My goal in 2015 was to make as many mistakes as possible.
MORE mistakes, not less.
In business, preferably.
Because the only people who NEVER make mistakes are the people who don’t accomplish anything. It’s impossible to have any kind of serious success without making lots of mistakes, without trying new and uncertain ideas. And by making mistakes my GOAL, I gave myself permission to do stuff that might totally fail, to shake the flawed misconception that I need to have a perfect score, that every endeavor must succeed.
The key is to make manageable, survivable mistakes. You don’t want to bet the farm on a risky venture. I like the idea of firing bullets, then cannonballs. If you’re trying to sink an enemy ship at sea, and you only have so much ammunition and gun powder, you are better off risking a bit of gun powder and a small bullet on the first shot, which you aren’t sure will hit. You can miss a few of these with only minor consequences. But eventually, a bullet hits. You’re onto something. You’re lined up correctly. You fire another bullet the exact same way. It hits again. A third one, just to be sure – success again. NOW you launch the cannonball. Now go all in. Make mistakes, but risk small, so you can double-down on the things that work.
Since making that goal to make more mistakes in 2015, Life Saver has done some unique stuff. Interesting accessories, bold product upgrades, crazy marketing ideas, unconventional hiring, and more. We’ve definitely succeeded in making lots of mistakes. But our yearly sales have also TRIPLED since then, and continue to climb.
Only losers don’t make mistakes. Give yourself permission to fail in order to succeed at a higher level.