Failure is the path to success
How many of you have sucked at dating? Or work? Or life in general? I have and I did. I have made SO many mistakes in my life that it bears not thinking about. I still fail, I still get it wrong and I still screw up. Why? Well I’m not perfect. Not in the least. The younger me strived for perfection, always trying to do the right thing. Not only what I perceived as the right thing but what I perceived others would think the right thing was. Sounds insane right? All that trying to keep my life perfect and a perfect image of what others see me as.
A strange thing happened to me a couple of years ago. Previously I was a community teacher; so I would go into disadvantaged groups and areas and learn these people to use IT. Not just any old IT, I’d ask them what they wanted from it and work out a plan. Which suited me perfectly, I was in the position of power and everything I said was deemed correct (it usually was, computing is a Science, not an Art). And then I changed roles, and stepped up some, and became a person that designed a service like these courses. So now not only was I in charge of designing this service, but hiring and managing the people that will oversee it.
At first I was always trying to get things right, do the right thing and never do anything wrong. Be the golden boy of the computing service. Sadly, through that attitude I went and completely screwed everything up, not technically, but from a productive sense. My planning and attitude was all wrong. Then over the space of a week a realllly beautiful thing happened to me. I started to think, “well, I tried this earlier – perhaps we’ll do it this way this time” – I knew the theory behind it, but the application was oh so much different. I was now effectively learning by my mistakes. Something I’d never ever done before.
…And this, this was the start of a new era in my life. Old perfectionist me was dying, and a more open and forward thinking me was being born. And just for the record that service flourished; I made it the best God damned computing service in the Town. Of course with help from a lot of people; my Manager, other staff in the vicinity, the volunteers, the people that used the service, the networking connections I made to name a few.
So once that had ended and funding ran out I took to this blog, and to YouTube (I should have my Camera fixed tomorrow so watch this space). And people; some people say to me – “well, you’ve been doing this for almost six months now Raymond. Shouldn’t it be time to go out and get a real job and axe this on the head” But what people seem to not understand is that when I started this blog I was new. I knew I had a blog and I wanted to make some money with it but I knew that wouldn’t be instant overnight success. I had to learn about internet marketing, read about SEO, sign up for a ton of Udemy courses, keep up to date with everything new on the blogging scene. The list is literally endless.
It’s commonplace for people to start something and then give up when it hits a roadblock. We’ve been so finely attuned to instant reward that we’re losing sight of intrinsic rewards. Doing something for the long term for later gratification; that and I get enjoyment from doing it. You see Bill Gates didn’t wake up one day and think, I’m going to build Microsoft and be an overnight Millionaire. Neither did Steve Jobs. And I bet no-one knew that Apple has been around for decades and decades. Right?
So how did they achieve success? How did they do it? By testing what works and what doesn’t and not getting caught up on what doesn’t work. Why obsess about what doesn’t work? Learn it and avoid it. Look at me right? I’ve had SO many failures with women that I have a definitive guide of what not to do. Haha. And thus, by failing lots you gain hardened experience of what works and what doesn’t. So you’ve had 10 views on your blog in a week? Don’t give up, ask yourself what you’re doing wrong. No-one is contacting your business? Don’t give up! How can you improve it!
And in my experience when you begin something, fail. Fail HARD and fail again. That way you can truly begin something worth owning.