Earning Success Is Different From Finding SuccessSeptember 22, 2022
We all want to be successful. Whether it’s at our job, our marriage, our hobby – whatever it is, we all want to be good at something. We hear all the time that “practice makes perfect,” but this is only partially true. The phrase should be, “effective practice makes better.”
This emphasizes two things:
- Practice has to be effective and meaningful
- Becoming better is more realistic than becoming “perfect”
What Is Effective And Meaningful Practice?
When we start realizing that we have to make sure our preparations for success must be focused, effective, and meaningful, we can start the actual work to become successful.
Let’s talk about focus. This might seem obvious, but if you practice playing the trombone, you might get a little better at playing the drums, but you probably won’t. They’re two completely different instruments! Sure, they’re both instruments, but that’s where the similarities end.
So why would someone practice playing the trombone instead of the drums when they want to learn the drums? We often work with what is easily available, that’s why. That’s not an excuse, it’s just an explanation for why people often make the mistake of thinking that practicing at the wrong thing somehow gives them the right to expect success.
So let’s take another look at the trombone and drum scenario. Instead of just practicing with a trombone, I can practice reading music and learning beats and notes in a general sense. One thing about music is that learning how to read it is pretty much universal (to an extent).
The same thing goes for building a successful business. If I want to build a successful business, I need to practice the things that will make a successful business. That means studying other businesses, learning how to lead and manage businesses, and learning how to hire and build a successful team.
If I practice those things, I am doing meaningful and effective practice towards a successful business.
How Do I Know When I’m Becoming Better?
This is the hard part of practicing; you are going to take a lot of hits before you start to stand your ground.
If you know my story, as I’ve told in The Upside of Fear, you’ll know that my first attempts at practicing business were not successful. I took a lot of hits, I made some bad decisions and mistakes, and most importantly, I learned from them.
I learned what not to do in business by essentially being a screw-up! Was it pleasant? Not a chance. Did it help me later in life? Absolutely.
In order to see that you are becoming better at what you practice, you have to start doing it. I don’t mean you should start a business before you’re ready – not at all. Instead, you should join others and take the chances to practice business leadership in a safe setting before jumping in full time.
This can happen in a lot of ways:
- Go to school, get a degree in business.
- Take workshops from successful business leaders (you can sign up for my online training, for example).
- Visit other successful businesses and ask to interview the owner.
Getting a degree may not be for everyone, and I get that. But you can take college classes without working toward a degree, for example, so you could simply audit a class about business management and get real world practice and feedback by doing so.
At the end of the day, you’ll know you’re doing better once you open yourself up to criticism and evaluation from others who have already done what you are about to do.
Consistency Is Key
How can you be sure this will all work? Be consistent!
One thing I can tell you for certain is that success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes effective practice and improvement. And the only way to make sure your practice will make you better is to be consistent, learn from your mistakes, and tackle your learning with dedication.
You’ve got this, and I’d be honored to help you along the way!