You have probably heard the stat that 90% of new businesses fail within the first year. What’s the lesson here? Don’t fail!
But, the message of not failing or making mistakes is misplaced. There are many benefits of making mistakes for entrepreneurs. That’s because you don’t learn anything from success.
If you want to find out why making mistakes at work will improve your business in the long-run, read below!
1. Success is a Lousy Teacher
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates was right when he said “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”.
Think about what you’ve already learned in your life. You don’t learn much from your successful relationships. But boy, you really get to know yourself after a stinker.
It’s the same with business. What sets the accomplished entrepreneurs apart from the rest is the ability to improve on what came before.
If you have the “silver-spoon” treatment, you’re not going to learn much, either.
2. “Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.”
The Irish playwright Samuel Beckett had bucket loads of wisdom to share. Especially when it came to failing.
Even if you occasionally make mistakes in your business ventures, it’s always better to have attempted the impossible than to never have dared. Mistakes are part of life and business.
It’s about brushing yourself down and getting back on the wagon. It’s never easy finding the motivation to keep going when you keep making mistakes, but it’s the only way you’re going to succeed.
3. You’re Smarter as a Consequence
Are you smart? The answer lies in whether you fit the below description:
“For individuals with a growth mindset, who believe intelligence develops through effort, mistakes are seen as opportunities to learn and improve. For individuals with a fixed mindset, who believe intelligence is a stable characteristic, mistakes indicate lack of ability.”
Clever researchers in psychology who know a thing or two say a positive approach to making mistakes makes you smarter. Don’t argue with them!
And did you know your brain gets bigger and smaller according to the mistakes you make?
According to Scientific American, when you’re making mistakes, you’re also maturing your brain. You cause your synapses to improve in efficiency and your neurons are altered fundamentally.
4. They Don’t Usually Matter Much
Okay, sometimes mistakes matter a lot. But in the grand scheme of things, nothing matters. Did you send “reply all” to an email intended for a single client?
Have you got an important meeting with a client but you just can’t remember their name? Who cares?
Just apologize and move onto the next challenge. Most of the time, it’s never as bad as you imagine it’s going to be.
5. You Discover What Works
Sometimes, business is a matter of trial and error. You don’t always get it right the first time. But if you want to be innovative and creative, you may have to make mistakes along the way.
Think about the world-famous inventor of the light bulb, Thomas Edison. When he was confronted about his failures he responded that he had not failed 10,000 times. Instead, he claimed he had discovered 10,000 methods which didn’t work.
Every time you’re trying to work out a solution to an as yet unsolved problem, remember Edison and the light bulb.
6. People Will Trust You
Do you want to advertise your business as a flawless and perfect company? You probably assume promoting yourself as an entrepreneur who never makes mistakes improves customer trust.
However, it’s the opposite. Your customers aren’t stupid — they know everyone makes mistakes.
What makes you different from the rest? You’re transparent and open when something goes wrong. You can also show your integrity by taking ownership of your failures.
People can relate to you when you make mistakes. You can show you’re authentic when you’re vulnerable. You’ll be surprised by how people respond to this.
7. Opportunity to Show You Care
Every company claims to care about their customers. But how can you show you really care?
If you mess up a client’s order, you have a chance to compensate. You could offer the customer a generous discount on their next purchase from you.
Sure, it may cost you time and money when you make the mistake. But, you’ve shown the customer you actually care about their customer experience. People really appreciate this.
8. Never Been Stung?
Do you know anyone who has never been stung by a bee? They’re nearly always terrified of bees.
Why’s that? It’s because they don’t know what the reality of being stung feels like. Once you know, you realize it’s not actually too bad.
It’s the same with making mistakes. If you never make mistakes, you’ll be really risk-averse.
You may be presented with an amazing opportunity to enter a new market, but it comes with high risks. Maybe you don’t bother.
A business partner offers you a fantastic collaborative chance to work together. You could profit from the joint-enterprise if only you’re willing to make a go of it.
By creating a culture of risk-taking in your business, you cultivate an environment in which making mistakes is “okay”.
Your employees know if they make mistakes they can talk to you about it. They’re not absolutely scared that you’re going to come down on them like a tonne of bricks.
Why Making Mistakes is Good Business
It may seem counter-intuitive, but making mistakes is actually good for business. It’s inevitable that you’re going to make mistakes during the ups and downs of running your own business.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to take responsibility and ownership when things go wrong. If you want to discover more about how to be successful as an entrepreneur, check out our blog post on real small success stories.