I’ve done so many things and I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. Some have been very painful to learn from, especially with my big mistake. I found this out the hard way when I partnered years ago with a personal trainer helping him to grow his facility based upon my experience, successes and positive relationships with people in the health and wellness industry.
I had come to know him through a mutual friend, and I thought that this was a good guy. He seemed to have some good energy about him. In the beginning, he seemed inviting and very passionate about what he was doing. However, I made a very bad mistake. I agreed to help him grow his business, and I failed to have a contract signed between us. Once again, he appeared to be an upfront person and verbally we agreed that he would pay me to receive a certain percentage once his business had hit a certain amount of clients. I was providing my time, my energy and resources to help him flourish… and he did.
The problem here was that as he flourished, he made the mistake of thinking that his success and his business was all about him. It wasn’t. His ego took over. I really want you to avoid making this mistake as well. Remember that your business is all about serving your client and it is never about just you. It’s about them. As a few months went by it was time to collect my payment for services that I rendered.
I previously offered to allow him some time to build up that revenue, and I would get a percentage once it hit a particular number. I guess you know what happened… He didn’t pay me. And of course, I couldn’t take him to court because I didn’t have a contract signed. I went off of trust and coming from a good place. So, you may be thinking, how could I make such a stupid mistake like that? Everyone knows you need to have a contract signed, Adrian.
Do they really?
This is what I mean when people are often afraid of the backlash of criticism or failure. It was a hard pill to swallow. I was angry. I was upset. I felt betrayed. Then I started thinking about the laws of cause and effect. What can I cause to create better results next time? How could I be my own courageous creator and create that change? It was a loss, and I had to accept it.
I learned two things from that situation.
- The first thing I learned was get a damn contract signed! You can always help people and start them off free if you want to give some friendly service. But when it comes to helping improve their revenue over time in building their businesses, there has to be a written contract stating that your services rendered deserves this kind of value back. And that was what I learned a hard lesson from.
- The second thing that I learned was that I was actually good at helping people build successful businesses. I had leadership skills that I wanted to further explore. Over time, he would only hurt himself in his business with that kind of mindset.
I knew to stand up for myself, and it was interesting to see: After I resigned, I pulled my resources and weeks later his business declined due to bad character and inconsistent service. People came to me complaining about what was going on. His business location disappeared. The point here is that we can learn from our mistakes:
Just because we had realized a mistake was made does not mean that we were stupid or gullible. Although some people can dupe us into doing some things that we may not have done on our own thought process, the key thought here is that it was only a mistake because you noticed that it was. Give yourself credit for noticing it. Yes, it was my big mistake, but it was also my big realization.
Another powerful phrase from Mr. Einstein to support his previous one: “Insanity is doing the same things over and over, wishing for different results”. The people who are unwilling to learn from their mistakes do this.
Doors of opportunity will come more frequently when you decide to take more risks. It is like a batting average. The greatest baseball batters of all time, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron, had the most strikeouts. You can’t get the goodies of life if you’re unwilling to taste the bitterness once in a while.
Some situations will happen to reveal to us what we did not know. This is called learning. Learning leads to growth. Growth leads to better experiences and success.
I am going to provide you with two action steps that will help you learn from your mistakes and let that be the catalyst for your growth:
- Never take a failed moment or encounter personal. This will cause you to freeze in your tracks and not make a move. I’ve done this so many times and people who do this will lose track of moving ahead and will get stuck mentally and emotionally into self-blame and defeat. See that moment as situational. Grow Forward from it. Leave it where it is. Take the pieces of what you can use and take it into your next experience.
- Find the lesson in the mistake; there is always something to learn. You’ll find that as you look back in time, you’ll think, Well, what did I do there? Why didn’t I know that? Because you didn’t know what you know now. So, you got to be easier on yourself when it comes to not knowing things
I mentioned this previously, and I will say it again. People who take more risks, experience more adventure. A life full of adventure is a life full of many decisions. The ones that turned out to be the wrong give you better experiences to make better decisions. Start taking some more risks and to encourage you to do this.
Go back and read the blog: The Art of Fighting Without Fighting, where I talk about what made the eminent martial arts legend Bruce Lee truly remarkable.
Drop a comment on your thoughts and share the blog if you feel it can encourage someone to listen to their hearts more and take some risk on themselves. Remember that people who Grow Forward in life achieve better results, and they experienced more fulfilling things are those who take more calculated risks and don’t mind making valuable mistakes to learn from them.
Don’t hide from yourself, Champion. Take more risks, believe in yourself. Until then, I encourage you to be that Courageous Creator of Change in Your Life.