Making $%#@ Mistakes

What you’re going to learn along your journey of running a successful fun business is that you’re going to make a lot of mistakes along the way. So my advice is to get comfortable with making mistakes and the gross feelings that come with them.

For most people, making mistakes (and knowing you will make mistakes) is just too uncomfortable. They don’t like to make mistakes because they don’t like to be humbled or embarrassed.

Unfortunately, you can’t own the business you want to own if you’re not prepared to make mistakes because it’s the mistakes that most often pay the biggest dividends.

A truth that takes a while to understand is that we’re probably more trapped in our successes. We often misinterpret why we were successful. A lot of people are successful because they were in the right place at the right time (ask around) and now they are mistaking good timing with being a genius. Or we get comfortable, we don’t want to risk losing what we have by alienating our customers or being too different/unconventional/weird/out there etc.

Only when you fail do you actually get the chance to say, “Okay, that didn’t work. Why? What did I do wrong?”

Mistakes are essential. Companies that stop failing are companies that stop trying. When you stop trying you become less relevant. When you become less relevant you become a commodity. When you become a commodity you become a price. When people shop for price, they are not interested in anything but price.

Success can be a distraction. Now here is a thought …

What kind of culture do you have at work? A culture where people are afraid to make mistakes, or a culture where everyone is encouraged to share any idea that they have that will make the customer experience (or whatever your goal might be) better?

When was the last time someone who works with you or for you came up to you and said, “Hey, I have a great idea.”

Oh oh.


Comments (2)

As my colleague Bob says, mashing up two common turns of phrase, “you learn something new every day if you’re not careful.”

Oh I learned one yesterday my friend, by not being careful.

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