My name is Jason Scholder and I am an ideaholic.
Every once in a while I stumble upon an idea that is so irresistible, I turn my life inside out to make room for it. This is precisely what happened to me the day I discovered podcasting. I knew right away I just had to have one. But what would I call it? What should it be about? What is the one thing I understand well enough to be considered an expert? And then it hit me… Learning to Fail!
It was both traumatic and liberating, the day I had the following realization: While I am really good at making stuff, I’m not really good at making money. It’s not that I haven’t made money. It’s just that I don’t make a profit. I get so caught up making things as cool as they can be, I suck the profit right out of them. I tend to prioritize adding value to the world, and adding value comes at a price. A price I seem willing to pay, time and again.
I’ve owned a lot of businesses. In terms of happy customers, they’ve all succeeded, but when it comes to making money, they haven’t. I don’t know why this doesn’t discourage me. I think it’s because of how important it is to me to remain passionate about what I do. For better or worse, I am captivated by the minutiae required to do things right. By the time I get good enough at something to make it profitable, I’ve usually lost interest. I’ve always admired people with careers: people who can spend their lives mastering one field, perfecting their craft and retiring with a pension.
That’s not me. I’ll never have a 401K. I’m pathologically unemployable… I'm told.
Here’s why I’ve tried so many new endeavors in my life: it never occurs to me that I might fail! And you’d think will all my experience…!
The first time I heard the phrase “Learning to Fail,” I was shooting a documentary about comedian, Bobby Slayton. The phrase resonated with every part of my being. The movie never got finished, but it did make me want to become a comedian. So now I’m pursuing stand-up comedy! Every time I go onstage, my performance lands somewhere along the failure gradient. It’s supposed to. I’m new at this.
But that doesn’t mean people don’t laugh. They do laugh. Sometimes they laugh a lot. If they didn’t laugh, I’d quit. But they don’t laugh all the time, or they don’t laugh as loud as I laughed in my head when I came up with the idea. So this is the part that I study. This is the fail. This is where the learning can happen.
Successful comics don’t just count the laughs. They count on the silences. They don’t just count the peaks, they count the valleys. It’s the ones who can handle failing the longest that have what it takes to succeed. I’ve watched great comics perform great sets. It’s like walking from ridge top to ridge top.
I think you’re gonna love this podcast. The people I converse with come from all walks of life, though I will be interviewing as many comedians as I can. They’re just so much fun to talk to! But they’re not the only ones with invaluable misadventures.
So strap on your headphones and press play.
We’ll all go down together!