FAIL = First Attempt In Learning.
I think of myself as a conservative person, not a big risk taker and not game to try things that seem a bit too risky.
When there is a decision to make, I draw pictures, diagrams and create pros and cons lists to help make a decision. Sometimes this can go on for a long time before I make a decision. I think I need to reduce the possibility of making mistakes.
Now I still think it is essential that you look at the risks involved when making decisions but I have realised that some of the best opportunities in life have happened as a result of just jumping in and having a go.
The first year I left school I spent travelling around Australia with a band staying in different houses with a different family every week. New towns, new food and many new experiences. If I had taken the time to consider the pros and cons I may have never taken the opportunity.
Then it occurred to me that starting your own business, setting up a company is potentially a huge risk. Again, I didn’t consider the risk of failure as much as the benefits of setting up my own company.
Along the way I have made many mistakes, I have re-focused many times and changed how I do business and the processes I use, what I discovered is that making mistakes, taking educated risks, is the only way to move forward. There is only one thing that stops progress, that’s the fear of failure, the fear of making mistakes.
The biggest mistake you can make is to not do something because of what may or may not happen. Most of our fears are in our own minds.
Whether it is music or technology, recording an album or song and worrying if people will like it or writing some software, not sure if people will be able to use it. All of these have risks and potential for failure, but each time you record a new song or write some more software, you usually get better at it.
The experiences, failures and issues that you have are something you can learn from, overcome and gradually become better at what you do.
I used to think that we learn the most from our failures, but I have really discovered that we learn the most from our successes. Take notice of what you do really well and do it again, but better.
I remember when I was 17, I asked a record producer how do I record an album as good as the one he had just release. His answer was simple, choose an album you really like and record your own version of every song on the album. Listen back at what worked the best and do that again, but better. Choose another album and repeat until your recordings sound how you want them to sound.
The best way to become great at anything is to spend the time working on it repeatedly until you have discovered all the right ways to do something and then you can be very proud of what you have achieved.
You can theorise about the possible outcomes for anything, but until you put it into action, you will not discover what really works and what doesn’t work.
Don’t put yourself in ridiculously risky situations, but don’t wait until everything is perfect, the stars align, the tea leaves say everything is ok and five hundred people have said it is ok.
Discuss your ideas with people you trust and especially with people that have achieved what you want to do. They have the experience to show you how to make it work.
Above all, learning from your own personal experience is the greatest teacher that teaches you the most critical lessons.
If you want to write a song and release an album or write your own software that will make things easier for you and your business, just do it.
Don’t let a fear of failure stop you from achieving your potential. If you don’t do it, someone else will and you will be left sitting there thinking, ‘I could have done that’, if only I had given it a go’.