George Bernard Shaw said, “a life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
Perhaps that’s because the only people who never make mistakes are the people who spend their lives sitting on the sidelines, watching everyone else create their dreams and solve worthwhile problems in the world.
When you watch life from the sidelines, there’s no risk involved. You don’t have to get your hands dirty and there is absolutely no possibility for failure. There’s also no possibility for success, either.
Success is never achieved flawlessly
Too many people think they can only be successful in business by knowing exactly what they’re going to sell and how they’re going to sell it. And often, they’ll spend months or years on their elevator pitch, their USP, learning marketing, and figuring everything out. They won’t put an ounce of their energy into moving forward until they come up with a perfectly flawless plan.
Of course, nothing ever happens this way. If you want to be successful, you have to take action, even if you think you’re not ready.
Fear of failure creates failure
Fear of failure is the number one reason people fail. It’s more of a psychological block than a real barrier. They’re afraid to make a mistake so they just stand still. But nobody gets to the finish line unless they get up and run the race. You don’t have to be the fastest runner to start; you don’t have to be the fastest runner to cross the finish line, either. You just have to show up and run.
Embrace mistakes—it’s part of achieving success
If you’re considering starting a business and you have big dreams and high hopes, you can’t afford to let the possibility of failure hold you back. There is not a single person on the face of this planet who has not made a mistake.
Not making mistakes is actually the biggest mistake you can make. And the people who are most successful in business tend to be the ones who make huge mistakes and keep pushing forward anyway. Sam Ovens, a highly successful entrepreneur from New Zealand, is one of those people.
In a brilliant interview with Trent from Bright Ideas, Ovens shared mistakes that cost him some serious time and money. Through his mistakes, he learned one of the most important aspects involved in creating a business—you might have a great product idea, but before you invest your time and money, you need to know if people actually need it. Sam told Trent:
“The biggest mistake in the world I made was starting a business before talking to the customers. I spent $10,000 of my own money on it, which I had to sell my car to get that, plus all of my income at the time and then we launched it and there was just crickets… so the business just died because no one needed it.”
Because Ovens lost so much time and money creating a product nobody wanted, he learned the value of getting into the customer’s world to find out what they really want. Of course, this sounds obvious, but learning the value of talking to customers first is different than learning the technique.
Mistakes help you learn something thoroughly
Plenty of people know it’s important to create a product based on what their customers want because that’s what they were taught in business school. And because it’s taught, not learned through experience, some might dig only as deeply as they need to achieve a moderate level of success.
Ovens, on the other hand, learned how to laser focus on the needs of his customers with a passion and awareness that only a $10,000 loss can produce. His focus on giving customers what they want is not casual—it’s a drive. And this focused awareness has allowed him to create a $10 million dollar empire.
Just like Ovens, you can embrace your mistakes and use them to enhance your determination to succeed.
Don’t wait to start creating your business
If you’re waiting for all of the circumstances in your life to be perfect before you create and launch your business, you’re never going to make any headway. For every day you allow the fear of failure to consume you, you’re losing out on precious time.
There is deep truth to the concept that mistakes are at the heart of wisdom, and it isn’t just an attempt to justify failure. There is a greater satisfaction to success when it’s earned through the personal experience of trial and error, rather than when it’s just automatically granted.
Keep pressing forward and don’t put off creating your dreams because you’re afraid to make mistakes because they’re unavoidable. Hold your ultimate vision in mind no matter what, and you’ll see your experiences begin to morph into your dream.