Why I Publish My Mistakes

“Experience plus honest self-examination leads to wisdom.” – John Maxwell

Business gurus commonly extoll the values of “failing fast” and making mistakes early and often.

But it’s not the mistakes that count. Experience is not always the best teacher.

It’s what you DO with the experience that counts.

Ten years ago, I started publishing a blog called “DontBuyAds”. It was written for an audience of one: me. Each post could have started with, “Dear Chris, you’ve screwed this up. Here’s what you learned. You’re forgiven–this time. Here’s how you avoid making this same mistake twice.”

It turned out that many others were making the same mistakes–or were about to. The blog turned into a book that sold tens of thousands of copies, but that was just a happy accident.

The reason I publish my mistakes hasn’t changed.

Back then, every post was a daily love letter to myself. Today, every post, podcast, video, handbook, worksheet and course is a love letter to gym owners around the world. And also to me, because I still own my gym, and I don’t want to make the same mistakes twice.

I’m definitely the only business coach who’s ever screwed anything up, or made mistakes worth sharing. None of the gurus have ever made a mistake in their business, marriage, faith or Instagram profiles.

But if you’re fallible like me, think about giving yourself permission to screw up–but never to make the same mistake twice.

Writing down your errors ensures that you’re only making NEW mistakes, and that’s the real key to progress.

(Thanks to Craig Hysell for keeping a copy of that original “run” of 30 books. I’ll never draw another book cover in Microsoft Paint–another great lesson learned.)

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