Mistakes Are a Prerequisite to Success

Mistakes are a prerequisite to success. Without mistakes, you’ll only reach partial success (if any) before a mistake topples everything you’ve worked hard on. Sometimes one mistake snowballs into another and a chain of events produces demise.


I heard that quote listening to The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss on Sunday while driving home from town. It was good enough that I skipped backwards twice to hear it again and drop a bookmark there to look it up in more detail when I got home. Take a minute to think about it.

If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake. – Frank Wilczek

Mistakes or failures

Okay, that was good, wasn’t it? That’s coming from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Work on hard problems and make mistakes.

You know, another word for “mistakes” in the business world would be “failures.” Every success story includes failures along the way, or at least 99.9999% of them. Very rare are the successful without blemish. Without risk (calculated risks are better than wild risks), one doesn’t have as much of an opportunity to grow or learn. Usually the learning part comes from the failing part, but there is learning during success, too.

Fail in order to improve

Back in 2009, I read a book by Barry Moltz called Bounce. It was all about failures and how to bounce back from them. What is often the case after a failure or a mistake is the¬†phenomenon¬†called “improvement.” When you were in school and took a test or exam and didn’t do very well, did you ever have a teacher allow you to re-take it? You did better the second time, didn’t you?

Without learning from mistakes, we’d never have 99.999% of our innovations we live with today because nearly everything imaginable comes as a product of several, if not hundreds of mistakes. We all know about how many “lessons” it took before Thomas Edison finally came up with the correct combinations of materials and design to make a lightbulb.

Teflon, Velcro, and “super glue” were all mistakes made by their inventors, and look how much they’re used today.

Mistakes “make the man”

It’s flat out difficult to be a success without making mistakes. The saying “you win some, you lose some” always goes with the message that you learn more from your losses than you do from your wins.

My experiences thus far in business regarding hosting, theme choice, who to consult with when I need help, vendors for dozens of things have all taught me countless things that add up to some serious gains and saved me from some even more serious losses.

How much does it cost you, as a business owner hosting 50 sites (like I am), when everyone is hacked and you don’t have a backup that goes back far enough to recover from it? If that happens, we can safely conclude everyone is going to abandon ship.

Life isn’t fair. Life isn’t perfect. Mistakes are all part of becoming a better (fill in the blank).

Live long and make mistakes!

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