Fail Fast, Fail Often

How Losing Can Help You Win
by Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz | 208 pages

Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz are two leading psychologists and career counselors. This book is a distillation of the wisdom they taught in their popular Stanford University continuing studies course ‘Fail Fast, Fail Often.” After working with thousands of people, they came to a compelling conclusion: “Happy and successful people tend to spend less time planning and more time acting”—which allows them to learn a TON and optimize along the way to mastery. Big Ideas we explore include dialing in your fun-meter, how to take action, being willing to be bad if we want to be good, think big—act small, and the fact that failure is what you make of it.


“The point of this book is to help you take action in your life. You might think of it as ‘Action 101’ because we teach the basics of getting going and making things happen, even though you may feel apprehensive, unprepared, or afraid of failure.

The ideas presented here arose out of our work as career counselors and educators. In talking to thousands of individuals about their work, we made an important discovery: People who are happy and successful spend 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. …

In the following pages you will find advice on how to follow your interests and take action, even though you may be unsure of your career plans, feel stuck in a rut, or be apprehensive of failure. We provide practical advice on how to trust your enthusiasm and allow it to guide you, break free from habitual behaviors and initiate new adventures, act boldly with minimal preparation, and leverage your strengths for rapid change. Each chapter includes a discussion of cutting-edge research, inspiring stories from the lives of famous and ordinary people alike, and specific steps to put ideas into practice to enact immediate change in your life.”

~ Ryan Babineaux, Ph.D., and John Krumboltz, Ph.D. from Fail Fast, Fail Often

Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz are two leading psychologists and career counselors.

This book is a distillation of the wisdom they taught in their popular Stanford University continuing studies course “Fail Fast, Fail Often.”

After working with thousands of people, they have come to a compelling conclusion, which is the premise of this book: “Happy and successful people tend to spend less time planning and more time acting. They get out into the world, try new things, and make mistakes, and in doing so, they benefit from unexpected experiences and opportunities.”

In short, they fail fast and they fail often—learning and optimizing each step of the way.

This a fun, inspiring, quick-reading practical guide on how to take action. (Get a copy here.) The authors reflect on many of the same Ideas we’ve covered in other books including Little Bets, The Now Habit, Art and Fear, and The War of Art. (Plus, check out Creativity 101, Conquering Perfectionism 101, and Conquering Procrastinatin 101!)

It’s packed with Big Ideas and I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial

About the authors

Authors

Ryan Babineaux

Career counselor, writer, and researcher in the area of purposeful living.
Authors

John Krumboltz

Established career theorist and specialist in counseling psychology.