Hi There!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Welcome back to a brand new blog post of Ask Ash, where I ask WatchMojo Founder & CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan on various topics, ranging from what is going on in the news, to career and life advice for students and entrepreneurs.

Today, I wanted to ask Ash about success. I watched a short motivational video over the weekend that talks about not being afraid to fail. After thinking about it, I wanted to get Ash’s perspective on success and failure, and how he defines success.

1) Why do you think people are afraid to fail? 

Ash’s Response: 

Self-doubt: human beings are all driven by insecurities. So oftentimes the fear of failure stems from a lack of confidence, assertiveness, and aggressiveness. 

Opportunity cost: if you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain. But if you have a great or good status quo, then in some ways the cost failure is greater. 

Ridicule and criticism: Early on people come to you and say “good luck with that business, pal…” and then if and when you are successful they will come back and say “I always believed in you, buddy.” But the fact is it takes a lot of time and luck to get to the redemption part. But the trick is to recall that most people don’t even care about you (be it your success or failure).

2) What ways do you define success in and outside of the workplace?

Ash’s Response:

Success is relatively fluid and subjective, so for different people, it’s different things. To me, it’s about sticking to your principles, not compromising your moral compass, and being able to spend your time and energy on the people and projects that matter to you at a given time. 

3) Do you need to fail to become successful? 

Ash’s Response:

No, you can get lucky and avoid failure and setbacks but it’s rare and if you don’t fail upfront the numbers suggest you will trip up eventually. The key is to avoid fatal mistakes. I will say that people lack perspective so having challenges and setbacks just gives you a better vantage point to manage your success. For 6 years I struggled to meet payroll every two weeks, but I never missed payroll… so I now avoid finding myself in that situation with how I assess risk and manage opportunities