This post is going to be different from what you expect.
Unlike some people who try to avoid mistakes, I embrace mistakes and see them as a necessity to reach success. Note necessity, when everything seems to going according to the plan, you’ve got to check if you are on the right track. You’ve got to fail sometimes to put your head on the ground (or maybe you are just plain lucky).
If I’m asked for my top three mistakes as an entrepreneur, I honestly couldn’t answer you what they would be, because indeed there are so many. (*laughs)
Mistakes happen in any project.
I do believe that you can learn a lot from people as to how they build their business.
However, when it comes to mistakes and failures, I think we have an inherent misconception as to what it means.
Fasten your seat belts– the most important quality of an entrepreneur is not to avoid making mistakes. It’s also not to avoid failure.
Why learning from others’ experience is wrong (partly)
The finest people, yes that means the ones who make the most money, the ones that have built the most, are the ones who have made the most variety of mistakes. I am sure you have read through the biographies of well-known visionaries such as Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk.
There’s nothing going to be more valuable than your own experience.
You hear people saying “Look at him and learn from his experience”.
I think this is a very fragile statement. While you can gain insights from someone, how he has achieved or failed, yet it doesn’t mean you have developed the skills to do it right when you get going with it. And every person’s context is different; you cannot just replicate that experience.
The most valuable mistakes are derived from your very own, personal experience in anything you do. It is by subjecting ourselves and letting ourselves be proven wrong. It is a way we can massage our ego and keep our head on the ground.
Let me give you an example. You might support a tennis player. Let’s say his name is Dominic Thiem. You can see how this young man battles for every point. You can see how he adjusts to the way his opponent plays. Thiem aims to exploit every weakness that he can find in his opponent’s game. Thiem sees his opponent has backhand problems. His opponent doesn’t seem to be able to cope with Thiem’s top spin balls. Guess what? That’s exactly what Thiem will exploit.
Now you might think “Well, I can see how Thiem plays and how he exploits his opponent’s weakness.”
While that is accurate. You do not have Thiem’s skills. Skills are built through hard work and discipline. Dominic Thiem invested in what we call sweat equity.
The only way for you to ever be able to take advantage of your knowledge is when you actually put it to work. You can watch tennis for six hours a day, yet never get good at it. The same is true for Internet marketing, or any other business ventures you might partake.
Beware of Maybes
So my mistakes as an entrepreneur are limitless. I make dozens of mistakes in any given project and I actually don’t mind making them. I know it’s part of the process to figure out how I can get something to work. It’s the tinkering, figuring out a process that gets us there.
So instead of trying to be perfect, I aim to develop skills that give me an actual advantage over marketers.
You can argue that success in each area comes down to a few fundamentals. Learning and obtaining those fundamentals is the ABC to making it work. Yet that doesn’t mean you can compete with the very finest in your category. It usually takes you to do a few things better or more precise, or implement a few of your own, self-created strategies to excel.
The difference between someone who makes $50k a month from a business model and another person that only makes $5k a month from the same business model, is usually a fine line of difference. The $50k/month man could have trained 2 to 3 virtual assistants (VAs) who run his business model, so that he can work on his business. He could have improved the process, which he adopted from someone else. Maybe he made the effort to develop his own custom systems to reduce labor and marketing costs. Maybe he has better customer support. Maybe…
As you see, there are a lot of maybes. We don’t know what we don’t know and we might as well at least try.
I hope you can see that the point of this post is not to name 48 mistakes I’ve made as an entrepreneur (there are actually more than that, more than I can remember!). The point is to make it clear that everything is developed through time and effort.
The biggest mistake would be to not make a mistake in the first place.
Though, I think it’s important to name a number of mistakes that I’ve made and that could have been avoided if I was told better. If only…
Get somebody who has already been there
Which brings me to the point that mentorship becomes very important when you want to be successful in business and in life. While it doesn’t replace experience, it does enable you to gain valuable insights and move in the right direction quicker. It also helps you to spot mistakes that you might not be able to see.
I hope I didn’t bomb your expectations for this post.
If you were looking for specific set of mistakes I’ve made because you want to not make the same mistakes, then I recommend you read this post here.
As always, I hope to hear from you. Leave me your thoughts below in the comment box. Looking forward to hear what you have to say about this topic.