Don’t try to avoid others’ mistakes to succeed in your business, embrace making your own
When I was kid, I used to imagine I was a famous actor.
Well, I was mostly pretending to appear on talk shows being interviewed by the host. I was funny and entertaining and everyone loved me. And I would talk about some of the hard stuff I’d had in my life…you know, to be real and relatable.
Of course, this isn’t what it’s like to be a successful actor.
It’s a lot of work. Memorizing scripts, doing take after take, having to get along with difficult people, loads of sexism, having to maintain your appearance and so much more. There’s good and there’s bad. And the reality of it is different for every actor.
The reality of entrepreneurship
No matter how much you think you know, you can’t know what something will be like until you do it.
For 9 years, I worked closely with business owners so I knew what was involved in building and growing a business. And yet, until you do something yourself, you can never really know how it will feel. What your day-to-day experience will be like.
No one can save you from mistakes
No matter how well intentioned coaches and teachers are, their experience isn’t yours.
This is why I’m not a fan of marketing copy that says: “I want to save you the time and hassle I went through. Don’t make the same mistakes I made.” Because, guess what, that’s just part of the deal.
Your reality can only be your reality
I confess that I’ve written copy just like that.
At the time I thought it was possible to help people by pointing out what they shouldn’t do. But that’s not how our minds work. We don’t take advice and put it into practice and then all is tickety boo. We have our own environment, biases, mindset that cannot be extricated from our behaviour and actions.
While we are more similar than different, we have our own realities so we need to make our own mistakes.
It’s great to learn from others but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can ever really avoid the same messy process they went through. (The irony of this advice is not lost on me.)