July is the anniversary of me starting my design business. Mind you, I didn’t get my first client until several months later, but July was the month that I told myself I was going to “do it” and hang my shingle for the world to see. Since then I have made mistakes, hit roadblocks and seriously doubted if I was cut out to do this line of work. Being the boss is scary and a place I never thought I would be but I am better for it.
I say all of this because over the last few weeks a few people have reached out to me for business advice and counsel. I went into each meeting with apprehension on what I could offer them in the way of career advice, but as we talked it became clear that they were at specific points that I too had to navigate. As we talked, their questions were similar to ones I had. Their thoughts were similar to those I pondered. I can’t say that my answers were filled with pearls of wisdom but they were filled with lessons learned from making a lot of wrong choices. As the quote says above, I learned what was eventually right by seeing what was left on the field after making my other choices.
Life, work and all the things between are about choices — many we will make correctly and some we won’t. When those wrong ones came up, I rarely allowed myself to survey the landscape to see what was left — I was too caught in myself for making a “wrong choice” that I often missed the learning opportunities they presented. I now know that those wrong choices have informed me as a person, a businessman and a designer. When they do now, I still freak out (its habit) but I take a moment to see the whole picture, take notes and then move forward because in the end, I think only fools relish their successes without acknowledging their failures…..
So with this short week, I challenge you to look at your mistakes and view them as equals to your triumphs because both will serve you well. Have a great week!