Learn And Gain From Your Mistakes

“Wow! You are gaining traction as a business consultant! How did that happen?”

“I just learned how not to run a business…”


I have this friend, who I will not name in this article. But I so admire this person.

He underwent to many challenges in his life — particularly entrepreneurship-related. He ventured into so many businesses. However, most of these ventures failed. At the outset, his undertakings would look promising but then it would suddenly collapse. Then, I would see him moving to another business, dipping his hand in another project. The cycle, however, would turn its wheel. The new undertaking would fail (from what I knew).

However, one time I saw him in a small gathering. He was speaking in front of  entrepreneurial hopefuls. He was sharing advices on several areas — like bookkeeping, minimizing fraud, motivating employees — to name a few. And, I find his words sound.

A lot of people in that room were actually listening intently on what he was saying. I also saw many in the audience approaching him, and handing him their contact information after his talk. They were insinuating the need for possible part for him in their own projects.

It was really a good sight seeing him surrounded by those people asking for his assistance.

After everyone was gone, I approached and exchanged pleasantries with him. Then, I threw the one thought that was bothering me the whole time during that event. I asked him how he transformed into how he was right now. Knowing what I knew about his failed ventures, he simply smiled at me and answered:

“I just learned how not to run a business… And, I am simply sharing what not to do based on my realizations from those failures and mistakes that I went through.”

Wow! He made a consultancy practice out of the lessons he got from his failed ventures.

I had a sort of euphoria listening to him because he was a perfect example of a “person learning from his failures”. A business tenet that we keep on hearing that it sometimes crosses the line towards becoming a cliche.

I believe that his lead is what we all have to follow.

We all have our dreamed destination — winning big in the stock market, becoming a champion public speaker or a well-loved public servant. The journey, however, in realizing this is never easy. A lot of challenges would for certain haunt you. And a lot of times these will tax you financially, physically or even emotionally.

Do not let those mistakes stop you. Pick up the pieces and do what you could from the pieces that you were able to gather. Yes you fail but then think that you now know what not to do next time. Use these realizations to improve your self or to revisit your strategies.

I am sure that with continuous pushing, improving and evolving (and a dash of prayer), you will find your rightful place.

Believe me. We’ve seen this happening in other people. Trust that it will also happen to you.


PS: Featured image was taken from https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/11/14/03/38/achieve-1822503_960_720.jpg.

Are You Distracted?

“What the heck happened to your nose?”

I do boxing sessions three times a week — alternately with dragon boat training. And during these sessions, I easily get distracted — especially during the first few months. A lot of these distractions though are quite petty. Here are some of these.

… the sweat that would trickle from my brow down to my nose

… seconds countdown to ending boxing rounds

… itching in parts of my body that suddenly appears out of nowhere

Funny thing though was that all of these distractions would suddenly disappear during breaks or as the seconds reach zero.

My dilemma with these distractions was that I couldn’t focus on what I was doing. I also realized that I was merely intent on doing the exercises for the sake of doing these — at the detriment of quality. All of these because I was paying attention to these distractions.

The first time I tried boxing (30 lbs heavier)

Often I would rub my nose with the boxing gloves every time I felt sweat trickling down my nose. This happened a lot of times that my nose would often rival that of Rudolph (the reindeer). Sometimes I would hasten my count of routines. It actually felt like the count was based on nanoseconds and not based on seconds. Or, I would always glance at the boxing timer counting the seconds down to zero. During these times, the trainer would always call my attention because there was no power from my punches.

In short, I was merely doing the sessions (for the sake of doing these). I was not getting the benefits that I should from these training sessions. So upon realizing this, I pushed myself to focus — not on the distractions but on the proper execution of the routines.

After four months

I realized that when you pushed your brain to ignore the distractions, you tend to enjoy what you are doing. And when you enjoy a lot, you tend to also ignore the time until you hear the bell. Also when you enjoy what you are doing, challenges that you encounter along the way do not matter at all. Your mind is intent on doing one thing — for you to reach your destination.

Fast tracking time, I now weigh almost 30 pounds lighter after more than four months. Of course, I also do dragon boat and run everyday. However, I believe that my discipline to focus on what I should be doing (based on my realization on boxing) helped a lot for me to reach this milestone. This realization is also applicable to what I do in dragon boat and in running, and I believe applicable to what we do in life (in general).

Friends, this is what I would like all of you to take from this.

We all have our dreams — be published, run our own business or become a champion speaker. We, however, fail to progress towards these aspirations because we pay too much attention on the distractions around us. Some of these distractions are just petty while many are most likely to offer more challenges.

It is important that you do not let your self be distracted. The key word that we need to help us reduce that gap between where we are and where we want to be is DISCIPLINE.

Discipline your mind to just do what you should be doing — be it something big or small. Focus on the task at hand, and in no time you will reach what you aspire in your life.

Believe me.


PS: Featured image was taken from https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/04/15/17/26/box-1331470_960_720.jpg

The Best Teachers Teach From The Heart

“You need to make sure that when your twenty apples from one basket are transferred to another basket, these are still twenty apples. Not ten oranges and ten apples when these reach the destination.”

One night, I was fast-tracking my lessons. I needed to make sure that I cover all in my syllabus before the departmental quiz of a theory-based, technical subject. So I was trying to squeeze what I could given the time allotted for me to teach the subject. The problem was I needed to finish the subject within two weeks because it was “modular”. Thus, I was torn between making the technical topics palatable to my non-technical students and hastening the discussion to cover all.

I noticed, however, one person who probably was having difficulty coping with the discussion while most of the group seemed to follow reasonably. I was talking about “system interfaces” and the controls that needed to be considered to ensure its effectiveness. I wanted really to ignore her and continue moving to another topic. But then it dawned on me that, above all, I was her teacher.

I suddenly recalled the time when my grandmother, who was a teacher, patiently explained to me lessons that I had difficulty understanding. She would use different strategies just for me to get what she was teaching. She would not give up on me until I get what she was explaining.

And I took a cue from that memory way back when I was really young…

I smiled at my student, and delivered that line.

It took me different strategies to drive my point but I did not leave her without getting the point that I was discussing. I started with the technical stuffs, then I related this to real-world examples that I encountered in my practice. When the technical explanations did not suffice, I moved to what I usually call as the “fruits” lessons. I even played around with different scenarios:

… Some apples getting lost by mistake while in transit

… Some apples intentionally taken by malicious individuals

… Some apples erroneously/intentionally changed to oranges while in transit

When she finally smiled to me, and I was confident that she got my point, that was when I moved to another topic.

I spent several minutes in that discussion which I thought I could use to cover more important topics. I actually ended my class a bit late — by fifteen minutes. However, as a teacher, I cannot leave a single student behind. It was a promise I made when I decided to take this path. I was not about to break that promise just because I was rushing to cover all in my syllabus.

At the end of the lessons, I saw her trailing behind her classmates. Then she suddenly gave me a smile filled with gratitude. I thought then that teaching was a really fulfilling career.

I guess, from the end of a student, her showing to me that she had difficulty coping was a good strategy to get my attention. It made me focused on her. She could have pretended like, I suspect, some were doing — nodding excitedly as if they were able to get what I was saying. But her style paid off. She did well in the class. She got a “Very Good” in her final grade, which was way better than what many of my students in that class got as final grades.

Friends, there are two things I need you to take from this entry.

First, as a student, staff or anyone (regardless of position or age), do not deny admitting having difficulty on something. People around you won’t be able to extend help unless you sound-off. Ignore what other people would say. Let them feast on your issues. What is important is that you would able to resolve and put your issues behind.

Finally, as a teacher or anyone who holds more knowledge and experience than the people around us, it is incumbent that we make sure to reasonably share what we know. It could be really challenging, and honestly impossible, to make everyone understand what you are saying. However, as a famous saying implies just “teach from your heart”, and take as many with you in your journey as a “teacher”.

Remember that the fulfillment that we all get from sharing what we know is never about the money that comes with it. It is always at the idea that we have added value to another person’s life thru the knowledge that we share.

PS1: “Share What You Know” is a recommended read to all.

PS2: Featured image was taken from “https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2016/10/30/05/43/aec-1782427_960_720.jpg”.