“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s better than to do nothing and learn nothing and not evolve. Your mistake is your greatest opportunity and if somebody is making fun of you because you made a mistake, don’t go down because of it. If you say, “so what?” to their face. If you say, “Yeah, so what?” they are powerless. They are powerless. “Yes, I messed up. Tomorrow it will be another day. Next year will be another year. It is my mistake. Not yours. You have your own.”
– Salma Hayek
I’ve been coaching, consulting and teaching since the late 1990s (nearly 20 years) and people often ask me what my biggest mistake has been on that journey. And so I ponder…
– Was it not investing in Apple back in the late 1990s?
– Was it walking away from NLP at the moment I was getting established as a leader in the field?
– Was it calling my latest book “RESULTS” instead of something more universally sticky?
While each of these might look like ‘mistakes’ to others, I struggle to perceive them like that:
– If I’d been willing to put in the time, energy and effort to learn about stocks and shares back in the late 1990s, there are a bunch of stocks I would likely have invested in, and could very well be rolling in it by now. But I don’t care about stocks and shares, and I never have. The thought of investing months of my life learning something I had no interest in, no passion for and that had no direct relevance to what I did care about (coaching, training and developing people) was repellent to me. Instead, I followed my heart, and put my time, energy and effort into developing my coaching abilities and transitioning into work that I love.
– I loved the time I spent learning and teaching NLP, but the moment I saw the truth of the principles behind clarity, I started moving in this new direction. While there was definitely a financial cost in walking away from the field of NLP having built a huge following there (my audience size dropped from 80,000 people to 15,000 people), it seems like a small price to pay for what’s happened as a result. In the years since I oriented in this new direction, I’ve written 3 bestselling books, developed mastery in a new field, launched and grown an entirely new company, and am now growing an amazing team.
– Following the launch of RESULTS, we discovered that the book had only sold 2/3 the number of copies that CLARITY sold on its launch. While this was still a great result – it was enough for RESULTS to reach number 4 on the Sunday Times Business Bestseller list – it gave me pause for thought. Why hadn’t RESULTS performed as well? I was convinced it was a great title, and so were lots of my friends. What was wrong with it? All of a sudden it hit me: while everyone refers to ‘getting clarity’, far fewer people refer to ‘getting results’. While everyone wants results, they don’t necessarily think of them in terms of that word. They talk about losing weight, saving money or finding a partner. While business people and sportspeople often talk in terms of “results”, most people don’t.
See, while each of these could be framed as “mistakes”, they look to me like either good choices, valuable learning experiences or (in the case of the last one), clouds with silver linings. What’s the silver lining in the last one? I learned a super-valuable lesson about this: I realised again that just because I love something (a name / product / concept), it doesn’t mean everyone else will. In addition, I’m incredibly proud of RESULTS and believe it will stand on its merit and be a strong seller for years to come.
And, while you may accuse me of “rolling a turd in glitter” (a vivid metaphor someone once told me), I don’t see it like that. I genuinely find it difficult to regret any of these things, and am delighted with the learnings, discoveries and new pathways that have unfolded for me.
And I encourage you to consider this possibility: what if your “mistakes”, “failures” and “snafus” are actually some of the most valuable stepping stones that have helped you get to where you already are?
See, you’re capable of more than you think because you *are* more than you think. Your mistakes and failures don’t define you; they inform you. How you use that information is up to you.
By the way, I’m doing a Facebook Live “Ask Me Anything” session tonight on my personal page at 6pm UK today (Tuesday 18th July). Here’s what’s going on:
[THE ONE PERCENT] What is it actually like to make your living as a coach?
When you cast an eye over the timelines of successful coaches on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll usually see what I call the 1% moments: sipping a cappuccino with a client, flying somewhere exotic to do an intensive or the posing for the group photo at the end of a programme.
These ‘peak moments’ make for good photographs, but what is it actually like to make your living as a coach? What is the other 99% comprised of?
Today at 6pm UK here on my Facebook wall, I’m doing an #AskMeAnything session via Facebook Live to answer your questions about what it’s like (and what it takes) to make your living as a professional coach. Questions like…
– When did you realise you wanted to be a coach?
– How did you know?
– What’s been your lowest moment so far?
– Did you ever regret it?
– What’s been your biggest cock-up so far?
– Have you ever had to give a client their money back?
– What do you do if a client doesn’t get the result they want?
– What do you wish you’d known when you started?
– What does a typical day look like?
These are some of the questions I’ve already been asked, but what would YOU love to know (don’t just say ‘all of the above’ please). Go to https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155601852639459&set=a.65466159458.91351.549604458&type=3&theater to post your question in the comments and I’ll answer you LIVE today at 6pm UK (Tuesday July 18th).
See you there!
Sunday Times Bestselling Author, Speaker and Executive Coach
PLUS: Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you get the clarity and results that matter to you:
1. Hire me to speak at your event
If you want an entertaining and impactful keynote speech or breakout session for your conference, offsite or town hall meeting, email Nikki at firstname.lastname@example.org and type “Keynote” in the subject line.
2. Apply for the 2017 intake of the Certified Clarity Coach Training Programme
If you want to be part of the class of 2017, this year’s intake of the Certified Clarity Coach Training Programme starts in September. You can find all the details and get your application in here: https://www.jamiesmart.com/clarity-coach-training-sh/
3. Join my ‘Coaching Confidential’ Impact Immersion on July 27
Up-close, frank and personal 3-hour group coaching session on what it takes for you to go from paid employment to making a decent living as a coach, trainer or consultant. We’re going to be exploring lifestyle (what’s it actually like to be a coach?), compatibility (are you cut out for this?), direction (what’s the right one for you?) and impact (what does great coaching actually look like?). You can join us either live in London at Regents University, or virtually via live stream from wherever you are in the world. The ticket price is low, and there are a limited number of places on the two sessions. You can watch the video, find out more and book your place here: https://www.jamiesmart.com/confidential/
4. Join the next intake of Project Glasswing
We’re putting together a new practice-building case study group at Coaching Package Power this month. Stay tuned for details… If you’d like to work with me and my team on growing your practice… email Nikki at email@example.com and type “Project Glasswing” in the subject line.
PLUS: check these out :
Get your free Exponential Practice Scorecard book www.JamieSmart.com/scorecar
Listen to the Results Mindset Podcast www.JamieSmart.com/resultspodcast
Listen to Your Exponential Practice Podcast www.JamieSmart.com/pod
Read the first 2 chapters of my Sunday Times Bestseller RESULTS: Think Less, Achieve More www.JamieSmart.com/instantresults