When you do things wrong, too often, those mistakes can offset all of the good you’ve done. Mistakes set you back. If you make too many mistakes it can lead to failure.
One of the keys to success, therefore, is to minimize mistakes. Making fewer mistakes allows you to keep moving forward in life.
In my book Change Your Habits Change Your Life I share numerous strategies the rich use to minimize mistakes. Below, I’d like to highlight three of the most powerful ones:
Study the Experts
There are two ways to learn:
- Learn by doing (school of hard knocks learning) or
- Learn from the experts.
The school of hard knocks is the hard way to learn. In the school of hard knocks you learn by making mistakes. The problem with the school of hard knocks is that by the time you figure out what to do and what not to do, you could very well run out of time and money, leading to failure or bankruptcy.
When you study what the experts in your company, field or industry do, however, you learn without the heartache and without the loss of time and money. Reading books, reading industry trade magazines, reading blogs related to your field or reading any articles related to how you make a living will save you from making costly mistakes that can set you back.
Studying the experts allows you to stand on the shoulders of those who know what they are doing.
Practicing over and over again, when no one’s watching or when it doesn’t matter, allows you to perfect your skills without being under pressure to perform. This is one of the many reasons I am so big on volunteering and interning. Volunteering or interning at an organization that allows you to practice new skills or practice improving your existing skills will help you become an expert technician without having to worry about getting fired for making too many mistakes. Non-profits are always looking for volunteers. And they are very patient.
Many large companies offer internship programs. These big companies know their interns have limited skills. Their job is to help them learn the skills they will need to succeed in their organization, should they be hired.
Volunteering or interning at a big company gives you a lot of rope to make mistakes, without those mistakes damaging your career.
Find a Success Mentor
Success mentors have knowledge, experience and wisdom. When you find a mentor they can share with you that knowledge, experience and wisdom. The few who find mentors, learn what works and what doesn’t work. Finding a mentor is the fast track to success. It tees you up for success.
Mentors are everywhere. You just have to seek them out. They are in your neighborhood, volunteering at non-profits, at work, at school, in books and on the Internet. There are five places to find a Success Mentor:
- Parents – Parents are often the only opportunity any of us have at having a mentor in life. This is why parenting is so important. Those who are lucky enough to be raised by a parent who mentors them for success get out the gate very early and usually stay way ahead of their competition during their careers.
- Teachers – The best teachers are success mentors. Teachers can reinforce the mentoring children receive at home from their parents, or step in to provide the much needed success mentoring absent at home.
- Career Mentors – For those not fortunate enough to have had parents or teachers who provided success mentoring, finding someone at work who can act as a mentor virtually guarantees you will become successful. Find someone at work who you admire, trust and respect and just ask them to be your mentor.
- Books – Many of the self-made millionaires from my Rich habits study attributed their success in life to self-help, success authors such as Dale Carnegie, Earl Nightingale, Og Mandino or Jack Canfield. They found their mentors in books.
- School of Hard Knocks – When you learn good daily success habits through the school of hard knocks you are essentially your own mentor. You teach yourself what not to do. You learn from your mistakes and failures. This is the hard way because those mistakes and failures cost you financially.
Since mistakes set you back, making fewer of them through the strategies outlines above, will help you gain through subtraction. Fewer mistakes saves you time, money and anguish.