In ‘The value of ideas‘ I discussed how ideas are worthless until they get acted upon. It seems people often avoid acting on an idea because they are afraid of making mistakes.
Paul Arden rallies against this hesitation in his book “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be“.
“The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything.
Benjamin Franklin said, “I haven’t failed I’ve had 10,000 ideas that didn’t work.”
Thomas Edison said, “Of the 200 lightbulbs that didn’t work, everything here told me something that I was able to incorporate into the next attempt.”
Theatre director Joan Littlewood said, “If we didn’t get lost, we’ll never find a new route.”
All of them understand that failures and false starts are a precondition of success.
At the last company I worked for you would not be fired for being wrong, but you would be fired for not having initiative.
It had a positive attitude to mistakes. It was a great company. Failure was a major contributor to its success.”
Three years later, in his book “Whatever you think, think the opposite“, Paul seemed to turn this observation into succinct, sage advice.
“Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it.
Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you’ve got, and fix it as you go.”