I see entrepreneurs held back by their mindset rather than their strategy. It’s frustrating. I can give the same advice to two people and they’ll get wildly different results. One will tell me that I’m a scam artist. The other will take a seven-figure idea and run with it to build their own business. It’s the same advice, with two very different outcomes.
It’s interesting that so many people say they want to start their own thing, or make more money, or change something about their lives. But they think it requires something outside of themselves. And that’s why they stay stuck in the land of “someday maybe.”
What I see holding most people back is the fear of what happens if you make a mistake.
The truth is, I fail all the time. I just don’t care because of what’s on the other side of failure. I’ve made millions of dollars and lost millions, too. The more attached you are to the end result, the more you’re going to have this hesitance and tenseness over what you do.
Because you value the result a lot more than you value the actual doing of something. If you’re doing something for a specific end result, then you’re going to put that result on a pedestal.
Mistakes Are Like a Muscle
As you become a successful business owner, your mistakes won’t stop. In fact, they’ll compound. You’ll make bigger, costlier mistakes, but you’ll get over them faster.
For example, Elon Musk tweets the wrong thing sometimes. With one Tweet, Tesla’s value went down by $14 billion, and Elon’s own net worth dropped by $3 billion. That’s a $17 billion mistake.
Does he worry about it?
That’s because this mindset is about more than just being okay with failure. It’s recognizing that failure is inevitable. In fact, it’s recognizing that the fear of making a mistake is a mistake all on its own.
Part of success is recognizing that mistakes are how you calibrate toward getting the best solution for you. Mistakes help you get clarity.
What’s interesting is that a lot of people, especially entrepreneurs, are waiting for clarity so that they don’t make a mistake. But mistakes are actually how you get the clarity you need to move forward.
“Recognize that mistakes are not the opposite of success. They’re a requirement for success.”
The Unlock: Do It Because You Want To
Most people think you’ve got to do a bunch of things you don’t want to do to get the results you want. I totally get that.
But my experience is that the opposite is true.
In my experience, the more you do what you want to do, the more the result ends up coming your way. By doing what you want to do, you unlock the results in the process.
I described this phenomenon in a recent podcast about setting process goals rather than outcome goals.
I recently set a thousand-day goal of having a million subscribers on YouTube. My old way of thinking about how to accomplish this was to reverse-engineer the system, find out what works, and then end up trying to make a bunch of content I didn’t want to make.
As I go deeper into this process, I realize that talking about the things I want to talk about, editing them for the platform, and sprinkling in some optimization to help with that platform works much better. I can move much faster. And the faster I can make mistakes, the faster I can calibrate to find a place that feels effortless for me.
“To put it another way, start with what you want to do. Then sprinkle in whatever tactics you think will work to get the result.”
The same is true with dieting.
Focus on the exercise you want to do. Going for long walks out in nature is just as effective for cardio as doing long hours on the treadmill. The only difference is that you’re probably more likely to stick to a habit of taking long walks than staying on the treadmill. Unless, of course, you love being on the treadmill! By doing what you want to do, you can end up getting the result a lot faster.
Derek Sivers gave a great analogy on a Tim Ferriss podcast.
He used to go biking for exercise. Derek had this loop he’d follow that took 43 minutes. Red-faced, huffing and puffing, timer ticking the whole time as he hustled his ass off to make a good time. Before long, he started to hate those 43 minutes and dreading the ride.
So one day, he decided, “Why don’t I just chill for once? I’m just going to go on the same bike ride, and I’m not going to be a complete snail, but I’ll go at half of my normal pace.”
He went on his ride and enjoyed it this time. He was looking around, appreciating the view. No red face, no huffing and puffing. He was just riding. When he got to the end of his loop, he looked at his watch and discovered the whole ride took 45 minutes. Derek sacrificed two minutes of speed, but in return, got to enjoy the process. Instantly, his exercise routine became sustainable.
Suck Until You Don’t Suck No More
I had a personal trainer who used to tell me that the secret to getting good at a new exercise is being willing to “suck until you don’t suck no more.” Specifically, he was talking about compound lifts. With new exercises, he said, “Just be okay sucking. Then eventually, you won’t suck at it anymore. Let’s get the worst one out of the way.”
I took that advice into multiple areas of my life.
A couple of examples…
My first live event was such a risk. I didn’t know whether anybody was going to show up. I just took to this idea that the first one is going to be the worst one. After that first event in 2015, each year got better and better. The next will be even better.
The first podcast I recorded sucked, and that was okay because I got the first one out of the way. Getting the worst one done meant the next one would be a little better.
That’s why I’m so hot on thousand-day goals. I know things are going to suck at the beginning. In fact, it’ll probably suck for three months. But that doesn’t mean it’ll suck as in I’ll hate it for three months. Rather, my work will suck for three months, getting a bit less sucky all along the way.
“Are you willing to get the worst one out of the way? The first time you do something, it’s going to suck. Can you just be okay with it sucking?”
Just Do It For Fun
I’ve got a friend who’s starting to bring on coaching clients in a niche she loves. She enjoys doing the coaching and she wants to have clients - but she’s terrified. I told her, “Just do it for fun and for free for a while. Book your schedule solid with free consults for people just because you like doing it. Do it because it’s light and fun and easy. Then when other people talk about you, they’ll talk about how good their consultation was. When you’ve got a full schedule, start charging.” That’s a lot better than just sitting there and thinking about starting your own business.
Just start. Find a way to get the worst one out of the way.
Ryan Daniel Moran is the founder of Capitalism.com. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs build seven-figure businesses they can sell.
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