Mistakes will happen and although you might be tempted to bury what happened under the rug, there is value in sharing what happened with others.
Success stories are great for inspiration and motivation, but loss stories have the potential to teach lessons and to prevent others from experiencing the same struggles as you. Sure, you won’t be a perfectly polished figure, but you will walk away with far more value. Here is what I have found from communicating my lessons and losses with others.
1. The more you share, the more you will learn.
The greatest impact you can make is by living through the struggles or the demons you are facing, and then coming out on the other side ready to share what you learned with others. Not only is this for the benefit of those who aspire to be like you, but it teaches you a deeper truth and value.
When I first started my business, I made a supplier mistake that cost me. But It wasn’t until I began to mentor others in their e-commerce journeys that I realized the root of my mistake. I hadn’t built a solid personal relationship with the supplier. When I shared what happened, I began digging deeper and was asked powerful questions from others helping me to discover the true root of where my mistake laid. From that point forward I met with sourcing suppliers in person and onsite, even if that meant traveling overseas. Had I kept this slip up to myself, I never would have learned how to ensure it didn’t happen again.
2. Connections and collaborations improve.
Perfection doesn’t bring communities together. What connects others is the act of peeling the curtain back and sharing what wins and lessons you have experienced from a place of dignity.
I’ll never forget meeting a highly successful business investor at a networking event. I had barely spoken to him and within moments he spoke about a hard lesson he had recently learned on a marketing strategy. Here was this amazing man, exposing a mistake. I immediately felt a sense of connection and trust. I walked away from the conversation having learned something about what not to do in marketing, but more importantly, I wanted to continue learning from him.
3. Growth becomes exponential.
The more I allow myself to be aware of difficult business experiences or unravel my mind’s propensity to control, the more I can discern between the shackles of fear and the voices of evolution and growth.
When I experience anxious moments, there is always a layer of truth that lies beneath this. By allowing myself to acknowledge this and face the reality of what is actually causing these anxious sensations, I find valuable growth. I have learned where my weaknesses lie, where the gaps in my knowledge live, and where I need to place more of my focus in the future.
All said, choose to see your losses, communicate them to others, and in the moment, find the lessons for personal growth. Most of all, learn to appreciate the lows as much as the highs.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.