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People have a problem with mistakes. I’ve made mistakes that were debilitating. I’ve made some bad choices where the outcomes were ugly. In every case, I learned something. That’s the key thing – to learn something.
What I am seeing with a lot of people is they don’t want to make any mistakes. They don’t want to make any errors. They want to get the best deal and sell something with little to no drama. They don’t want to deal with returns or troublesome customers. I’m here to tell you that you are deluding yourself if you think you can escape all of that. You’re pretty much a scared little bitch.
If you want to be more powerful and successful, mistakes are part of the game. That’s just part of the landscape. You can’t escape it.
So many people are afraid to make a mistake. I’ll give you some examples of some stuff that happened. In 2009, I was coming out of the storage auction business. I started doing YouTube and wrote the first book.
A lot of people starting questioning my decision to go on YouTube. They warned me about how it looked. They said things like, “YouTube is for kids.” People who cared about me were worried about me because they thought I was going in the wrong direction. You have to learn to rock and roll with that stuff.
Getting back to our discussion about mistakes, mistakes are not personal. They’re usually not an indication of how smart or stupid you are unless you just do something completely stupid. Most mistakes happen because of a lack of the right information.
The reason I can make these videos off the top of my head is because I have made a lot of crazy mistakes. I learned from all of those mistakes. What happens when you make a lot of mistakes is you create a large knowledgebase as a result.
I bought a storage unit and it was a mistake. This was in my second year. I bought it when I was running someone up. This was a guy I couldn’t stand, so I bid against him for this unit. It was a huge 20’ X 20’ unit. It was packed. I didn’t really want it because I didn’t know what the hell it was. It was stuff from a printing shop.
It turned out to be a pretty juicy unit. But because I couldn’t stand his ass, I kept driving the price up to $1500, then $1600. Then I bid $2000. He gave me a look that could kill. I won the unit. As quickly as I felt happy to beat that guy out of the unit, a feeling of depression overwhelmed me. I wondered, “What the fuck did I just do?”
I didn’t even know what was in that unit. I was fucking with him. I miscalculated how much money he had. I did not plan to win the unit. I simply wanted to run the price up on him. Then, boom, the unit dropped on me. I didn’t want to deal with it. I actually tried to sell the unit to a guy around the corner for $1500. He said, “No way.”
I thought this was a massive and very expensive mistake I made. It was so bad that I rented the unit because I didn’t want to deal with it. Finally, my partner and I go over there and start writing stuff down. We get in there and we didn’t know what the stuff was. Half the unit was brand new printing equipment.
Some of the stuff was ruined by water damage because there was a leak in the unit. There was also a lot of junk we took to the dump. When it was all said and done, we made about $25,000. At first, I thought this was a mistake.
What I’m telling you is don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Will they all work out and make you $25,000. Of course not. You will learn so much more by making mistakes then playing it safe.
I see people who think they are being smart and being cautious. No, you’re just a coward. You’re just afraid to fail.
I am not afraid of failure. It’s not that I’m in love with failure. That’s not what I mean. I don’t mind trying some stuff and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.
Everything we do is an experience. I get experience and I learn from it. You will learn so much more from this trial and error method than sitting at home and waiting for something certain, something guaranteed.
When you make mistakes, you become one of two people. You become a courageous person because your resolve deepens. The ability for you to deal with adversity deepens. You become a better person.
The other person you can become is an abject loser. You start developing these self-fulfilling prophecies of doom, gloom and failure.
I was having a conversation with someone this morning. I believe the best way to help yourself is to start a business. People tell me that not everyone is cut out for starting a business. If you are fit to drive a car and have a place to live, then you are fit to start a business.
Yes, in the beginning, it is hard. But, it’s worth it. I know what it’s like to work on a job when the rumors start circulating about layoffs coming. It makes you nervous. It takes away the energy you need to live your life. Your heart is filled with uncertainty.
I’ve learned that if you keep pushing forward after you make mistakes and learn from your mistakes without becoming destroyed when something doesn’t turn out the way you want it to, you can become amazingly successful. You can’t worry about people laughing at you when you make a mistake. They might talk about you. You might be the butt of jokes.
Many people who are very successful were laughed at. Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus took their ideas to the higher ups and they got laughed out of the office. They worked at Handy Dandy. So, they took that concept and did it themselves. The rest is history.
The future is going to be awesome. If you’re not afraid to make mistakes, you will have a lot of opportunities.
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