Learning the Right Lessons From Failures Ep 266

Summary Notes


In this episode, the host and entrepreneur, Speaker A, delves into the nuanced lessons of entrepreneurship, emphasizing the importance of discerning the correct lessons from both successes and failures. He illustrates the dangers of misinterpreting experiences through personal anecdotes, contrasting short-term gains with long-term sustainability in business and personal life. Speaker A reflects on his own journey, shifting from a focus on rapid success to fostering steady, enduring growth. He also discusses the mindset shift required as businesses mature, advocating for a rational approach to decision-making and the pursuit of stability over volatility. Speaker C offers brief affirmations throughout the conversation, reinforcing Speaker A's insights. Speaker A concludes by challenging listeners to consider the external factors contributing to their successes and failures, fostering a deeper understanding of their entrepreneurial path.

Summary Notes

Lessons from Failures and Successes

  • It's crucial to learn the correct lessons from both failures and successes.
  • Incorrect lessons from failures can be just as harmful as incorrect lessons from successes.
  • Personal experiences can lead to false beliefs if the wrong lessons are learned.

"Right now, there's probably lessons that you learned from failures that are the wrong lessons. And just as, if not more dangerous, there are lessons from successes that you had that were not the right lessons to take."

The quote emphasizes the importance of discerning between correct and incorrect lessons derived from both failures and successes, and the potential danger of learning the wrong lessons.

The Entrepreneurship Game

  • The podcast aims to discuss customer acquisition, increasing customer value, and customer retention.
  • The hosts share their failures and lessons to help listeners avoid similar pitfalls.

"Welcome to the game, where we talk about how to get more customers, how to make more per customer, and how to keep them longer, and the many failures and lessons we have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy and subscribe."

This quote serves as an introduction to the podcast's main focus, which revolves around improving business performance and learning from past mistakes.

Learning the Right Lesson from Failure

  • Learning from failure without experiencing the negative consequences is beneficial.
  • Understanding the correct takeaway from failure is a profound and challenging task.
  • Incorrect takeaways can lead to reinforcing false beliefs and operating under false premises.

"What's going on, everyone? I think one of the best things about entrepreneurship is the lessons that we learn from failure, right. And I try and share as many as I can on this vlog, podcast, et cetera, because I think that if I can help you not have the failure to learn the lesson, then you can get the lesson without the scar."

Speaker A discusses the value of sharing lessons from failure in entrepreneurship to help others learn without having to make the same mistakes.

The Danger of Wrong Takeaways

  • An example is given of overgeneralizing from a specific failure (e.g., a relationship or a hiring experience).
  • Incorrect conclusions can lead to broad, sweeping decisions that may be detrimental.
  • Personal experiences and stories can reinforce incorrect lessons, leading to false beliefs that guide future actions.

"And so I think it's just as dangerous, maybe even more dangerous, to learn the wrong lesson, because now you have a story that you've told yourself that reinforces the incorrect lesson. And then from that point going forward, you operate under this false guise, this false belief that you've told yourself that you believe is right, because you have experience."

Speaker A warns about the danger of learning incorrect lessons from experiences, which can lead to reinforcing false beliefs and misguided future actions.

The Misinterpretation of Experiences

  • Having experience does not necessarily mean the correct lessons have been learned.
  • It's essential to critically evaluate experiences to ensure the right lessons are taken.

"And just because you have experience doesn't mean we took the right lesson from it."

This quote highlights the common misconception that experience automatically equates to learning the correct lessons, which is not always the case.

Successes Based on Inbound Marketing

  • Speaker A has had successes with inbound marketing, which involves paid advertising to generate demand.
  • It's important to recognize that successful strategies can also lead to incorrect assumptions if not critically assessed.

"And so I'll tell you, one that's been really interesting for me to learn is over the last however many years, I have succeeded a lot based on inbound marketing."

Speaker A shares a personal anecdote about successes in inbound marketing, hinting at the possibility that even successful strategies need to be carefully analyzed to ensure the right lessons are learned.

Long-Term Perspective on Health and Fitness

  • Emphasizes the importance of sustainability in health and fitness routines.
  • Practices have been maintained consistently for nearly two decades.
  • Success in this area is attributed to the ability to repeat beneficial actions.

"I think that I've had a really long term perspective when it comes to my health. Health and fitness, like when I work out and how I eat, I've always tried to pick really sustainable things that I can do forever."

The quote explains the speaker's approach to health and fitness, which is centered on long-term sustainability rather than quick fixes.

Rational Approach to Marriage

  • Marriage was chosen based on alignment in mission and values.
  • The decision to marry was made before being deeply in love, with the belief that love would develop over time.
  • The marriage is considered successful and improves each year.

"My marriage is actually probably one of the better things that I've done. I picked that rationally, my partner, Layla, and we both said, we want to go this way. We have this mission, we have these values, and we'll figure out the love stuff as we go."

This quote highlights the speaker's rational approach to selecting a life partner based on shared goals and values, with the understanding that love would grow within the marriage.

Reflection on Business Practices

  • Recognizes a tendency towards short-term thinking in business despite long-term success in other areas.
  • Early success in business may have created a belief that success should be quick and substantial.
  • The speaker is re-evaluating beliefs about what success and growth should look like.

"But what's interesting is that I've been able to observe my own actions over the last decade in business, and I actually even think that I've still been more short term skewed in my thinking because of the thing that I got really good at, which is inbound, an inbound, you can snap your fingers and make money tomorrow and you can make a tremendous amount of money in a very short period of time."

This quote reflects on the speaker's past business approach, which was focused on quick, significant gains, and acknowledges the need to reassess this mindset.

Sustainable Growth and Long-Term Thinking

  • Shifting focus towards sustainable growth in business.
  • Past views on sustainable growth have changed with experience and time.
  • Emphasizing the importance of actions that are valuable in the long run.

"And so I've been strategically or deliberately kind of deconstructing my beliefs around what I think success should look like and what growth should look like. And I'm finding myself more and more trying to move in the direction of sustainable growth."

The speaker discusses the process of redefining personal beliefs about success and growth to align with a sustainable, long-term approach.

The Concept of the Infinite Horizon

  • Aiming for actions that are meaningful and can be pursued indefinitely.
  • The speaker's approach to life is to focus on what can be sustained "until I die."
  • There is an acknowledgment that this perspective may need to be reaffirmed over time.

"Because if you're like. You get from the finite to the infinite, you go for the, can I do this until I die? I know that what I do in finnish, I can do till I die. I know that the way that Leila and I run our marriage, I can."

This quote encapsulates the speaker's philosophy of aiming for practices and relationships that have the potential to last a lifetime, suggesting a shift from finite to infinite thinking.

"Like, the way that we've done this, we can do till I die. Now, you might be like, you've only been married for five years. Sure. Maybe. Yeah, maybe I'll have to keep saying this. And then it's like, you've only been married ten years. Only been married 20 years. I don't know. We'll see."

The speaker acknowledges potential skepticism about the durability of their marriage approach but remains confident in its sustainability over time.

LinkedIn Engagement and Networking

  • Speaker A encourages listeners to connect on LinkedIn and tag relevant contacts.
  • They express a desire to network with listeners and others in their professional circle.
  • The speaker offers appreciation and recognition for engagement with their LinkedIn posts.

"So send me a connection request, a note letting me know that you listen to the show, and I will accept it. There's anyone you think that we should be connected with, tag them in one of my or Layla's posts, and I will give you all the love in the world."

Speaker A is inviting listeners to engage with them on LinkedIn, suggesting a proactive approach to networking and community building.

Growth Strategy Evolution

  • Speaker A reflects on how their approach to building businesses has evolved over time.
  • Initially, the focus was on rapid, aggressive growth.
  • With experience, they now prioritize sustainable, steady progress.
  • Speaker A aims for long-term success, setting sights on significant revenue milestones over a decade.

"But it feels the same long term way, the way the other ones did, because there's way less volatility. It's just a slow and steady progress."

This quote illustrates Speaker A's shift in perspective from seeking quick wins to valuing consistent, stable growth over time.

Thoughtful Decision-Making

  • Speaker A has learned to increase the time between thoughts and actions.
  • This change is a result of the need to balance the entrepreneurial drive to act with the wisdom to think decisions through.
  • The goal is to make rational decisions rather than emotional reactions, especially in response to external events like competitive actions or employee turnover.

"And what that's forced me to do is increase the time between my thoughts and my actions, which... Entrepreneurship is so interesting because you have to kind of unlearn some of the things that got you started."

Speaker A acknowledges the need to adapt entrepreneurial instincts as a business matures, highlighting the importance of deliberate decision-making.

Learning from Success and Failure

  • Speaker A is focused on learning the right lessons from both successes and failures.
  • They question whether early success led to adopting potentially flawed strategies.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of building businesses that are enduring and do not rely solely on their personal skills.

"And so the current lesson that I'm trying to see is actually not from failure, but making sure that I learned the correct lesson from my success..."

This quote conveys Speaker A's introspection on how past successes can misguide future strategies, emphasizing the need for continuous learning.

Building Autonomous Businesses

  • Speaker A aspires to create businesses that can grow independently of their direct involvement.
  • The aim is to transition from day-to-day operations to a more strategic role, guiding the leadership team.
  • They mention that achieving this level of autonomy in business has been a multi-year journey.

"But when it can get to the point where it truly grows without me and I'm really just there to guide direction and be a sounding board for the leadership team that's in place, I feel like that's where I should go."

Speaker A describes their vision for businesses that can thrive without their constant input, signifying a mature phase of entrepreneurship where the focus is on strategic oversight rather than operational control.

Growth Strategy and Mindset

  • Focus on consistent growth rather than rapid expansion.
  • Aim for steady, manageable growth rates, such as 10% every quarter.
  • Reliability and low volatility are valued by the wealthiest individuals.
  • Decreasing volatility in business operations leads to consistent performance.
  • Patience and consistency in growth strategies yield long-term dividends.

Extrapolate over five years and say, can I just grow at 10% every quarter? That's huge growth.

This quote emphasizes the significance of setting a target for consistent growth over an extended period, highlighting that even a seemingly modest quarterly growth rate can compound to substantial expansion over time.

Because what I'm seeing is the richest people in the world just look for reliability. They look for low volatility, which means less of this.

The speaker notes that wealthy individuals prioritize stability and predictability in their investments and business ventures, suggesting that a similar approach could benefit business growth strategies.

Can I make this consistent? Can I make this sustainable?

The speaker questions the sustainability and consistency of their growth approach, pointing to the importance of these factors in achieving long-term success.

Learning from Successes and Failures

  • Acknowledge that not all lessons learned from successes or failures are correct.
  • Incorrect lessons from both successes and failures can be detrimental.
  • It's important to critically analyze outcomes to ensure accurate learnings.

Because I've definitely taken lessons from my successes that were not correct, and I've taken lessons from my failures that were not correct, and each of them is equally dooming or damning.

The speaker admits to having drawn incorrect conclusions from past experiences, emphasizing that both successes and failures can lead to misguided lessons with negative consequences.

Perspective on Success and Failure

  • Consider the possibility that successes may be due to external factors rather than personal efforts.
  • Conversely, failures might be more attributable to personal actions.
  • Applying this perspective can lead to new insights and learning opportunities.
  • This approach can reveal patterns and trends that might be leveraged in the future.

What if everything that you did when you were successful was not because of you, but because of outside forces and everything that you've done to fail was your fault?

The speaker challenges the common tendency to attribute success to oneself and failure to external circumstances, suggesting that reversing this mindset can lead to a more accurate understanding of one's experiences.

And just walking through the thought process, what if this wasn't because of me? What other things happened that did align up for me that were not my doing?

By questioning the actual causes of their successes, the speaker proposes a reflective process that can uncover external factors that contributed to positive outcomes, which might be overlooked otherwise.

Maybe you can take advantage of opportunities when they aren't because of you, but you can still take advantage.

This quote highlights the potential to benefit from circumstances that are beyond one's control, suggesting that recognizing and seizing such opportunities can be a key to success.

Sharing Insights and Encouragement

  • The speaker shares their thought process and insights to provide value to others.
  • Reflecting on and reversing common perspectives can be a powerful tool for personal growth.
  • The speaker hopes that their experiences and reflections will be beneficial to the audience.

And so, anyways, I wanted to share this thought process with you. For me, it's been incredibly valuable, and I hope it is valuable for you, too.

The speaker expresses the intent behind sharing their reflections, indicating that the insights gained from this perspective have been significantly beneficial and may also help the listener.

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