07 Oct I’m a Mistake Machine and I Love it!
I do! I really do love it! Well, I must say, however, that I don’t really enjoy my mistakes at first… Probably don’t give them the credit they deserve at that time. Let me explain, however, why, at the end, once I’m back from my initial emotions, I’m happy I did make mistakes.
Keeping the Entrepreneur Records Straight
Let’s admit it. Many of us are real suckers for fairy tale endings, including the amazing “making of” stories. We love to hear that a multi zillionaire entrepreneur began his enterprise in a small garage with only $2 in his pocket, or that a given great thinker was born and raised in the poorest area of the city with little education. Ohhhhh! Do we ever love these accounts of awe-inspiring business journeys. They represent the “American Dream”, the ultimate success for any entrepreneur-wanna-be. But do we really know all the facts behind their current success?
What is known to a certain extent, but probably not shout out loud enough, is that these great entrepreneurs and thinkers we admire so much made considerable mistakes along their path to success. Sometimes huge mistakes. But of course, in our society, we do not promote mistakes. Its almost a taboo subject. Shhhuuut! Let’s not tell. Let’s keep that secret to ourselves, shall we? And that is a shame in many ways because these great individuals wouldn’t probably be where they are without it.
Who said an entrepreneur is supposed to know it all?
Did you know that one of the greatest thinkers of all time, Albert Einstein, is said to have made at least 23 internationally known mistakes relative to his many theories and findings? That Bill Gates (Microsoft with the Zune hardware and Control-Alt-Delete function), Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Richard Branson (Virgin Group) all admitted to important business decision that ended in a great loss of energy and money. And what about Harland David Sanders (best known as Colonel Sanders) who famously went bankrupt numerous times before making it big with his KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) restaurant chain? Yet today, they are all referred to as innovative and successful entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur 101: Mistakes Does Not Equal Failure!
Some mistakes are deemed big, some categorized as small. Some may end up being the obstacle to starting your own business. Some may cause the lost of your actual business, or your career or a wishful promotion. Whichever the case may be, a mistake should never be viewed as a failure. They represent another chance of doing things differently. A chance to learn and grow. An occasion to innovate which often leads to success or even unexpected findings! We definitely need to give them more credit.
Changing the Entrepreneur Mindset
Remember when you were a kid and had to learn to tie your shoes? Were you successful at first attempt? What about the first time you tried to eat with chopsticks? A little chuckle here, right?
Success is a journey. We all make mistakes. We are all humans, condemned to learn as we go to a certain extent. No crystal ball available here, no great instruction manual. There is, however, one distinctive behaviour that all these great entrepreneurs and thinkers share: They all bounced back! Remember the statistics from my previous blog article? It takes perseverance to succeed!
Yes, there is no doubt people will remember your mistakes, but remember that they will mostly judge you on the way you reacted to them!
Welcoming your Mistakes
We need to stop beating ourselves around for mistakes we make. We all made some. We will make some more. There is no way around it. So let’s start using that energy to build better. We need to teach the younger generation that it is ok and part of their learning process to make mistakes. We need to share them as well so that they may learn from ours. A little bit of mentoring in a way.
I personally make mistakes day in and day out. 100% guilty here. Often when I try new things, which is quite often in my case. One thing I understood a while back however, is that the road to success resides in having a positive attitude towards the mistakes we make, these “Oups!” we wrongly call too often “failures”.
So take a bow, smile and try again, differently!
And remember, Don’t waste that drive – worst you could say is I tried!
The World Bank. 1994. World Development Report 1994: Infrastructure for
Author: Suzie Beaudoin
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