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It is often the case that people state an opinion based on their own experiences, both good and bad, without explaining the scenarios and back stories that helped them formulate the theory that they’re sharing. When considering this in the context of entrepreneurship and business, it is just as important to hear about your miscalculations and your large and small errors in judgment, as it is to hear about your brilliant moments of clarity. All too often I am forced to vet an interview because the entrepreneur doesn’t want to admit to a single mistake or setback. If you, as a successful businessperson, cannot admit that there were bumps on the long road up, then you are depriving others from learning from your precious mistakes. Those same mistakes were a valuable learning tool for you- so what makes you think that they aren’t going to serve that same purpose for someone else?
Tons of effective motivational speakers do exactly that. They will share a story from their repertoire of successes and failures, then explain the process behind each learning curve, and finally culminate with the moral of the story. The moral of the story isn’t necessarily a “moral,” but it’s the point that we should be taking away from the narrative. In essence, it’s basically telling the audience: “This is what I believe works for my business, and this is how I arrived at that operational strategy.” It is always great to have global entrepreneurs express interest in sharing their ups and downs with our readership, but it’s exceptional when these ups and downs are anecdotal. This is primarily because reading about the pitfalls of starting your own business (and the negative moments when no one believed it could be done) is just as useful as the story about the time when you won an award for your innovation.
There are merits to admitting what you weren’t good at, and how you went about besting that specific challenge. (Not the least of which is the benefit of having the audience eager to hear how you overcame that major or minor setback, and what you do would have done differently in hindsight.) It is unfortunate that some of the ‘treps who have volumes of useful anecdotal support from their constant trials with their now-skyrocketing businesses choose not to talk about the times when things didn’t go exactly right for them. There are tons of times that my life mentors have shared “what not to do” stories with me, and I have grown immeasurably career-wise due to their tutelage.Entrepreneurs, I guess what I’m asking for is for you to continue to send me your success stories, but along with the goods send me the bads- I look forward to learning from the things you know that don’t work and hearing how you learned what does work.