What To Do When You Make A Mistake

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Recently I had lunch with a Japanese friend of mine who had made a few mistakes in the beginning of a business venture. He was really depressed and down in the dumps. He also did not want to tell anyone involved in the venture about the mistakes, which would only serve to compound the issue.

When he told me what the mistakes were I laughed. This through him for a loop, and he said, Why are you laughing at me?"

That made me laugh even more. All the mistakes he made were easy to fix, and after I finished laughing I put him in the car and took him to my office where I called a couple of friends, explained the situation to them, and had them take care of my friend. In a little over an hour I had "fixed" all his problems.

He almost started crying, and I told him I'd have none of that in my office. I told him about all the mistakes I made when I started my business, and that I continue to make mistakes every day.

As the philosopher said, "There is no teacher like experience."

No matter what you are involved in, you will always make mistakes.In fact, the more you try to avoid mistakes the more frequently they happen. Mistakes are the way we learn from the time we were born. Just watch a six month old who already knows they would like to walk. They stand up, with or without help, and try that first step, and fall down. Then they do it again and again and again, and who knows how many times they did it wrong, we only remember when they did it right.

When we finally get things right we know a helluva lot about what not to do. We learn a lesson by doing things the wrong way.
Very few ever do the right thing on the first try or venture. The ones who do often take a large fall later, because they never had the chance to fail early.

Edison failed 10,000 times to get the lightbulb right, but when he did he lit up an entire country, and probably the world.

Without failure we wouldn't have any idea of what a beautiful thing success is. And though it often appears that someone succeeded overnight, that is rarely, if ever true.

Most of my successful friends banged on the door of success for years before it opened.

When you make a mistake you just brush it off and say "I'm one step closer to what I want!"

Jim Whelan is The chairman of Board and owner of The James R Whelan Agency - The Most Powerful Name in Advertising. Please sign up for his daily free newsletter at thejamesrwhelanagency.com

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