First Attempt In Learning

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First Attempt In Learning

First Attempt In Learning (F.A.I.L.)

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes–understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” —Arianna Huffington

Most of you will already have heard the word fail described as an acronym for First Attempt In Learning, and I suspect like many before you, you probably laughed.

However today I’m going to repeat what you heard the first time, but this time don’t laugh because it’s important and very very valid.

Over the last 10 years I have made mistakes in my business. I would be lying if I told you that I’ve not and that the last 10 years have been a bed of roses from which I got up every day with a spring in my step and a sparkle in my eye. Sadly that’s just not the case.

Some of my business mistakes have caused me physical pain, some have hurt my pride, some have cost me money and all of them have in one way or another, taken me away from my family. The last mistake cost me over £20k and weeks away from home, but that’s a story for another day.

Like most people in business, I’ve felt the pain and frustration of failure. However one thing that I have learnt over the last 10 years, is that a mistake is not purely a failure, it is an opportunity for a first attempt in learning. In short, if you understand and subsequently own your mistakes, you can begin to recognise the good in them and turn the experience into an opportunity to learn. It is the only way your business and most importantly you, can “robustly” grow.

I don’t know what it is, but for me to take action or to change something in my business I have to hurt. I have to feel some pain to realise that I don’t want that to happen to me again. Like when I didn’t sell all my tickets for a big event or when I had to teach a class of just 2 children instead of 14. Not only is it demoralising to turn up to an empty hall, it also hurts financially, which I did not like. There was also the time I invested in a big exhibition only to turn up and have no one to talk too, or when I invested in a new system to find out it didn’t work, or the time I simply didn’t ask the right questions. My mistakes have cost me energy, wellbeing, time and money.

Mistakes are easy to make and that’s why I created the Children’s Activity Business Academy; I don’t want you to make the mistakes I did. It’s why I like sharing my knowledge and know-how through my free and paid programmes, because I know I can save you time and money in the long run. I know I can help you to build a successful business just like I did, and am doing now.

In my podcast this week I talk about my latest Half -Marathon experience, the two mistakes I made in my preparation and the reasons why I failed to hit my target time. The pain I’ve felt in my legs this week is a stark reminder not to make the same mistakes again and that I need to adapt my marathon business plan if I’m to reach my own ultimate running goal.

This week I want you to think about the mistakes that you have made in your business and consider the following for each one:

1. What did you learn from your mistake?
2. What action did you take to ensure that it didn’t happen again?
3. How did you adapt your business plan?

If you answer “Nothing” or “I didn’t” to any of the above, go back and with the benefit of what you know now, re-ask yourself the question in-the-now i.e. What can you learn? What action can you take? How can you adapt?

If you answer “I don’t have one” to question 3, then maybe it’s time you had.

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Sometimes a short sharp blast of inspiration is what you need to help you regain your focus and get you back on track and back on target. At other times you may feel the need for something longer term, shoulder to lean on when the going gets tough.

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