I’m not sure when I developed a healthy relationship with making mistakes. I think it happened because growth has always been my top value. This principle guides my thoughts and actions such that I see mistakes as opportunities to grow. This trait, I’m fining, is incredibly beneficial in being an entrepreneur.
When you’re building something for the first time, you’re not going to have previous experiences to draw upon. Instead, you need to dive in and try out a bunch of things, adjusting on the fly.
More importantly, I think it’s necessary to develop resilience to failure; interpreting mistakes NOT as failure but rather opportunities to grow, iterate and develop a better product or solution on the second pass.
Eleanor’s quote, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself,” reinforces a Buddhist principle I believe in wholeheartedly: Everyone is a teacher.
When it comes to leading and growing through change, look for the lessons in others’ outcomes. Think of a person who has “made it” in your version of success. Ask them about the mistakes they made along the way, and inquire about the lessons they learned from those mistakes.
And please, please – learn from my mistakes too! In building my business so far here are some of the mistakes I made early on:
- Not working my deep network. I stayed at 1st level connections and resisted getting into the 2nd and 3rd level connections early on, which limited my possible reach.
- Using Facebook Ads before I had the back-end systems ready to support the traffic, which was a waste of time and money.
- Spending too much time comparing myself to other coaches which created limiting beliefs.
- Not having a clear message on who I was helping and why, which resulted in me talking to no one instead of focusing on who I really wanted to support – leaders in growing organizations who are navigating change.
Get out there, make mistakes and learn from others’ mistakes too!