One of the most universally accepted things in life is that we all make mistakes. As hard as this may be to believe, even I’m prone to the occasional blunder and misstep – it’s infrequent, but it does happen from time to time.
All kidding aside, in business, the secret to success is how quickly you identify your mistakes, make the appropriate correction, then figure out how to learn from that experience and move on to bigger and better things. If you dwell on the mistake, refuse to learn from it or maybe the worst of all, be stubborn and refuse to accept you’ve screwed up, then that’s how businesses fail.
Here’s an interesting story about mistakes and how sometimes they turn out to be incredible in the end.
We all know Albert Einstein. During his time it was widely held that the universe was static, neither growing or shrinking. Einstein believed this as well, but unfortunately for him, the math didn’t work out. In his Theory of General Relativity, the math always shook out that the universe is either expanding or contracting, never static.
This posed quite the dilemma for Einstein because of his belief in the static universe concept. To resolve this, Einstein came up with an idea called the “Cosmological Constant” that acted as a sort of anti-gravity pushing outward on the universe to counteract the attraction of matter.
It was a clumsy solution and Einstein later in life referred to it as his greatest blunder because only a few years later Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was indeed expanding. Einstein was always embarrassed by his Cosmological Constant idea.
Let’s move forward and we now know the universe is not only expanding, but it’s expanding at an ever-increasing rate. Unfortunately for physicists, there’s really no known explanation for this – nobody can work out what force is driving this acceleration.
As a result, physicists have positioned some referred to as Dark Energy as the thing driving the increasing acceleration. In fact, this unknown and unexplained form of energy actually makes up about 70% of the total energy in the entire universe according to the math.
Interestingly enough, Dark Energy, this strange and unique concept that is pushing out on the universe, strangely enough, sounds an awful lot like Einstein’s Cosmological Constant – in fact, some physicists believe that old Albert may have been right all along, that there is something fuelling an outward pressure on the universe that counteracts gravity.
His huge mistake could actually turn out to be his single greatest logical leap… And we’re talking about Einstein here, so that’s a big call.
I’m hardly in the league of Albert Einstein in the intellect department, although I do think I have him beat for hair and wardrobe. It’s also pretty weird that he married his first cousin – I picked my spouse from across the globe, so my efforts to strengthen the gene pool with diversification are way better than his.
Suck on that, Albert.
Sorry, got a bit lost there. Anyhoo, my point was that I’ve made some absolute whoppers of mistakes in my business over the years and have recovered to turn them into something of a success. Not like the discovery of Dark Energy type success, but pretty close (not really).
For example, this email is a great example. I spent years writing witty and inspired content for other people’s sites and forums. I know, I know, I’m not giving myself enough credit by referring to my thoughts as merely “witty and inspired” but a guy needs to be humble occasionally. The point is, I was writing stuff of value in places where other people were deriving far more benefit from me for my efforts – that was a dumb mistake.
With that in mind, last year I decided to largely stop doing that and focus on delivering that value to my own platform – this email list and the Casual Marketer Monthly Newsletter (which is awesome by the way, you should join). As a result, I’ve quickly built a five figure business from my own graft with the potential to get to six figures.
That’s turning an epic piece of stupidity and failure into a success.
You can probably name four or five things in your business right now that are not going the way you would like or maybe they’re on the verge of being deemed outright failures. Now is your chance, take the opportunity to analyse what went wrong, understand if you can correct the problem and if so, take action to turn those mistakes into successes.
Nobody is going to do this for you.
You have to grab the bull by the horns and do this yourself and there’s no time like the present.