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5 Lessons You Learn From Your Business Mistakes

Successful people might keep making new mistakes but they never repeat an old one.
5 Lessons You Learn From Your Business Mistakes
Image credit: Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Images

Mistakes are what make us. Business mistakes are ultimately what enable us to grow going forward. I’ve experienced a fair few business mistakes during my career. I credit them with giving me the tools I need to succeed far more than my successes have.

Here are five ways to learn from your business mistakes.

1. Ignore what the mainstream thinks.

The mainstream consists mainly of the average person. The average person hasn’t and never will achieve the success you’re aiming for. If you’re looking to the mainstream for help you’re looking in the wrong place. Only a small percentage of people are successful, so it doesn’t make sense to look to the majority for help.

Related: 10 Mistakes Intelligent People Never Make Twice

2. Don’t ignore the old ways.

Young students always want to find that revolutionary way of doing things. They want to do this in the stock market and they want to do this with their startups. This is a mistake because trying to reinvent the wheel is often a waste of time and effort when the old ways work perfectly well.

When you make a business mistake you need to examine whether you simply tried to be too smart. Sometimes you need to fall back on the tried and tested.

Related: When Millionaires Make Mistakes

3. Be ambitious.

I’m not saying you should never be reckless, but I’ve lost count of the number of students who have followed my trading lessons and then shorted way too early on stocks that are blowing up. You shouldn’t always assume you’ll win, but with anything in life you must take a risk and you must be ambitious. Giving up too early means you’re missing those huge wins.

Related: Former Apple CEO John Sculley: You Learn From Your Mistakes ...

4. Aim for the small wins.

Sometimes we have those huge wins and huge losses. Those are the ones we tend to dwell on. But look at the balance sheet of any business and you’ll see that the bulk of a company’s income comes from the small wins. They come from the regular clients who pay repeatedly.

The small wins are far more valuable than those occasional home runs. Aim to create consistent income. Unbelievably, this will mitigate your losses.

Related: Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I've Had My Share. Learn From Your Highs and Lows.

5. Don’t go all in.

Most ventures fail simply because people hang their hats on that one shot. Think about going all-in on your next hand at the poker table. How often is that going to turn out well?

One of the ways you can learn from your business mistakes is by looking at the failed ventures before you. So many failed entrepreneurs decided to place all their chips on a single bet. They didn’t try to build multiple income streams and they didn’t prepare for the worst-case scenario.

Learning from others is the best option at your disposal.

Related: 5 Lessons for First-Time Entrepreneurs I Learned the Hard Way

These five principles happen to be the five biggest mistakes that destroy investors and businesses alike. Examine whether you’ve made any of these mistakes, or whether you’re making them right now.