Today I recieved my results for my first Maths AS exam. I have been struggling a lot with the Maths and therefore revised a lot before the exam. I got the worse you can possibly get, a U.
Now, in answer to my question… most people would say YES. Yes, I did terrible, but did I fail?
When I started Maths, our teacher asked the class how we learn. When it got to me, I said “By making as many mistakes as possible”. I did not let him down, I make a lot of mistakes EVERY lesson! But each time I make the mistake, if I am able to work out where I went wrong… well, next time I am unlikely to repeat the mistake.
I have the option to resit this exam. Next time hopefully I will do better. But the only reason I will do better is because I will see where I went wrong this time and try to correct myself next time.
So is it really a fail? Surely, in theory, by getting so low this time I will learn where I went wrong and do better next time than if I had passed this time?
No… I made mistakes, but mistakes can be avoided next time. So no, I did not fail, I just took longer to get the result than it should have taken. But just because something takes longer than it should does not mean it is a bad thing. Remember the hare and the tortoise?
Have you made many mistakes in the past? I am sure you did, if not… well, the time will come! Hopefully you learned from your mistakes and avoided any repetition.
As Paul Sabaj said in yesterday’s post, journals/notebooks are REALLY important! Make a record of your mistakes, review them often and avoid them in the future.
Now I am going to take a look at people who have openly admitted their mistakes and have shared what their mistakes have taught them!
- Sir Richard Branson
If you have ever read any of Sir Richard’s books (which I highly recommend) then you will know what I am talking about. In 1971 (when he was a mere 19 years old) Sir Richard made the biggest mistake of his life. In fact, it was brought up by Liberal Democrat MP Vince Cable in the House of Commons during Virgin’s bid for Northern Rock (a British bank).
This extract from Virgin.com will explain Sir Richard’s mistake and the lessons it taught him.
When I was 19 and running our record mail order service I stumbled on the fact that records bought in Great Britain intended for export were not subject to purchase tax. I bought the records I needed, pretended they were for export, and then sold them to British customers. I was caught red-handed by HM Customs & Excise and put in a cell overnight. Naturally I agreed to pay back everything and the fines imposed and avoided a criminal record. It nearly killed off my entrepreneurial dreams; thankfully it didn’t. But it did teach me a hard lesson about never doing anything illegal or unethical again.
- Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan
These are a couple of entrepreneurs that I did not learn about until researching today for this post but plan to research more about… they seem to be doing very well!
Rather than just rewriting what I have read already, here is what USA Today wrote about them.
In 2000, two roommates had a brainstorm: eco-friendly cleaning products. They whipped up some samples in their bathtub and handed them out to friends. Method was born. The company in 2008 reached $100 million in sales and is sold in retail outlets such as Target.
Money mistake. “As an entrepreneur, you just feel a desire to just grow, grow, grow and show top-line (increases),” Ryan says. “Sometimes it leads you astray.”
After the founders expanded their brand into the car-cleaning marketplace with a product called Vroom, they realized they moved a bit too fast.
“We ultimately ended up selling the line (to another company), but it was a big distraction from our business at the time,” Ryan says. “There are times that you need to preserve fuel and be careful about how many growth opportunities you pursue, because you burn capital.”
Savvy move. “Hiring a CEO as our first employee was one of the best money moves we made,” Lowry says.
The more-experienced Alastair Dorward helped the founders make better management and financial decisions. Dorward had the acumen “to grow smart rather than just grow fast,” Lowry says.
- Shane Hudson
Now it is time for a couple of my own mistakes. My problem is that I trust far too easily! An example of this would be the sale behind Lonely Designs. If you have not read it already then it may be a post that will interest you. Here is an extract from it:
Now I need to let you know an important fact. I had been using NamePros since august of the year before and I had got a “friend” to join it. He was loving it there and making a lot of money but did not have paypal, so he asked me if I could transfer some money he had earned from paypal to namepros (NP dollars). Of course I thought nothing wrong with this. The amount of money that I transferred was $150. Remember that!
As you probably guessed, the end was not far away. I needed money and the site was going nowhere, I needed to sell. I decided to sell it on NamePros Live Auction, and it sold for $155. This was no where near what I was hoping for, but I sold anyway. They sent me the $155 and paypal took $150 of it!! After investigating I found out that the “friend” I helped had actually scammed the money! I was not happy at all with them taking the money and I tried to find him, but he had disappeared . So I let them take the money as there was nothing I could do, and I felt sorry for them as I do not like scammers. But this left me with $5, not even enough to cover the logo! I lost a lot of money from this but it was worth it, as I learned so many things from it. Including how to blog properly!
As you can see, failure can often lead to success. So, you never know, by needing to resit my maths exam I may learn a lot more about maths which will help in the future (I plan to do a Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence degree, so maths is rather useful)!
If you would like to submit your own story or that of somebody else, please comment here or email Shane [at] Shane Hudson [dot] net with the title of “Story for Did I Fail Post”.