Might sound a bit strange at first, after all, we're not exactly encouraged to make mistakes are we? But stop for a second and think about it. To be able to live life to the full you have to take a gamble and not every gamble pays off.
I've made mistakes my whole career, sometimes small ones sometimes big ones! If we don't learn from our mistakes, then more fool us, but if others try to judge because you didn't get everything right, more fool them. The reality is, I bet they don't even try.
Whenever things don't work out quite as planned, I think back to a lesson I learned very early on from Super-middleweight Boxing Champ Chris Eubank. As a controversial kind of guy, Chris often courted opinion and whenever he made a mistake, there were plenty of onlookers just waiting for him to fall. I asked him how he felt about it and he gave me this poem. I have it right by my desk.
Lots of entrepreneurs make mistakes; Richard Branson is seen by many as arguably the UK's greatest entrepreneur, but let's not forget his list of failed business ventures. There's been Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, Virgin Cars, Virgin Brides, Virgin Clothing and Virginware. All these businesses ended up costing him time and money, but they haven't stopped him trying new ideas.
I'm not suggesting we wear rose tinted glasses and ignore our mistakes or pretend they were anything other than what they were, but I am suggesting that we don't let them hold us back. No matter our big they were. Learn from them, don't repeat them and use them to spur you on.
I'll see you in the arena …
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