20/20 Hindsight – we all have it

image from jonny2love

Todays guest blog comes from a young entrepreneur who took advantage of a chance meeting with Richard Branson to gain funding for his fledgling cake business. Several months on from the encounter,Aaron Booth reflects on what hes learnt during his time trading

One of the biggest skills a young entrepreneur can often utilise might be a bit surprising to hear, it is so often overlooked. Hindsight, the ability to look back, reflect and evaluate decisions we have made is useful not only as an entrepreneur, but as a skill that we should all use in our day to day lives. We might not all have brilliant foresight but we can certainly all learn from our mistakes.

When I first started my business I was overwhelmed with the amount of things I suddenly had to juggle. I went from the morning of March 13th without a business to run, to March 14th with this amazing opportunity as a result of funding from Richard Branson. The world was suddenly my oyster! I ran in head first and got down to it.

One of the things I probably thought about the least was paperwork and now in hindsight (of course) I can see what a mistake that was. As my business continues to grow it gets more and more difficult for me to keep track of everything. If I had, for instance, started keeping records from the beginning when I had no customers or maybe even just taking stock once every couple of weeks, running things would have been a lot easier. Building on what you already have is much easier than implementing it half way through.

Its encouraging to see that Im in good company when it comes to learning from mistakes: In Britain, people who try things and then fail are actually well-respected. People like the underdog. If you go back to my adventure times, generally speaking, we failed on most of my adventures the first time, explained Richard Branson in one of his blogs.

At Virgin, we don't spend much time regretting the past, and we don't let mistakes or failures get to us, and we certainly don't fear failure. We pick ourselves up and try again."

We can all save ourselves time in the present and cut corners but all you are doing is making more work for yourself in the future. Dont run your business like everything is planned on the back of a cigarette packet, take your time and plan out your future and your goals.

It's fine to make mistakes, just don't make the same one twice. Learning from errors is the key to development.

Image from Flickr

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