other sources how you shouldn't be afraid of failure, to treat failure as a learning experience, and to dust yourself off and keep persevering (or else give up very quickly (and with no regret or looking back) once you're certain that you've been going down the wrong path, then pivot quickly and find a new course of action). This advice may sound trite, but I can't stress enough how true this is after seeing these highly-successful people in action with my own eyes and hearing their backstories in depth.

Chip's Tips: Ask and Ye Shall Receive

You already (hopefully) know that in addition to having Chip manage your empathetic notifications, challenges and to-dos, you can also spontaneously chat with him. One thing you might not know is that when chatting with Chip, you can ask him for specific things, like encouragement, words of cheer, or almost anything you can get on the Empathy Quick Hit page.

Here are some examples of how to ask for these things:

  • encouragement - Encourage me, Chip.
  • congratulations - Congratulate me, Chip.
  • pity - Give me pity, Chip.
  • cheer - Cheer me up, Chip.
  • condolences - I need condolences, Chip.
  • you matter - Tell me I matter, Chip.
  • love - Tell me you love me, Chip.
  • friendship - Words of friendship, Chip.
  • get well - Tell me to get well, Chip.
  • validation - Tell me I'm right, Chip.

Juggling Update

Juggling has taken a back seat to this training class and my week in Santa Barbara. I'm back home in Milwaukee now and will start this again in earnest and keep you updated.

Web References

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