Being wrong isn’t a bad thing. – AUDIO NSFW
Have you ever been wrong before? Oh, I’m sure you have. I’m sure you’ve been wrong before just as I have been wrong before. You see, this is what I’ve been meditating on today after my gym workout as well as my acai bowl this morning. I was thinking about how wrong I’ve been in occasions past. That is what I want to talk with you guys about today. Have you ever made a big bet? Have you ever been overconfident? Have you ever been so assured of some outcome, some idea, some person, some situation, some project, and in the end of days, you were slammed down, you were wrong, completely wrong, dead wrong, dead as a doornail?
The title of today’s topic is Never Underestimate How Wrong You Can Be. I meditated on this and what really came to mind is the pain of being wrong. That is the heart of the matter, isn’t it? We all admit and we all get this idea of being wrong. We’ve been wrong before. In many times, it’s less about the correction. It’s more about the pain of being wrong, the cognitive dissonance that’s created because we held something to be true. We believe something to be true and it turned out to be false.
What happens in turn is that we create these mental ideas around ourselves maybe we weren’t as smart as we thought we were, maybe we weren’t as bright or competent or logical or as smart as we thought we were.
This, at the end of the day, especially for entrepreneurs is what I would consider one of the many entrepreneurial dilemmas. What is this entrepreneurial dilemma? Let me see if this resonates for any of you builders out there. The entrepreneurial dilemma is 1) knowing that the world is fractal and variable. Knowing that the world is fractal and variable, but 2) at the same time having the most hope, the most self-esteem, the most self-assurance, and the most confidence that it’s going to work. Is that not the tension that entrepreneurs deal with?
We know as entrepreneurs. Ask me guys. I know that the world is fractal and variable. You might say well, Peter, those are some big-ass words. What are those mean? Well guys, I studied and I spent years, a decade plus in complex systems, complex organizations, and I can tell you that life is complex. Life is complex. There’s too many unknowns.
If you’ve studied or any of you guys have studied out there complex adaptive systems, then you well know this. The world is fractal. There is no pattern to human nature. There is no pattern to us humans and there is no distinct pattern. I can truly emerge from a multiplicity of variable people. I always like to say that the biggest variable in the world is humans. The biggest variable in the world is humans. We’re the reason why things go wrong.
I used to say this as a lot as a consultant. I remember telling my clients lots of times that we would have perfect software. Seriously, I would tell my clients I would say we would have perfect software if we just didn’t have dadgum people. People are the greatest variable to software. People are the greatest variable to anything. We should almost welcome, if we want a consistency in life, the ‘borg. We should welcome Skynet. We should welcome the machines to take over our jobs because machines, they have a less chance of being variable.
We humans deal with emotions. We humans deal the feelings. We humans have shit in our lives that we bring into work. We humans have shit in our lives that we bring into relationships, we bring into our family, we bring into our brains. This is the entrepreneurial dilemma that we as entrepreneurs know that the world is variable. People are variable. Markets are variable. Everything’s fractal. There is no pattern that you can truly pull out of life, but yet at the same time, we as entrepreneurs have the greatest hope.
We have the most hope, the most self-confidence, the most self assurance, the most everything because we have to believe that what we’re doing is going to work. Then we find that it didn’t work. It didn’t work at all. This is so unique I believe to the entrepreneur and beyond. This is so unique. There’s such a deep sense of conviction here, especially from where I’m sitting, there’s a deep sense of conviction between these two.
I can hold these two ideas in tension and balance. It’s fascinating. It’s fascinating whenever I think about a new project how I know coming into that project that I’m gonna give my all. One of the things that I know, that I can control is what I put in, the effort that I put in. I know I can control that. I know that I can grind hard. I know that I can work harder than anyone else. I know that my idea, the idea that I can grind on if I work harder than everyone else and be as resourceful as I possibly can, I know I can be successful.
But at the same time, I have a tension that knowing the world is variable and that I can be wrong on certain things, many things, mostly people. Again, remember, don’t miss this. If you need a deeper dive into this, go back to one of my the 1st Law of Success podcast. You can type that in 1st Law of Success. Remember, don’t miss this, the only thing that you can really control in this world or in any type of entrepreneurial activity or anything are these two things – your emotions going into that and the effort that you are willing to put in – for the life-sized, gigantic-sized unit or size goal that you have.
Are you willing to trade your time, your effort, for a goal beyond yourself? Are you willing to put the effort in? I’ll tell you where I’ve been wrong the most. It’s not been in the market. It’s not been in the industry. It’s not been in my efforts that I’m going to put into this project. It’s not any of that. It’s not the planning. It’s not the thinking. None of that.
You know what I’ve really been wrong the most? I bet you can resonate with this listener out there, especially if you’re listening on iTunes podcast or Google Play. I bet you I know what you know where you’ve been wrong the most. It’s people. It’s people. The ultimate variable like I talked about previously. People are the ultimate variable. People keep promises. They break them. People get excited. Isn’t it true that the excitement of the new employee getting into the new corporate job, the excitement and the honeymoon wears off doesn’t it?
Depending on how dysfunctional and fucked up your corporate culture is, that honeymoon could last anywhere between a couple days, if you’re lucky and you have somewhat of a good corporate culture, it could last a couple months. But I’ll tell you, the honeymoon always wears off and the promises and the excitement that they had coming into this enterprise have been dulled by dysfunction, people, promises unkept. Isn’t that true?
What about perception? When they show their face, when people show their face, especially your first impression of them? Wow they look like a great worker! Wow they really talk a big game! Wow they really can do X, they can do Y, they can do Z, she can do this, he can do that, they said they would, they said they could, they said, they said, they said.
They’re the ultimate variable. People change. We have to remember this just as your life and just as my life has a thousand different inputs every day. Variables every day that affect what we do, our behaviors, our feelings, our emotions. It affects everything. In that day, just like that, people can change. You’ll wonder and you’ll say what happened? You just have to remember, people are variable.
One of the things that I always like especially when it comes to interviewing people and interviewed people for a job, I want to see you work. I want to see you work. I want to see what you’re really made of because at the end of the day, you can make me promises. You can say shit to me. You can give me a false perception that you’re a good worker, that you’re a hard worker, and that you’re jovial and that you’re excited to be here. You guys know what that’s like because you guys had jobs. Some of you maybe never, but most of you guys out there have had jobs. You know what that is, the honeymoon feeling.
You see, people are the greatest disappointment in life. We should never underestimate, never underestimate how wrong we can be. Do you know why? Because when we underestimate how wrong we truly can be with people, then we are guaranteeing great disappointment, grave disappointment in other people. And in doing so sometimes may even question who we are, but that’s what I don’t want you to do.
That’s what I wrote down here. Being wrong isn’t a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing. I’ve been wrong mostly with people, but I continue on. As the relationship breaks up, the business relationship breaks up, people move in different directions, we try something else. I’m quick to move on.
Some people might look at me and say you’re heartless. No! I got shit to do. I’m not gonna ruminate. I’m not gonna wallow in the pain and suffering of that poor decision. I’m not gonna wallow in myself and in self-pity and become a victim mentality. That’s some nonsense! That’s some bullshit. Being wrong isn’t a bad thing. It’s natural.
Here’s the key, learning about yourself is the goal. Never underestimate how wrong you can be. It reduces the pain that you could inflict in yourself if you’re weak-minded. But learning about yourself is the goal. Being wrong can fuck up people. I get it. I get it. It can fuck people up because you put so much into it. You had so much hope. You had so much self-confidence. You have so much assurance that this would work out the way that you assumed. Key idea: assumed! It makes an ass out of you and me when you assume.
Being wrong can fuck up people. I hope most of you have thick skin, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. You should grow thick skin because you’re gonna be wrong a lot. Because if you’re a true entrepreneur, that means you’re gonna be executing a lot. You’re gonna be building quickly, validating your assumptions, validating your hypotheses, validating against data, what really is valuable to the market, what’s really valuable to customers, what’s really valuable to people, and you will find quickly, if you’re awesome at being a start-up entrepreneur, you will find quickly that you are wrong all the time. The reason is because you do not know what people truly want or need until they tell you what they don’t like.
Let me say that again. You will never truly understand especially, if you’re building a product or service, you will never truly understand what your customers, your market needs until they tell you what they don’t like about what you gave them. Which is why executing quickly, experimenting quickly, building quickly to get feedback quickly is so important. If you’re an entrepreneur and you follow this vein of logic, if you are entrepreneurial you follow this vein of process, then you will learn quickly that being wrong isn’t a bad thing.
You’ll learn what you need to build from all the feedback of them telling you that you were wrong. Being wrong isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good thing. It allows you to learn about yourself. It allows you to learn about your project if that’s what you’re focused on. I wrote a couple things down, 3 things to be exact, when it comes to being wrong in the pain of being wrong, if that’s where you’re stuck especially if you have been wronged or if you have been wrong about a person.
3 Ways to Reduce Pain of Being Wrong:
- Give yourself permission to make those mistakes.
Give yourself permission. I gave myself permission years ago, my friends. I no longer consider it. I assume that I’m going to be wrong about this person. I know it might seem like a negative Nancy thing that you’re going into business and you’re looking at this individual and they’re sitting across the table from you and they’re super excited to get started with you, I immediately know that when I look at that person that person is going to fucking disappoint me.
You know why? Because I’m human! I make assumptions. I make assertions. I make hypotheses about who I think that person is. I can’t fill in all the gaps. I guarantee myself from the day that I hire that individual, the day that I begin working within an individual that I will be disappointed with them. Give yourself permission to make mistakes with people and be forgiving with them and even more forgiving with yourself.
- Open your mind to alternate realities.
That it’s okay to be wrong. You didn’t see it in the right vantage point. You didn’t see it from the right view. You didn’t see it from the right way. You need to unlearn shit because sometimes your own functional dysfunctions, your own dysfunctions in life become personal blockers to success. You constantly see the same thing, the same issue, the same situation, the same person or you treat the same person the same way and it doesn’t work.
Let me give you a quote. I don’t know where it’s from, but I wrote it down. “A mistake repeated more than once is a decision.” A mistake repeated more than once is a decision. I can’t tell you guys how many times have I done the same dadgum bloody thing over and over again! It’s like quitting smoking! I fucking quit smoking a thousand times before I actually quit. Fuck! A mistake repeated more than once is a decision. Give yourself permission to make that shit and unlearn bad behaviors.
Have you been down this route before? You know what this feels like. Let’s unlearn some shit. Let’s unlearn potential blockers to success. Open your mind to stuff.
- Seek to understand.
Collect yourself. Retrospect. Forgive yourself. Rethink about why you were wrong. Was your logic wrong? Seek to understand the world around you. Seek to understand the people especially let’s say if you’re building a project as an entrepreneur, a product, or a service. Seek to understand your customer. Seek to understand your user. Seek to understand your market or your demographics. Seek to understand why you were wrong.
Get feedback from individuals who are willing to objectively tell you why you were wrong. Don’t take it personally. Often, we believe something to be true, but it turns out to be false. This can create massive confidence issues, cognitive dissonance, and demoralization of who we thought we are. Why? Because we’re fragile, people. Are we not? We’re fragile in the mind. Do not let your view of self be destroyed when you find out that you were wrong.
So what? You weren’t as smart, you weren’t as bright, you weren’t as competent as you thought you were, you weren’t as logical? Don’t be corrupted by the negativity of being wrong. You were wrong as a child. You were wrong growing up there elementary, middle school, high school, and college. You’re still wrong today. The reason you’re wrong a lot and I’m wrong a lot is because we have to engage and deal with variable humans, variable people in which we have no bloody and stinking idea of who they really are and what motivates and drives them and what variables, pressures, life situations that they are caught up in that may just may create a behavior that fucks you up.
You were wrong. You were wrong. So don’t worry about it. You were just wrong and that’s okay. So don’t underestimate how wrong you can be. Because if you don’t think about it you’re destined for destruction because you might just think that you’re the shiznit, you might just think that you’re always right, you might just think that you’re a know-it-all. And when the world shatters around you, you will not be able to recover.
- Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Forgive yourself.
- Unlearn some shit. When you make mistakes and things are wrong, unlearn some stuff.
- Seek to understand why. Why were you wrong? Collect yourself. Retrospect. Forgive yourself. Rethink. Maybe your logic is bad.
Let me finish this out with a great quote from Seth Godin who is a wonderful author. He said, “The secret to being wrong isn’t to avoid being wrong.” The secret to being wrong isn’t to avoid being wrong. I think this makes sense. “The secret is willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn’t fatal.”
Let me repeat this. Seth Godin said, “The secret to being wrong isn’t to avoid being wrong. The secret is willing to be wrong and the secret is realizing that wrong isn’t fatal.” So today, maybe just maybe, it might not apply to you, but that’s okay. But maybe just maybe where do you need to admit that you were wrong?
This is Peter, The Bitcoin Lambo. If you like this episode about being wrong and the natural occurrence of being wrong, then share this, subscribe, and smash the like button. I hope you guys have a great day and I’d love to see you guys and to have you guys ask me questions in our behind-the-scenes YEN.io, Things I Didn’t Learn In School podcast group. See you guys. Have a great one.