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Learn from others mistakes

There are seven vital steps in learning from your mistakes. Depending on the nature of the endeavor or situation being dissected, these steps will need to be adjusted, and the follow-on components to these steps will change. Nevertheless, the seven vital steps are:

  • Step 1: Review your aspirations. Going into each business initiative, you should be clear about your aspirations.
  • Step 2: Detail your results to date. While you’ve determined that the initiative is a failure, there are different degrees of failure. You need to precisely describe the current state of affairs and where you see things going.
  • Step 3: Identify the discrepancies. What’s important is to quantify, where possible, and highlight everywhere you can, the differences between what you expected and what has happened.
  • Step 4: Compile a list of all the “mistakes.” Without attributing blame or responsibility, put together a list of all the errors that resulted in each discrepancy. Very often the best way to do this is to construct a matrix, as many of the same mistakes produced multiple discrepancies.
  • Step 5: Specify the lessons you need to learn. By carefully considering the causes of the discrepancies, you’re likely to see both core singular errors in judgment as well as broader-based patterns of miscalculations. From these conclusions, you need to tweeze out the lessons so as not to repeat the same mistakes.
  • Step 6: Aggregate the mistakes from a number of failed business initiatives. Often you will not see a pattern of miscalculations by evaluating a single failure. Only by considering a number of unsuccessful ventures will you recognize the decisive mistakes you’re making.
  • Step 7: Learn the bigger lesson. Across multiple unsuccessful initiatives, you can determine ways of thinking, habitual actions, and repeated poor judgments. From here you can discern the bigger lessons you need to master in order to ensure you only make new mistakes.

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A powerful lesson from self-made millionaires is that failure is inevitable, and as long as you learn from your mistakes, you can take constructive steps to reach greater and greater levels of success.


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