I was once given a brilliant piece of advice years and years ago, that I’ve used now for a long time in my career. That is, to take risks and make lots of decisions each week, so that when something inevitably goes wrong(!), you own it and ‘fire’ yourself! It’s a brilliant piece of advice that I’d recommend to everyone, as it celebrates mistakes and allows for them to happen.
So often in business, we get scared to try something new, or work out of our comfort zone. This is especially true for small businesses, where every penny and minute counts, but the beauty of being small is that you have the flexibility to take risks and try something different!
As Lloyd Jones once said, ‘Those who try to do something and fail, are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing, and succeed.’
For me, the times where I’ve learnt the most about myself and my business are when things have gone wrong; when I’ve been jolted from the easy pace of normality and had to think differently. I’m sure this is the case for many of you reading this. Mistakes are our best teachers, because they cause us to act. Not only that, but they make life interesting! Taking risks makes you smarter, more diligent and more creative; if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with something original.
In my 10am’s on a Friday, I ask the team to talk about, why they’d have fired themselves that week? They know that not having something meaningful to bring to that discussion, will not make me happy. I’m breeding a culture, where it’s frowned upon to not have made mistakes. No fuck ups – means the pace was too slow, not enough tried, we’d not pushed things to the limit and we aren’t being entrepreneurial enough.
Keep pushing boundaries, and lead yourself and your team into unexplored territories. Be an adventurer and discover new lands. When things don’t quite work out, remember to ‘fire yourself’ and analyse what you’ve learned. Then have laugh, brush it off and move forward. I guarantee you’ll be stronger for it!