It’s only a bruise…

Watching the news this morning (8 June 2017) there was a brief respite from the General Election to news about a new museum – of Failure.

Immediately my ears pricked and I turned up the volume on the TV. I heard correctly, for in Sweden they have opened a museum cataloguing items of “failure” from around the world ( . During the interview, the curator said that he had received “zero” support from companies, they did not want to share or highlight their mistakes. I wasn’t surprised – after all, who would?

Yet we do know them – Trumps poor take on Monopoly, Google’s glasses, Pepsi clear soda etc…so why don’t we want to admit them so publicly?

We know that making mistakes is an important part of learning, and that often the most successful business people have failed at least once before making their millions. And even if you don’t want to make millions, you know mistakes in business are happening all the time.

We are human, we are fallible. And I think we should embrace it and take risks. Move out of your comfort zone on a daily basis, say yes when you would normally say no. Be brave. Live.

I don’t suggest for one second take all of your money and put it on red, but hey, if you want to, do it…

I have had the pleasure of teaching business students over the past few years, which certainly took me out of my comfort zone. I told them that University was the perfect environment to take risks and make mistakes, and likely that these would be the most powerful lessons. I actively encouraged them to be brave, curious and questioning. And not to allow any mistakes leave a long lasting detrimental impression on their future – learn, adapt and move on – mistakes are a bruise, they are temporary.

I too have learned from these amazing students, probably far more than I realised and that journey comes to an end soon as I take a break from teaching for a short while. Because I will be stepping out of my comfort zone, as in the words of Winnie the Pooh (a hero of mine in particular) “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” And I will make mistakes, no doubt, but I shall not place them in my own museum, but learn, change and move forward – they need no other recognition.

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