If I had to point out one lesson as the most important experience I have gained over the past ten years of my career then it would be the fact that a person learns most from making mistakes. I really believe that my personal experience is evidence that experimenting and triggering changes in your personal and professional life through a willingness to make mistakes is a real way forward and one that will give people the ability to learn and progress in their careers.

Theory and books of course teach us differently, actually to learn from other peoples mistakes. Yet for me, as evidenced below, this was something impossible to apply.

During 2010, I read a lot of management books while trying to figure out the challenges I was facing (to be honest, I was facing a lot of problems). One of the many books I bought was a small red book, which I bought because of its great online reviews. I started to read the book but by the time I had reached the fortieth page I was so frustrated by that book that I threw it across my bedroom. The book made no sense at all to me! I thought that all of the positive online reviews were a lie and I couldn’t associate anything positive with that book. I didn’t find a single answer to any of the problems I was facing.

Success SymphonyFour years later, I was sitting on the floor and cleaning my closet when I stumbled upon that same book in a purple box where my wife had left it. I thought to myself, “Oh, here’s that idiotic book again; what a waste of time!”

At that moment, I felt exactly the same anger and frustration that I had felt four years earlier when I had thrown the book across the bedroom. Out of sheer morbid curiosity, I decided to read the beginning of that “absurd” book again. I am sure that most of us at some point have shared that familiar feeling of being unable to resist provoking the same thing that irritates so intently: when your tongue burns you still cannot help but rub it against your teeth. While sitting on the floor in front of my closet I stared to read that same book again and I read about sixty pages without pause, completely impervious to the time.

It was then that I realized how great that book is. This time everything the author said made so much sense. Since then I have reread that book countless times. It has broadened my perspective and ultimately helped me to conceptualize the vision for my company. I can say without a doubt that it is one of the best books that I have read at that time and one of the most significant for me at that time.

My point here is that the experience that I had gained by 2010 did not allow me to comprehend what the author had actually written in that book and I was therefore incapable of learning from the author’s experience. It is my belief that learning from the experiences of other people and thereby adapting to the teachings of others is extremely difficult unless one has undergone similar experiences.

The most valuable experiences are personal, a person should try to gather as many of these experiences as possible during his or her career. People should have an egoistically large amount of wishes and should actively try to experience as much as possible in this respect. People should not be afraid to risk and make mistakes, even a lot of them, because that is the only way to improve yourself quickly and efficiently. The courage to experiment and thereby to make mistakes opens up the possibility to learn from setbacks and this will always lead you closer to your goal. Here I must say from my own experience that the final goal does not exist, because it is your vision that exists! But, if you wait to gain the knowledge before you start progressing toward your goal then you are already late for everything.

One of the best lessons I’ve ever had was at the same time very expensive and emotionally painful experience of my career. This experience cost me more than 400,000 euros, affected my health and kept me awake at night and everything developed over a period of just six months! Yet today I would not exchange that experience for any amount of money because it taught me about true values, which remain my guidance today!

For this reason, I decided to write this blog and to share my honest perspective, no matter how weird, pointless or extreme it may seem, because I hope that this will help motivate people to introduce changes into their lives. I’m a great fan of experimenting while working towards a solution, taking sharp turns, changing direction, abandoning my comfort zone and setting unachievable goals leading to an end result that is infinite. All of the content that I will write about will be based on my personal experience as well as analysis from the IT industry and also case studies from Symphony, which is the company that I have lived and grown with over the past ten years.

To put this in context, in the past my nature, norms and self-confidence would put me in a position of doubt and insecurity and therefore unable to share all of this with you. I would feel like, “What the heck do you think you can tell others!” To be honest, even as I am writing this blog now a great amount of that is still present. Yet, over time, I have adopted a rule that says, “Just do it!” This is the rule that has brought me to where I am right now.

Success SymphonyTen years ago I didn’t have a clue about the rules of business and even today I’m still an amateur; however, in the meantime I have learned a lot. Ten years ago I was very insecure and even today I feel fairly insecure, but I have learned to overcome insecurity through action; by “action” I mean the transformation of “I can’t”  into “I can try”. I genuinely believe that I have proof and examples of how things can change for the better through adaptation, diversification and experimenting and that’s exactly what I want to share with you.

This introductory article for my blog is also evidence of the makeover from “cannot ” to “can”. I am looking forward to sharing different stories with you and to starting some new initiatives that once seemed impossible. This is possible in the same way that we at Symphony have changed work into a pleasant experience.

Oh yeah, the red book I mentioned earlier is Achieve Brand Integrity: Ten Truths You Must Know to Enhance Employee Performance and Increase Company Profits” by Gregg Lederman.


4 comments on “Her Majesty the Mistake!

  • Very inspirational.

    As I am at the start of my new business.
    I really believe that we humans are meant to throw ourself in new situation just because that will give us new ways of thinking.

    And only new way of thinking will bring us to knowledge and understanding to find solutions to problems we normally cannot solve.
    Living by the boundaries that we have been tough by any school system has not brought us the greatest geniusses like einstein.

    Be curious and just do it, is the only way to put yourself in a position that makes you learn so fast, it opens your mind to see new possibillties.

    Thank you for sharing your Blog and the books that changed your life.

    Hope to see more of you.

    Best of luck!

    One of your fans ^_^

  • I like that attitude Haris, going from i can’t to i can try. And i’m a big fan of experimenting as well. Calling something an experiment makes me open to learning by experience. And in that there is no failing or winning there is only new information: what works now and what doesn’t.

    Nice post!

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