Learning From Your Mistakes / by Benjamin Steele

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Blog #19

Whether socially, financially, academically or entrepreneurially, we all will make mistakes in life. We fail tests, forget to pay rent. We buy shoes that we really can't afford and get overly frustrated with work colleagues. We fight with those that we love and accept the wrong job offer. There really isn't any way around it, there are times when we will make mistakes; the key, however, is how we react to those mistakes that we make.

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Thomas Edison said after he had invented the lightbulb, "I never once failed at making a light bulb. I just found out 99 ways not to make one."

Edison understood that mistakes played an essential role in his progression as an inventor. He knew that creating something remarkable wouldn't be an easy task. He had the foresight to see that he was on the track to something brilliant. He didn't give up on the 10th attempt or the 30th or the 98th. No, he took every small lesson that he learned with each mistake and applied it to the final product that has changed mankind forever.

Since I started my company Sir Wylde, God knows I've made mistakes. Unfortunately, it's typically been the mistake of trusting the wrong people. A good example is on my first round of manufacturing, I trusted the wrong factory. They ended up shorting me on the amount of products I ordered, were terrible at communicating and delivered months late when I had 100s of pre-orders on the line. Sure it was a tough situation, but still I think it may have taught me one of the most valuable lessons that I have learned thus far.

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When someone is draining the success of your business and is preventing you from doing as good as you know you can, you need to move on. You need to be willing to cut all ties and find someone else. My new manufacturer is incredible. They are honest. They are quality. And they deliver on time. Of course, I am bound to make a mistake in my first time manufacturing a product at a large scale. The key is, that I do not make that same mistake again.

Have you ever heard the analogy of the turkeys at the conference? ...

There's these two turkeys who attend a conference with Johnny the Bald Eagle. They're so excited because Johnny will be teaching them how to properly fly that day. Once the conference begins, they are quickly put to work. They spend the next six hours, drilling and perfecting their techniques until they miraculously lift off the ground and sour beautifully. As the conference ends, they are so happy and satisfied with themselves and their accomplishment. "We just flew! Wow!" they think. They have been first two of their kind to fly like eagles.

When the conference ends, they go and grab their things, turn and walk home.

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We are too often like those turkeys from the story. In our lives, we often have an experience, that teaches us a life changing lesson, and then we turn and walk home. We learn how to fly, but we don't and we forget.

I'm sure you get my point. We are always going to make mistakes and we are always going to experience failures. What's important is that we get back up, keep moving, and learn to be better in the future. I believe that if we do this, we will eventually go create something remarkable like Edison's lightbulb.

Hope this was helpful to you. Please let me know in the comments below and subscribe to my blog for more insights along the way.

Best,

Benjamin Steele