All real estate investors desire to succeed, and we each define “success” differently. For some, success might be making enough money to quit your job; for others, success might be building a portfolio that you can pass on to your kids.
And part of achieving success is minimizing failures. That just makes sense. The fewer failures you have, the more success you’ll have. (Plus, we’re hard-wired by nature to want to do things correctly and to avoid mistakes).
But I’m not so sure that minimizing failures is the best course of action…
Recently someone asked me to share some of my failures with them so that they could avoid those mistakes. I’m mentoring them and they’re wisely looking to minimize their failures. For the longest time, I felt the same way about my mentors. After all, I’m working with them to learn from them, so I should learn from their mistakes.
Then I realized one very important thing: Being told about failure is not the same as failing yourself. It doesn’t carry the same weight; it doesn’t affect you the same way; it doesn’t stay with you the same as when you go at it alone.
I think back to the times when my mentors shared their mistakes with me. Guess what: I made many similar mistakes myself anyway, even though I had been warned.
Think back to when you were a child: How often did your parents tell you not to touch the hot stove? But what was the most effective lesson? Your burned hand… your mistake.
I have a different mindset about failing. Sure, I’ll tell my students what my mistakes were but I’ll also encourage them with this: “If you learn from my mistake, that’s great. But chances are, you’ll make the mistake anyway… and that’s okay. Because failing is a powerful teacher.”
I like the saying that you can’t make omelets without cracking a few eggs. That saying reminds me that there will be times of challenge, of discomfort, of failure, of mistakes. But the result is positive.
When we’re afraid of making mistakes, we default to inaction. We do very little, we don’t take chances. We become fearful of any kind of change.
But when we accept that we’ll have to crack a few eggs on our way to success, we embrace that there could be mistakes and failure, and challenges, and risks, and we move forward… approaching these things head-on and doing our best to overcome them and learn from them.
When you take that approach, here’s what you’ll find:
- Many failures aren’t as big in reality as we make them out to be in our minds
- You’ll learn so much, and you’ll learn it very quickly (experience truly is the best teacher)
- Facing and overcoming small failures early on is a type of “fee” we pay to reach success, and the more we face and overcome these failures, the sooner we achieve our definition of success
So, when you find yourself not succeeding on the level that you think you deserve I invite you to look inside. Take responsibility for where you are in life and focus on the choices that you need to make that will make the kind of changes that you are looking for. It may mean stretching yourself in a direction you aren’t sure about… and it will PROBABLY mean you make mistakes along the way, but when you accept and embrace mistakes as a valuable part of growing, you’ll put yourself in a position to succeed.