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Failing for Success

I was chatting to a friend a few weeks ago about business. He’s very successful in his field and employs about 300 people. We were talking the usual bit of shop and I was chatting about my things that I have going on, and he told me something I didn’t know about him.

He’s actually closed 3 previous businesses. As in they failed. Kaput. Gone. Down the pan. One nearly bankrupted him.

“Barry”, he said, “you haven’t f*cked up until someone is towing away your car”.

I’d always thought of him as a very successful guy. In fact I often ask his advice on money matters. But it turns out he’s a colossal failure. He’s failed more than he’s succeeded. In fact that’s what makes him really wise. He’s made all the mistakes before, so he’s a success and a cautionary tale.

I think this is what being a black belt in Jiu Jitsu is like. You’ve made all of the errors that there is to be made. Multiple times. You coach others not through what you think works or what you’ve seen work, but what you know works.

And you tell others about focusing on this technique or that, because you’ve chased down the other rabbit holes and found out they don’t lead anywhere.

And when someone turns to you and shows you something new, you look at it with a sceptic’s eye first. "I'm not sure that's going to work when the chips are down."

Anyway, just a thought for the morning. Enjoy the sunshine.

See you on the mat,



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