Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to Make Mistakes Intelligently


In the world of business, a mistake is usually a risk that didn't turn out so well. On the other end, if you take a risk and it pays off you'll be considered a bold visionary. A compelling argument can be made that you'll learn more from your mistakes than your successes. In entrepreneurship, making mistakes is a better way to grow than just doing things safely all the time. Here's why making mistakes can benefit your business:

Getting over the fear factor.

Starting up a new business is filled with a long list of "known unknowns." Will you turn a profit? Will you be able to expand? Will your employees embrace your leadership style? Those types of questions are important to ask from a planning perspective but they should become fear based. You're going to make mistakes. Hopefully, they won't be debilitating from your business but worrying about what could go wrong might just stop you from effectively moving forward. Let go of the fear and embrace the mistake when it happens.

We learn more from failure.

You might not remember when you took your first steps but it's a safe bet you took plenty of falls as well. Did you give up? Of course not! You figured out how to balance yourself and what coordination means. Same thing when it came to learning how to ride a bike. A mistake shouldn't be looked upon as a failure but as a lesson. What went wrong and how can you avoid that in the future? Understanding the answer to that question is going to improve your business by leaps and bounds.

Mistakes make us smarter.

You're simply going to have to learn by doing. When a mistake happens you'll be learning more about your business and probably from a different perspective. This would apply to everything from filing your tax forms to shipping orders around the world. Always think of mistakes as your "learning curve" and you can't go wrong.

Big mistakes can lead to big business.

This comes back to the issue of risk taking. If you're truly striving for a huge success in your business then you're going to have to take a huge risk. As it happens, you might also be making a huge mistake. You can't let a mistake cause you to crumble. Look at the biography of any successful entrepreneur and you're sure to find a history of "striking out" before they hit it out of the ballpark.

Mistakes make for a better manager.

We've all had those moments when we've been smarter than our bosses. When you become the boss you want to get out in front of the occasional mistakes that will be made. Don't make finding someone to blame the primary focus. You really have to figure out "why" something went wrong. Was it a breakdown in communication? Was it not having the right information? Ultimately, a business' mistake will be your own. Accept responsibility and move on. Your staff will respect you for your strong leadership.  

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