Why you need to fail forward, aim for done not perfect, and stop waiting for the perfect plan to be written before you start your life.
Recently I overheard these wonderful words of wisdom that made me re-think my perspective on happiness, productivity and life. After three months of putting them into practice, I’m still busy but so much happier!
Those words were:
Don’t wait for the perfect plan to be written before you start your life. You will always be changing something, adding new goals. It’s the way your brain works. Just get started and remember even if you don’t take exactly the right step, a step to the side is better than standing still.
With these words in my head, I updated my business plan, wrote my strategic plan and reconnected with the things that are most important in my life – friends, family and competitive rowing. I had been so focused on creating a business that would support my rowing career that I ironically forgot about that career.
Now at 26, I realised I’ve spent the last four years without a full-time coach, suffering injuries and pouring all my energy into growing my business. If I don’t start focusing on competitive rowing again I will soon be too old and out of touch, and would have passed up the best opportunities to achieve my goals in this elite sport.
It was an amazing sense of relief when these documents were done. Not perfect, but done! After taking a deep breath, and feeling a little emotional, I was a hit by the kind of nervousness, excitement and enthusiasm I hadn’t felt in years. It’s scary when you jump back into an aspect of your life where your goals are huge and the risk of failure is a real possibility, but those feeling are all part of the entrepreneur’s adrenaline, right?
So here’s the outcome. This week I met with a talented elite coach who has told me to prove myself ready for the challenge of staging a comeback after four years of competitive absence. I love a challenge when I have great people around me just waiting to see me succeed.
Meanwhile the business is growing rapidly, we were signed on for a large project this week and have more projects lined up. My team is more motivated around me because I’m excited and, as they put it, “glowing”. All because I’m happy.
Sure, there are mornings when I think, “I should have done that differently yesterday’”but then I simply say to myself “fail forward”. It essentially means that it’s ok to fail, as long as the experience builds a stronger pathway towards a clearer vision.
There are also days when I think, “There is so much to get done, where do I start?” after which I tell myself, “It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done”. If you get it only 70% right on the first attempt, that’s ok. The other 30% can be learnt or practiced.
So be happy! Find out what motivates you to put in the long hours, to be under-the-pump and make sure you focus on that throughout this crazy journey called entrepreneurship.
What wise words on happiness have sparked a positive change in your life?