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Failure and Why You Should Embrace Your Inner Screw-Up

screw up embrace your inner screw up failure jade luck club jadeluckclubI read this email newsletter for search engine marketing  (SEM) called Search Insider. It’s true that SEM is a kind of new, wild, west frontier that is an ever very rapidly changing landscape. This article by Gord Hotchkiss encourages digital marketers to embrace failure/screwing up/mistakes. He gives good advice that applies well beyond search engine marketers. Embrace your inner “screw-up” because it’s the most efficient way to learn and also has the biggest payoff. Risk = Reward. And it’s a fun ride too if your stomach can take it.

p.s. If you want to know what the pundits think children should be learning NOW to prepare for the next 10 years, here’s a great article from Xeconomy to get a “view into the future at a time of  breakneck technological change and increasing economic uncertainty. Their answers paint a picture of the world that is fascinating, and occasionally, sobering.” Let me put it this way, Tiger Mom Amy Chua’s strategy was to memorize and regurgitate. This doesn’t fly in the new economy if you want a front seat.

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Humans hate making mistakes. But the fact is, making mistakes is an essential part of being human. Somehow, we have to learn to live on the edge of this paradox. For digital marketers, our entire industry is balanced on this particular precarious precipice.

There are a few rules of thumb to “screwing up” successfully:

You Can Only Learn from Others if You’re in the Middle of the Pack

If you’re a digital marketer, you’ve decided to travel at the head of the herd. Congratulations. But here’s the thing. You’ve volunteered to make mistakes. The mark is on your forehead and it’s your job to poke the bushes and test the waters, flushing out danger for others to take heed of.

Humans have a long history of leveraging the principle of safety in numbers. But in that dynamic, some have to live on the edge and let others learn from their mistakes. The advantage of that position is that you’re also the first to take advantage of the unchartered wins that come from conquering new challenges. The risks are greater, but so are the rewards. If this balance doesn’t appeal to you, move back to center and follow the leaders. Just realize it’s a lot more crowded there, and there might not be enough perks to go around.

The More Unstable the Environment, The More Important it is to Make Mistakes

You don’t need the safety of a herd in safe and stable environments. We call it civilization. It’s on the frontier, where things get precarious, that you need safety in numbers. Ironically, it’s on the frontier where the herd thins out and you often have to go it alone. That really leaves you no choice. There is no beaten path to follow. You’re going to have to be the one that forges it. And that means you’re going to make mistakes. Get used to it. Embrace it. Take solace in the fact that while taking action may cause mistakes, not taking action pretty much guarantees you’ll end up as somebody’s lunch.

If You Can’t Get Comfortable, Get Courageous

I often tell aspiring digital marketers that this is not a comfortable career. If you want security, become an accountant. But if you want a challenge, you’ve found the right niche. Digital marketing takes courage. It means trusting your gut and betting on long shots. It means embracing opportunities without a mound of evidence to rely on. To succeed in this business, first you need passion — but courage runs a close second.

Mistakes = Learning

I don’t know where making mistakes got such a bad rap from, but I shudder to think where humanity would be without them (read Ralph Heath’s excellent book, “Celebrating Failure”). You can’t learn without making mistakes. You can’t gain ground without occasionally falling down. I’ve spent the majority of my life as an entrepreneur, which pretty much means the regular making of mistakes, so perhaps I’ve become used to it. But I honestly don’t know why screwing up has been stigmatized to the extent it has.

Learn to “Do It Wrong Quickly”

My friend Mike Moran wrote a book a few years ago calling “Do it Wrong Quickly,” which uncovers one of the essential elements of successfully screwing up: to build learning into the process. Understand that failure is an essential part of the equation (especially in digital marketing), and go in using it as an opportunity to learn quickly, adjust and iterate your way to success. By going in anticipating failure, you won’t be surprised when it happens and can quickly move beyond failure to learning and adapting.

Realize You Don’t Have to Be Perfect — You Just Have to be Better than the Other Guy

Finally, this is a game of percentages. If you bump up the level of activity, you’ll make more mistakes, but you’ll also win more battles. You’ll “fail forward” — and soon you’ll be looking at the competition in your rearview mirror.

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Kogi BBQ and Setting Up Your Own Neighborhood Hawker Food Court

Roy Choi Kogi BBQ The Daily Beast JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Roy Choi, chef and owner of Chego restaurant and the Kogi Korean taco trucks in Los Angeles, Axel Koester / Redux

Before Kogi, most Los Angeles residents only had only glimpsed food trucks from afar, sitting in a parking lot or next to a construction site. 

This was in The Daily Beast about Roy Choi, the 41-year-old founder of Kogi BBQ food trucks. Now Choi, a 2010 Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chef recipient, has started his fifth food venture called Sunny Spot,  Choi’s take on a Caribbean roadside cookshop.

For the full article, click here.

Choi’s success begs several questions:

1) Where is my Kogi BBQ in Boston?!

2) Indeed, why not more major cities?

3) If he can do it, why can’t YOU? Food trucks can go upscale? Oh yeah! Choi laid the groundwork, now it’s up to you!

4) Is this how social media can spawn new food concepts?

 “It challenged a lot of people’s barriers and definitions of what is clean, what is dirty, what is right, what is wrong, without knowing it,” says Choi. “Before Kogi came out, we called them roach coaches. We called the stuff outside of clubs dirty dogs, danger dogs, death dogs. It’s that Western privileged mind-set: That’s dirty, that’s f—ing underground, that’s ghetto…We took away that ridiculous, passed-on, generational, privileged stereotype towards food that Latinos have been eating for a long time, or street food in general…We’ve stopped downgrading a certain segment of society. That’s pretty cool.” from The Daily Beast

and here’s his concept (that’s where YOU come in!):

The recognition from Food & Wine, the first time the magazine awarded Best New Chef to a food truck, helped legitimize the trend, and, Choi believes, street food is what can save our cities.

“We can take empty gas stations and empty parking lots, we can take under performing centers, we can turn those into little hawker centers like they have in Singapore,” he says. “Then we can encourage small business to come in and make a delicious dish with one thing, like this Cuban sandwich you’re eating. Just make one thing and then just transform our city into a city that’s filled with just small vendors serving the most delicious thing that they can.” from The Daily Beast

p.s. Please start one in Boston!

p.p.s. Thank you to Nathalie for sending this link my way!

p.p.p.s. Here are three recipes by Roy Choi by way of Food and Wine Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More on Failure: Why Failure is the Secret to Your Success from bNet

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Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. 
Winston Churchill

I found this on bNet: Why Failure is the Secret of Your Success by Suzanne Lucas. The idea of failure as a sure path to success is not what a Tiger Mom believes in and that is precisely what I like about it. Think about the old Soviet Union. Do you remember that the old state run factories were never allowed to go into bankruptcy even when they were failing? Like a circle in hell, the factories were forced to stay open, doing the same doomed operations over and over. Contract that with Apple computer. Without the Lisa, there would never have been the Macintosh computer (or iPod or iPad). Learning from your mistakes is a sure path to success and this article addresses kids these days who are never allowed to make mistakes. And that’s the biggest mistake you can make as a parent!.

p.s. If you like this post, you might like Embracing Failure: It’s the New Success.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. 
Bill Cosby

The full article is here.

Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts. 
John Wooden

The key points:

  • What does it take to succeed? Apparently a whole lot of failure.
  • Dominic Randolph, who leads an expensive, top ranked private school in New York City, is concerned about students that have known nothing but success. These kids don’t know how to fail because they’ve never done it. Therefore, when things get outside their comfort zone, or they first encounter people more capable than they are, they have no skills for dealing with it. We talk a lot about hard work, but school grading generally ends up being based on how well you did on the test, not about how much effort it took to get there or how persistent someone was.
  • As Levin watched the progress of those KIPP (a network of charter schools) alumni, he noticed something curious: the students who persisted in college were not necessarily the ones who had excelled academically at KIPP; they were the ones with exceptional character strengths, like optimism and persistence and social intelligence. They were the ones who were able to recover from a bad grade and resolve to do better next time; to bounce back from a fight with their parents; to resist the urge to go out to the movies and stay home and study instead; to persuade professors to give them extra help after class.
  • The ability to bounce back from failure is a key point. But, what if you’ve never failed? What if your parents fix every problem you ever have? What if you never gain this valuable skills? Then you’re far less likely to have true success.  If you’ve never had to try again and again, are you going to assume that the problem is unsolvable if you fail the first time?

 Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street. 
Zig Ziglar

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
Henry Ford

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Surrogacy in India, A Story of An American Couple in Search of a Baby

Made In India surrogacy outsourcing off shore India JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club

Made in India is a documentary film that looks at the  complex journey of international surrogacy. Is this the next frontier of off-shore outsourcing?

Made in India,” the story of an infertile American couple, an Indian surrogate and the reproductive outsourcing business that brings them together, is a documentary featured in PBS NEWSHOUR’s ongoing series looking at international issues through the lens of documentary film makers.

Reproductive outsourcing; what do you think about this? What if you can’t afford $25-30k just to pay the surrogate mother (not the mention other costs)? Is this baby buying or surrogacy? What do you think of this form of Medical Tourism?

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Embracing Failure: It’s the New Success

failure is the new success JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club Celebrating Asian American Creativity

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”

I’ve been thinking about failure since reading this excellent post on Embrace Failure on my favorite children’s literature blog, From the Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors. As an entrepreneur, I embrace failure. It is the surest and quickest path to success. Why? It’s life’s best teacher. You never forget a failure. You learn from it, deeply and profoundly as in:  it keeps you up late a night, pondering, questioning, wondering. It provides options in the form of a nicely forking road. Do you get back in the saddle and try again, all the wiser? Or do you veer left, shimmy right, or duck down below? Failure makes you creative. If you are going to ram your head against the wall, the next time you will choose a nicely padded one.

“Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.”

Not everyone agrees of course. Most pointedly, failure is not an option in Tiger Parenting. “The Chinese parenting approach is weakest when it comes to failure; it just doesn’t tolerate that possibility. The Chinese model turns on achieving success. That’s how the virtuous circle of confidence, hard work, and more success is generated.” Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother Suffice it to say that I don’t buy the Tiger Parenting Model and I don’t buy the idea of failure not being an option. If you eliminate options that can lead to failure, you have very few options left. Worse, your few choices become the path of least resistance.

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”

Don’t believe me? Look at Amy Chua’s career. “I went to law school, mainly because I didn’t want to go to medical school.” “After graduating [from law school], I went to a Wall Street law firm because it was the path of least resistance.” “…I decided to write an epic novel. Unfortunately, I had no talent for writing…What’s more, Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, and Jung Chang all best me to it….At first, I was bitter and resentful, but then I got over it.” In fact, by (sort of) admitting her failings, her book became an international best seller. But in the form of her book, this is the most risk she’s taken in her life.

“The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.”

I think what is daunting about failure is the publicity around it. Knowing that people will know that you’ve failed. That they’ll whisper behind your back about what an epic failure you are. Even laugh. But here’s the trick. If you own your failure, nothing anyone can say will bother you. That’s the secret. It’s simple really.

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”

Of course, you will own the knowledge that comes from failure. This knowledge is hard fought and very valuable. Use each failure to build, brick by brick, your success in whatever form that may be. Because success is never one big idea, or one very talented person, or someone who is “lucky, at the right time and right place.” No. Emphatically no!  It’s like most things: lots of little things added up together such that the sum is greater than the parts. Only the brave can try this. Are you that courageous?

“Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them. They have developed the opportunity that was at hand.”

Know a family with kids? Give them a FamZoo gift subscription and help the parents teach their kids good money habits.

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The Sartorialist: Best Dressed Asian Men (and one adorable Asian Gal)

Black Hat Older Asian Eurasian Gentleman Style Old Man Style Stylist Asian Men The Sartorialist JadeLuckClub JadeLuckClub most stylist Asian Americans American MenI am a little obsessed with the street fashion blog, The Sartorialist. I love it! When I saw this image that Scott Schuman posted on April 11 for a Wayfarer post, I found myself mesmerized by this couple. Who are they? The story I made up in my mind is this: they are famous actors in Japan and are visiting NYC where Scott shot them. They get annonymity here but they are like KPatz in their home country…

Am I right or totally off base? But isn’t she ADORABLE? with her cute bob and there is something kinda cool going on with her man … the cig, the Wayfarers and the baggy pants are working for me. Plus they match!

The Sartorialist Wayfarers Well Dressed Cute Asian couple JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club Celebrating Asian Americans

But this Old Man Style shot is a keeper.

Old Man Style Asian Older Gentleman Man JadeLuckClub well dressed Asian men Jade Luck Club

Especially contrasted with this Chinatown Old Man Style. The Sartorialist says, “Straw hat, Playboy belt buckle, Dior women’s sunglasses, gold teeth -Priceless”

Sartorialist Old Man Style Chinatown JadeLuckClub

“Old Man Style is hard to beat. Gentlemen of a certain generation learned how to wear their clothes not let their clothes wear them.”

Old Man Style Chinatown Older Stylist Asian Men The Sartorialist JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club Celebrating Asian American Creativity Diversity Street Fashion Style Success Best

“A Gentleman’s Style”

Gentleman's Style Older Stylist Gentleman Asian The Sartorialist JadeLuckClub Well Dressed Older Asian Men

To me, this older stylist gentleman looks Asian. What do you think? The Sartorialist just called this “Black Hat” and “Old Man Style…4th Avenue, Brooklyn.”

Black Hat Older Asian Eurasian Gentleman Style Old Man Style Stylist Asian Men The Sartorialist JadeLuckClub JadeLuckClub most stylist Asian Americans American Men

He notices all the details! Do you follow The Sartorialist? If you start, it’s easy to become obsessed! I should know!

Are you stylish and Asian (even partially)? Send me your photo and I’ll do a posting of Stylish Asians. JadeLuckClub (at) gmail (dot) com. (You actors out there, please submit!)

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Deborah Jiang Stein: A Life Turned Around From Fractured Beginnings and The Un-Prison Project.

Deborah Jiang Stein The UnPrison Project JadeLuckClub http://jadeLuckclub.com Celebrating the road less traveled by Asian Americans Creativity Notable Asian Americans with drug addiction problemsDeborah Jiang Stein is not an example that your parents ever gave when they went on and on when you were growing up. Oh sure, you’ve heard stories of every child known to your parents who got into Harvard, went to Johns Hopkins Medical School, and/or won the Academic Decathlon. True, your parents might not have known Deborah, but even if they did, they would have talked in hushed tones about her and said things about her like:

“No good.”

“Stay away.”

“Her mother was in jail! She was born in a jail!

 

But now they would be proud to claim her as their own. They would say:

“Why can’t you be more like Deborah? She climbed out from under and look, she’s making a difference.”

 

But that doesn’t even begin to describe her. There needs to be a category created for “Prominent Asian Americans Born In Jail.” It is a short list. I know, I googled this and nothing came up.

“From a gene pool that’s done a lot of crime, time, and drugs, with an upbringing in the fine arts. I live between both worlds.”

 

She wants you to send her to jail where she’s started The Un-Prison Project, a  project which focuses on the 1.7 million children who have a parent in jail. Please watch her video, and if moved, please donate here.

p.s. She’s also a writer.  I can’t wait to read her books when they come out!

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Quakebook Blog: A Twitter-sourced charity book about how the Japanese Earthquake affected us all.

QuakeBook cover raising money for Japan tsunami and earthquake victims JadeLuckClub http://JadeLuckClub.com Celebrating Asian American Creativity Posts by Japanese Quake Victims How to help Japan victims

Quakebook Blog is a Twitter-sourced charity book about how the Japanese Earthquake at 2:46 on March 11, 2011 affected us all with all proceeds benefiting the Japan Red Cross. You can sign up to be notified when the book is released here. The #quakebook (2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake) will be available very soon (within a few days) as an electronic download, and later, in a print edition.

Here are a few excerpts:

Daniel Freytag

Want

I have been around Tokyo for 15 years and I feel I am needed here now more than ever. The decision whether to stay is the most complex one I have ever had to make in my life. Japan is my adopted home. I would not leave a burning house alone if my family were still inside.

Our house is not as of yet on fire but I need to be available in the event it does go up in flames. We as a community don’t owe it to Japan. But when I think of the Fukushima 50 risking life and limb, when I think of the children now without parents in the Tohoku region, when I think about the untold damage to the region far beyond the scale of the New Orleans flooding, this is simply where I need to be.

It’s where I want to be.

DAN CASTELLANO
Tokyo

Care

I don’t know where to start to write . . . Ten days has passed since the earthquake. My parents’ house is within 40 km of the Fukushima nuclear plant. They’ve been told they must stay indoors. Although the house wasn’t greatly damaged by the earthquake or tsunami, as the house is built on solid ground, they have to contend with the problem of radiation.

Although this is far from the worst case of losing a family member or home, they have scarcely any information regarding radiation. All they can do is watch news on TV. They don’t know really if they are in danger or if they are safe, and fight against an invisible enemy inside the house. Even if they decide to evacuate, there have no gasoline, so they don’t know how far they would get. The trains aren’t running, either.

Linda Yuki Nakanishi


My 70-year-old mother refuses to go to a shelter and insists on staying at home. She says she’s not bothered by magnitude 3 earthquakes. Even though the government seems to have forgotten her, she is perfectly calm. What is the government doing? Don’t they care about the people in Fukushima? When people living towards the coast were confronted with the threat of radiation, the whole town decided to evacuate without waiting for government instructions. Nobody in my hometown will evacuate. Why? What’s more, they took in people evacuating from the town next-door, so now they feel they can’t evacuate themselves and leave those people behind.

People of the Tohoku region are stoic, compassionate, calm and humble. They have always just dealt with the situation without complaining. Of course they have questions and fears, but they hesitate to show them as they know other people are experiencing far worse

They don’t expect the government will help them, but they’ve made up their minds to stay here and fight. Rumors about radiation pollution continue to grow. What have we done to deserve this? We are suffering like others in disaster affected areas. The difference is we have an unnatural and unseen danger to deal with. Please don’t abandon Fukushima. Please see the reality. Please give us accurate and timely information. Please get this nightmare power station under control as soon as possible. And please know that Fukushima is doing its best

YUKI WATANABE
Tokyo (hometown Tamura, Fukushima)

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Cranes for Clothes to the Children of Japan: Get Your Children Involved! From Osh Kosh B’Gosh

Cranes for Clothes from Osh Kosh for Children of Japanese Quake JadeLuckClub http://JadeLuckClub.com ways to help victims of Japanese earthquake tsunami

Sometimes it helps children to understand tragedy such as the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan by letting them help. Carter’s has set up a charity called Cranes for Kids: Giving Hope to the Children of Japan. It works like this: Through April 25, OshKosh will  be collecting the paper cranes that you and your children create and sending them to our OshKosh stores in Japan to show them the support and caring of their friends in the United States. OshKosh will donate up to 50,000 articles of clothing.

 

Show your creativity and compassion!

Pick up a free Cranes for Kids action pack at your local OshKosh store, which includes origami paper and instructions or download our Origami Crane or Easy Origami Crane instructions here and make your own at home.

Here’s link for how to fold the easy origami crane. Here’s a link for the traditional origami crane. And you can use any paper; it doesn’t have to be origami paper if you are unable to drive to the OshKosh store. Just use any paper and cut into a perfect square. It’s easiest if you fold the paper into a triangle shape and trim off the rectangle edge. I wouldn’t recommend newsprint as the ink will get smeary on your hands but newsprint paper would work fine!

We’ve set up three easy ways for you to deliver your finished crane(s):

1. Bring it to any OshKosh Store through April 25, 2011 and as a thank you, you’ll receive 10% off your purchase that day.
2. Take a photo of your crane and upload it to facebook.com/oshkoshbgosh

 

3. Mail it to us:

Cranes for Kids

OshKosh B’Gosh

One Waterview Drive

Shelton, CT 06484

 

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Dare to Dream: A Great Commercial by TC Bank

TC Bank ad dream rangers elderly motorcyclists http://JADELUCKCLUB.COM, celebrating asian american creativity and the road less traveled path less taken

Occasionally you’ll run across a tv commercial that’s so good you’re compelled to link it to others and watch it again and again. I recently had the pleasure of watching a tv ad this good, and am posting it here for you to take a look at. Whether you’re in between partypoker sessions or you’re on your lunch break at work, take a short break to check out what I assure you is one of the best tv commercials in recent memory.

When you think of Harley riders, do geriatic Asian men come to mind? Not really, right? So I loved how this group of older Asian men took up the siren call of riding their bikes as a means to “get busy living, or get busy dying.*” And I loved that this is based on a true story. I wish one of them was my grandpa! Does anyone have an Asian grandpa like this? Please share!

The commercial is in Mandarin and I don’t speak Mandarin but this video crosses all language barriers.

Based on a true story.

What do people live for?
To miss someone?
To keep living?
To live longer?
Or, to leave?

“Let’s go ride motorcycles!”

5 Taiwanese.
An average age of 81.
1 has a hearing problem.
1 has cancer.
3 have heart disease.
Every one of them has degenerative arthritis.

6 months of preparation.
13 days traveling around the island.
1139 kilometers.
From the north to the south.
From night to day.
For one simple reason.

What do people live for?

Dreams.

For ordinary people with extraordinary dreams.
TC Bank |

*quote from The Shawshank Redemption

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