You know what’s interesting about entrepreneurship? You are never really done learning. As soon as you hit one income goal – there’s another one in front of you. As soon as you surpass that goal – there’s something new to learn.
And here’s the thing about learning. You can’t really learn something if you aren’t willing to stumble. And when we stumble, we experience disappointment, shame, anger and/or embarrassment.
I was recently at a conference where I was one of 30 speakers. The leader of the group asked everyone how everyone would respond if they messed up or didn’t get the results they wanted.
I was astounded as everyone raised their hand and said things like, “I will learn from it. Or I’ll determine what I did wrong.”
I thought to myself, that’s not how I would respond. Not at first.
First I would beat myself up.
Then I would be disappointed.
Then I would determine what I would correct.
Then I’d move on.
When I raised my hand and said that, I could feel some relief in the room.
And my mentor asked me – “how could you skip steps one and two and move directly onto step three and four much faster?”
I started thinking about this and I realized that the way I motivated myself was by pointing out and focusing on that which was wrong with myself. I was actually worried that if I didn’t see it and harp on it, that I might not get better.
As I shared this realization with others, many agreed that they were motivated in the same way.
I started to wonder about what would happen if we all just started from a place of being OK. What would happen if we accepted that we needed to stumble in order to learn? What would happen if we talked more publicly about our failures as much as we talked about our successes? What would happen if we dropped the myths that we carried about other people being perfect and realized that everyone started somewhere?
I decided to try it. And the results have been good. I work faster. I judge less. I move on. I still feel the pain of disappointment. But it just stings less. And I move forward more quickly.
I invite you to join me on this quest. To stop judging, circling and doubting when you aren’t perfect, but instead to realize that it’s all part of the human experience. I know, easier said than done.
But what if the new normal was that we all stumbled along the way. And the stumbles are what caused us to grow the fastest? Then the stumbles would be the best parts, and without them we would grow much more slowly.
So here’s to stumbling along the entrepreneurial path together – and moving forward so much faster.
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