Every man has heard this phrase: Never go back. What does it mean? If we get all philosophical about it, it means that you can’t bring back what’s already gone. Time is something we can’t have back. If we’re being manly and practical about it, we would choose this meaning for the phrase: don’t make the same mistakes again.
If we take it further, never going back includes something more: you don’t have to learn the same lesson twice. If it was a good experience, of course you can repeat it, but always try to learn something new from it.
This method is incredibly successful in entrepreneurship. In fact, if you look at successful entrepreneurs, you’ll notice they don’t repeat failures. Even those people can afford to fail, but they can’t afford to repeat the things that got them there. We can all learn from that practice.
Here are 7 things that successful entrepreneurs can’t afford to do ever again:
Fail to Learn from Failure
Big star entrepreneurs didn’t become successful overnight. Hiten Shah, co-founder at KISSmetrics, said that he and his partner invested $1,000,000 in a web hosting company that didn’t even launch. That’s a million we’re talking about. They did that without being aware of the needs of their audience.
Did that failure lead to giving up? No. They understood their mistake: they had to be smarter with the spending. They had to learn more and understand what their customers needed. Then, they launched a successful project that made up for that mistake.
Harvard researchers are clear about it: persistence is one of the key factors for successful entrepreneurship. If you launch an unsuccessful website, you may give up on it after estimating there’s no chance for fixing the damage. However, you won’t give up on your goal to become a successful entrepreneur.
You’ll identify the flaws of this project. Did it fail because of lack of planning? Did you invest too much? Did you fail to estimate the needs of your target audience? Did you try to do too much by yourself? If you fail, learn from that experience! Identify all steps that led to the disastrous ending. Never make those mistakes again, but keep trying to start a successful business.
Forget the Purpose
High achievers go through school knowing what they want to become. They start a career with a vision of the place it will lead them to. Sometimes they come across opportunities that encourage them to adjust that vision. That’s okay. You may start a clothing brand and end up with a successful company that sells umbrellas if that’s where you see potential. However, you must never forget the reasons why you want to get where you’re aiming for.
It’s all about the passion. If you look at Richard Branson, for example, you can see the passion for doing business in everything he does. That’s an example we should all learn from: do something we’re passionate about and be excited to going to work every single day.
Do Something They Weren’t Meant to Do
Everyone has faced the challenge of changing themselves into something they are not. We’re all expected to fit into a pattern, so we tend to wear the right clothes for the right occasion and basically do what others expect us to do. When we become real men, however, we move away from the need to make ourselves likeable to other people.
You’re constantly under pressure to do something you’re not meant to do. When you realize that there’s a lot of potential in the yoga business, you might be tempted to invest in it. When you see everyone getting dressed up for a meeting, you might think it’s time for a complete wardrobe reinvention. Step by step, you might end up being a person you no longer recognize.
Let me ask you a question: did you see Steve Jobs being affected from the jokes about his turtleneck and sneakers. On the contrary; he used that image to built a recognizable identity. He remained who he always was.
Shy Away from a Challenge
If you recognize a challenge worthy of consideration, you shouldn’t allow fear to stop you.
Let’s say you want to start a business, but you’re afraid it would fail. Think: what would a successful entrepreneur do? They might give up on the idea for now. Maybe it’s because they don’t have enough money to invest or they are still not ready to risk their current job for a project with a risky outlook.
They will, however, go back to that idea sooner or later. If they give up on that thought for good, they will find another challenge to conquer. That’s what makes them successful in business: finding and facing challenges.
Leadership doesn’t come easy. Sometimes it’s scary, but that’s the good kind of fear; the kind that keeps you looking for solutions. You will face long hours, budget issues, sudden demands from the audience, and unreliable predictions. A successful entrepreneur faces those challenges without being afraid to step out from the comfort zone. In fact, there’s no such thing as a comfort zone when we’re talking about real success.
Blame Others for Their Own Failure
Businessmen don’t do things alone. They depend on other people: the team, collaborators, business partners, customers… the least goes on and on. Moreover, their inner inspiration depends on the people who surround them, even if those relations are not related to work.
However, if their business gets in troubles, they never start pointing fingers. Early in your career, you might be so devastated by a broken relationship that you’ll blame her for everything. It happens to the best of us. However, a successful entrepreneur never repeats that mistake. If they want something, they make it happen.
If the team fails, they find the blame in themselves, since they didn’t hire the right people. They will learn from that mistake and keep doing what they do best.
Expecting People to Be Perfect
This expectation leads to huge disappointment. We always have high expectations from other people. When we’re trying to find the right people to hire, we want them to be hardworking, reliable, innovative, creative, brave, and healthy. Most of all, we want them to be motivated all the time. The problem is: there’s no such person. If you keep having these expectations, you’ll end up disappointed with every single hire you make.
Successful people have made that mistake, too. They’ve been disappointed in friends, partners, and coworkers. That experience made them understand: every person comes with their own strengths and flaws. They still hire them, even when they see through the mask on interviews. However, they don’t expect them to be perfect and they provide opportunities for growth.
You don’t need perfect people in your team; you need people who are motivated to grow.
Forgetting that Their Own Motivation Is Important
When we observe high achievers from the outside, it seems to us like their lives are all about success, adventures and happiness. That’s not really the case. If they are happy and fulfilled, it’s not because they are lucky. It’s because they’ve overcome the inner obstacles that prevent them from being happy.
Sometimes life hits you so hard that you forget how motivated you were at the beginning of this journey. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll never allow that to happen again. Your own mindset is the factor of success. It sets the track for the further development of your business.
In conclusion, there’s only one thing to conclude: mistakes are part of everyone’s life. What makes successful people different, however, is the way they deal with those mistakes and carry on with their lives and businesses. Each experience makes you smarter. Take that for a fact!