3 Ways to Wring Great Ideas From Mistakes Mistakes are inevitable. What comes after is up to you.

By Matthew Turner

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


A wise German by the name of Einstein once said, "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." Entrepreneurs dedicate their lives to inventing, reinventing and pushing the boundaries, so it's safe to assume mistakes are part of your journey.

Despite this, you're afraid of making them because you believe mistakes lead to failure and failure prevents you from achieving success. Well, not quite. After listening to more than 160 inspiring and successful entrepreneurs share their greatest ever mistake, I've learned mistakes often lead to bigger, better and brighter ideas.

Consider mistakes merely learning in disguise, as Jayson Gaignard does, the mastermind behind MasterMind Talks. Today, Jayson bumps shoulders with the likes of Tim Ferris, James Altucher and Ryan Holiday, but only after he made mistakes and slipped into $250,000 of debt.

Entrepreneurs like Jayson overcome and transform their mistakes each day. They don't possess a skill you or I don't but, rather, a mindset that's easier to achieve than you may think.

Mistakes are scary. You don't want to make them, and I don't encourage you to underestimate them in any shape or form. But whether you like it or not, they happen. What I've found separates the seasoned entrepreneur from everyone else is they accept this. They don't fear the mistakes they make.

You have the ability to transform your next mistake into an epic success, just as entrepreneurs like Jayson do each day. It begins with accepting that they happen, embracing them when they do and pushing your fear to one side. From here you can follow these three tips and transform your next faux pas into something wonderful.

1. Walk away from the moment.

Successful and seasoned entrepreneurs don't rush into a decision after making a mistake.

Although Jayson faced $250,000 of debt, he distanced himself from his money problems so he could move on with his life. "I faced bankruptcy," he told me, recalling the period between his first business and MasterMind Talks. "I figured the bank could take my car and other measly assets, but not my relationships."

Jayson spent his money and time on building connections, despite the harsh reality of losing his house and more. Rather than dwell on his mistake and debt, he walked away from the moment to ensure he saw the bigger picture.

A difficult and brave decision? Of course, but it's during times like these you prove your entrepreneurial worth.

Related: 5 Social Media Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

2. Don't procrastinate.

Don't confuse walking away from the moment with procrastination. Jayson didn't wallow in self-loathing and delay the inevitable. Instead, he took a step back to take action.

"Whatever money I had left, I invested in myself and my relationships," he said, explaining why he made the somewhat irrational decision to spend money he didn't have.

He considered these dinners fundamental building blocks to stronger relationships. Each moment you spend pretending your mistake doesn't exist is a moment wasted. You need to take action. You need to make decisions. Take a step back but then get back to work.

3. Involve your audience and network.

Sharing your failures isn't easy, but the last thing a seasoned entrepreneur does is keep it to them self. You don't need to write a heart warming blog post but simply surround yourself with those you trust and who inspire you.

"We all have a yearning to connect with like-minded individuals," Jayson said, describing the value his relationships bring.

It would be easy to drink alone in your room after racking up $250,000 of debt, or after any mistake for that matter. Successful entrepreneurs don't, because they appreciate the value their network offers. Jayson didn't sell anything at these mastermind dinners. He didn't ask for help.

He surrounded himself with individuals who "get it' to learn as many lessons as he could.

Your next mistake is a bump in the road.

I don't wish to glorify mistakes, but the reality is you'll make them. When you do, accept them for what they are: mere bumps in the road.

I'm lucky to have listened to dozens of stories like Jayson's. What I've found is successful entrepreneurs possess a positive mindset instead. That's good news because it means the next time you make a mistake, you can transform it into your best idea yet.

Related: 3 Stories on Bouncing Back From Failure

Matthew Turner

Author and Brand Storyteller

Matthew Turner is the author of The Successful Mistake: How 163 of The World's Greatest Entrepreneurs Transform Failure Into Success. To learn how you can do the same, visit successfulmistake.com/entrepreneur.

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