This past week, I ran the Please Don’t Starve Challenge, which was a free challenge for creative professionals who wanted to start making money off their “art.” Some people were authors, others were visual artists, and even others were craft makers. Some succeeded, and others did not.

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Inspired by my bestselling book Real Artists Don’t Starve, the challenge was simple: take an idea and turn it into a business in seven days.

We had incredible takeaways and testimonies from the thousands of people who went through this, many who sold something to an audience for the first time in their lives. Now, the goal wasn’t to succeed. The goal was to learn. And not surprisingly, some people did not sell anything. Some succeeded and others failed.

But as I was recently scanning the comments in the Facebook group, I found some familiar responses to failure. Why were they familiar? Because they were all things that I’ve said before. Things like, “Well, I guess I’m not lucky” or “this just isn’t for me” or “maybe next time.” And so I want to take a moment and tell you why I think you failed.

First of all, you didn’t fail. The goal was to learn something, so if you learned, you succeeded. It’s only when the unexpected happens and we don’t learn from it that we really fail.

Second, the reason why you may not have achieved what you set out to achieve was because you were measuring (and therefore expecting) the wrong thing.

It’s only when the unexpected happens and we don’t learn from it that we really fail.

Jeff Goins