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Learn from the mistakes of others

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The best way to learn is to experience something for yourself.

As an entrepreneur, you typically do this through trial and error. You try something, observe the results, tweak the process, and try again. It’s an iterative process…over and over.

It’s the best way to learn because you are intimately involved in all of the aspects of the process. You see things first hand, and you personally feel the positive or negative effect of what you’re doing.

But there’s a big downside to that way of learning.

I’m not even referring to the potential loses that come from experimenting. That’s a pittance compared to the time it takes you to obtain the knowledge that comes from experimenting.

Like it or not, we all have a finite amount of time on this earth. We have even less time that we can put towards building our future empires. Wasting time is the big loss that you should be worried about.

You’ll figure things out on your own given enough time. But most will eventually run out of time. The question is, Will you have enough time?

One way to shorten the learning cycle is to learn from the mistakes of others. What I mean by that is that if you consume content from others, and internalize their experiences, then you will learn what’s worked for them.

More importantly, you’ll learn of unseen landmines that they’ve stepped on which you can now avoid. Avoiding major setbacks puts you miles ahead of your competitors who don’t take the time to learn from others.

This type of third person learning is not as visceral as if you experienced it yourself, but you can apply the learnings immediately to your next experiment.

Some people love to read. Some people hate it and prefer to hear. Others prefer live interactions with a teacher or speaker.

Personally, a lesson won’t sink in unless I see the information on paper, read it myself, and then apply it immediately. That’s the best way for me to learn.

It doesn’t matter how you learn.

The key is that you do learn.

Accelerate your path to wisdom. Learn from the mistakes of others.

~ Erik