Why Mistakes or Failure Could be Your Key to Success

“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” ––Henry C. Link

What is a key to success that we often overlook? Making mistakes or failure.

I was talking to one of my clients today. She mentioned that she was afraid of making mistakes in her business. She feared investing time and money into something that may not pan out. I reassured her that she probably will make mistakes. But making mistakes is not a bad thing. Mistakes are nothing to fear.

Thomas Edison discovered 1,800 ways not to make a light bulb before he found the way to make it. One of Madame Curie’s failures was discovering radium. Christopher Columbus was looking for India when he discovered the new world—big mistake there! Even chocolate chip cookies were a mistake. And there is the ubiquitous post-it note—the glue that wasn’t sticky enough—another great mistake. All of these mistakes and failures were the key to success. 

Some of the very best inventions and discoveries in the history of the world have been mistakes or failed projects. The great thing about mistakes is that they can lead to a new and different way of thinking or doing that you wouldn’t have tried if you had succeeded. Do not fear mistakes: instead see what they can be used for or what new world is now revealed that you didn’t see before.

In sales, if you know that you need 100 rejections before you’ll get that one customer who says yes, then you can get excited about every “no” because you know you now only need 98 more to reach a “yes.”  If one way isn’t working, think positively like Edison—he looked at each failure as learning just one more way that didn’t work.

As some famous person once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, find out what the losers get.”

What fears of failure have stopped you from doing what you really want?

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