Your Past Does Not Define Your Future
Your Past Does Not Define Your Future
Transcription of Episode
Do you let past mistakes dictate your future choices?
It's a fascinating question because a lot of people use their paradigm of the world to kind of encase them in concrete almost and keep them doing the same garbage that they've done in the past. We're all guilty of it in one way or another, but it's really, really dangerous in your business.
This whole topic came up because Trent and I were working on a new book that he's writing. There was a story that he was telling me as we were working on it of this lady who, her business had plateaued, she was trying to find a new way to kick-start it and get it going in the right direction.
Trent had done a consultation with her, gone through her business, figured out a process that would definitely improve her experience, and part of that was gathering mobile phone numbers by using keywords and phone numbers at her events and then using [00:01:00] that to then segue into some automated follow-up she currently wasn't doing.
She kind of seemed excited about it at the moment, and then he left her to go take care of it.
When he followed back up with her, she said "Yeah, you know, I've been thinking, I've been doing a lot of my stuff with email and Facebook, and it's gonna cost me a little bit of money to do texting. So, I think I'm just gonna continue with what I've been doing."
And Trent said, he was probably too gracious, he was like, "Oh, okay. All right," and left her. But later, he was just expressing how frustrated he was that people can be so ignorant about their future. Not realizing that the choices you've made in the past are, and I'm not talking about yesterday, I'm talking about over the past couple years, are what formed your future or your current reality.
Your current reality is the result of choices you've made over the past few years.
If your choices continue to be the same, then [00:02:00] when you turn to the other side, you can expect that your outcome will be about the same as well. And if your current outcome is actually declining, then you really are in a worse spot than you realize because that's your trajectory. It's a trajectory that's going to continue in that direction if nothing else changes.
You really want to change your paradigm, the way that you see the world, as one of learning from mistakes versus letting mistakes define you.
She had let the mistakes of just relying on email and Facebook, which had gotten her to where she was, define what she was going to do in the future, when in reality it was telling her something. Her approach was producing a flat result. And if the approach was producing a flat result, that means she's getting feedback from those activities, those things that she's doing.
They're telling her, something's got to change. You got to take a different approach because what you're [00:03:00] doing has peaked out. In fact, it's on the decline.
You want to be really careful that, as you go through your business, you're paying close attention to what's going on in the business so that you can learn from the feedback that it's giving you and you cannot let your past mistakes define what you're going to do in the future.
One of the beautiful things about Christianity, and I'm Christian, but one of the beautiful things about it is it gives you this opportunity to have a starting point that's fresh. I'm sure there's other religions that do the same thing, but a point where you can say, essentially, "Okay, I've done some things that I'm not happy about that I know have caused harm to myself or other people and I want to change that."
Just that desire to change, because of who Jesus Christ is to us, means that we can let that stuff go. You can turn to a totally new direction and then go forward in that.
That paradigm, whether you're Christian or not, is really critical for you to get in business because it allows you to be able to let go of those things that have been dragging you [00:04:00] in the wrong direction. It allows you to look to a new approach, maybe a fresh approach, that hopefully is informed by some thoughtful introspection and review of the facts of your business.
Based on that, you're saying, "Hey, I need to make a different choice and need to go in a different direction. I'm going to learn from what I've done, I'm not going to use a stick to beat myself. I'm a look at it and say, what have I learned through that experience? And I'm going to take those learning parts and I'm going to apply them to my new direction."
I think that's one of the big keys that you have to have as a business owner because, in my experience at least, being in business for yourself is a series of mistakes, doing things the wrong way and learning from them. If you don't learn from them, then you're going to get yourself out of the business pretty quick.
One of the things I talk about fairly frequently is this idea of cash flow is the most important thing in your business. In fact, I was talking to another friend and he was [00:05:00] talking about how he was actually running at a deficit, but he had done some things that had created cash flow for himself that allowed him to get through that learning experience and come out on the other side healthy and actually stronger than ever before.
As you're going through your business, you're going to make mistakes. You've got to be able to accept the fact that those mistakes are going to happen and those mistakes are going to happen fairly frequently.
However, through those mistakes, if you can learn from them and change your direction, your approach in response to those mistakes and not in a reactionary way, but in a thoughtful methodical way, what will happen for you is that you'll be able to continue and progress through that. Hopefully your cash flow will be sufficient that you'll be able to learn the lessons you need to learn and get you through to the other side.
That's the long and the short of today's episode.
I want you to think about your mistakes as learning opportunities.
They aren't labels that define you, they aren't things that dictate what your future choices [00:06:00] must be, although sometimes they do have consequences that you will have to resolve, but that you can make a new choice. You can plot out a new direction and you can take what you've learned from the past and use that to educate your future versus defining you.
There's this really interesting study that was done where scientists took some flies and they put them in a glass jar and then they put Saran Wrap over the top of that glass jar. They left the flies in there for a little bit and then after a couple hours, they peeled back the Saran Wrap.
Because the flies had grown accustomed to running into that Saran Wrap during those couple hours, they just assumed that the Saran Wrap was there. They didn't attempt ever get out of the jar because they had defined what their experience would be. In other words, they let their map of the territory become the territory in their mind. They didn't even test it or try it out.
With your mistakes, learn from them. Don't let them define you. Don't let your [00:07:00] past record make sure that you can't change it in the future.
Set a new direction. Set a new course.
And know that you can do it.
There's a lot of resources out there for you besides the stuff that we try and give you here at FixYourFunnel. There are a lot of resources that can help you to be able to define a new path. If you see that you're not producing the results you want, go through a process of identifying, what is it that's producing the undesirable effects that I'm seeing in my business right now?
I had to find one of those processes in my book, How to Fix Your Funnel, which I would encourage you to get. I think I mentioned this before, but it's only five dollars.
It's not like I'm making money off this, although it would be fine if I did. It's for me. It's something I want to do to give back for all the great things that people have given to me and their own books or courses or whatever. Fortunately, my situation doesn't require me to make money off of everything I do, so I give back in the form of that book.
That's a book that you should read because it will give you a context and a way of looking at past [00:08:00] mistakes and being able to learn from them by identifying your business as this entity that's communicating with you.
Again, I hope that helps you in your journey as a small business owner. I know for me, it's been critical because I screw up all the time. I make lots of mistakes.
Instead of letting that define me or label me as a failure or a screw up or something like that, I'm able to look at it for what it really is, which is feedback that the thing I was doing wasn't working and indication that I need to try a different approach. That's critical in business, so I hope that that will help you and serve you.
As I always say, keep moving forward.