How do you learn from your mistakes in business? How do you make sure that your mistake in business does not result to the failure of the entire business? How do you take a mistake and turn it into a success? Well, i advice you read on to out. Mistakes in business is one of the most feared factors that discourage individuals from starting a business.
I prefer to call it the “what if” factor. Many refuse to build a business because of this ‘what if’ factor. What if i lose my capital? What if i fail?
“Underneath every mistake in business is a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs miss these lessons because they lament and blame others over the mistakes.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
I will be using this medium to change your perception with respect to making mistakes in business. By the time you are through with reading this article, your eyes will be opened to see the good sides of mistakes. Please i am not encouraging you to make stupid mistakes that could have been avoided initially. I am only encouraging you to reach beyond your limit without being held back by the fear of making mistakes.
“One of the great things about being willing to try new things and make mistakes is that making mistakes keeps you humble. People who are humble learn more than people who are arrogant.” Rich Dad
If you are afraid of making mistakes in business, below are five points that’s going to change your perception towards mistakes:
Why Mistakes are Good for Entrepreneurs
1. In the course of building a business, always bear in mind that challenges and eventually some mistakes will pop up. Many people shy away from the game of entrepreneurship because they are afraid of failing. Failure and mistakes are part of life, the earlier you accept it, the better.
2. Human beings are designed to learn more by making mistakes. We learn more from our failures than our successes. For instance, as babies, we learn to walk by falling and trying again. We learn to ride a bike by falling, sustaining some injuries and trying again. Without making mistakes and falling, we will never learn how to walk. So also it is in business, without little mistakes, there will is no growth.
3. When it comes to building a business, you can never claim absolute knowledge of the business terrain of your industry. Sometimes, you just have to take risk and do something new, even if it means making a couple of mistakes. This reminds me of a quote from my mentor, Robert Kiyosaki:
“When you come to the boundary of what you know, it’s time to make some mistakes and learn something new.” – Rich Dad
This quote keeps me going when i come to the edge of what i know. Using myself as an instance, i have made mistakes in business that cost me a lot. I have made mistakes that made me cry. I have also made mistakes that had me regret ever starting a business; but did all these mistakes make me quit entrepreneurship? The answer is no. I have come to realize that mistakes are part of a learning process; it’s what makes the game of entrepreneurship challenging and exciting. Mistakes are part of the process of building a business. They are great learning tools.
4. Mistakes make you stronger and smarter. Please note that mistakes will never make you stronger and smarter if you refuse to learn from it. Using myself as a case study, i have observed that whenever i make a mistake in business, i become sober and ask myself; what have i done wrong or what did i not do right? If i can’t figure it out, i ask my team where i have erred.
Once the point of mistake is figure out, i begin implementing corrective measures. The sweetest part is this; i always learn something valuable from every mistake i make; which i wouldn’t have learned if i hadn’t made such mistakes. Making mistakes, correcting them and quickly learning from them make me a smarter entrepreneur. According to Neils Bohr, mistakes qualify me to be a business mentor. I leave you with his quote:
“An expert is someone who has made and learned from every possible mistake in a narrow field.” – Neils Bohr
5. Successful entrepreneurs made a couple of big mistakes before hitting greatness. This means that if you are aiming for greatness, then you should be prepared to make big mistakes; mistakes that might earn you criticism. But always bear in mind that mistakes and failures are stepping stones of great men.
For instance, Robert Kiyosaki made a mistake by not legally protecting (patent and trademark) his nylon and Velcro wallet idea and this cost him his business. Did he quit? No. He learned from his mistakes and built a stronger business; the Rich Dad Company. Thomas Edison made over a thousand mistakes before finally inventing the light bulb.
Henry Ford made a mistake twice with respect to choosing a business partner and this lead to two business failures. Did he quit? No. He went on to become one of the richest men in the world. Bill Gates team made a couple of mistakes with respect to product development but those mistakes didn’t stop them from dominating the software market.
These instances should impact in you the fact that mistakes are regular occurrences in business. It’s up to you to make something positive out of them. It’s all about making lemonade when you are surrounded with lemons. In conclusion, below are five action steps to take whenever you make mistakes in business:
5 Steps to Take When You Make a Mistake
1. Accept responsibility and don’t blame anyone. When you blame, you give power to someone else but when you accept responsibility, you will be forced to look into yourself and seek answers.
2. Analyze the situation and figure out where you or your team went wrong.
3. Look for corrective measures and implement them.
4. Take note of the lesson learned from the mistake. Like i said earlier, mistakes are learning tools. They are opportunities to acquire new knowledge so be sure to pick one or two lessons from every mistake made.
5. Promise yourself that you will never repeat the mistake again. If in the long run you repeat the mistake, it simply means you didn’t learn from the previous experience. Just like a popular saying that goes:
“Those who don’t study and learn from history are bound to repeat it.”
These are my five action steps to learning from your mistakes in business. I hope i have been able to pass a message across. No matter what you do, always bear in mind that mistakes are the stepping stones of great men.