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The David Chronicles: The Biggest Mistake

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by David Garland in David's Blog

The David Siteman Garland AgencyNOTE: This is a new personal series I’m trying out to see if you like it, find it interesting, funny, helpful, whatever. It is no-punches-pulled, 100% ridiculously transparent. Based on the first few installments (linked up at the bottom if you want to check them out), you want more. So, here it comes…muhahaha.

What is the “biggest mistake” you have ever made when it comes to business? Usually everyone has THAT story and this is one of mine (hard to actually choose just one, haha).

The way I look at mistakes is simple:

  • Without taking any risks, you won’t make any mistakes.
  • Mistakes, while of course are upsetting, are learning experiences if you allow them to be.

After two years and moving on from pro inline hockey in need of a change, I was in what I’d call “limbo mode.”

No, this didn’t mean attending a bunch of awkward parties and trying to dance under a stick. What it meant was essentially answering the question: “Now what?”

My first idea I took action on ended up being a valuable mistake/lesson.

Since I had success selling sponsorships and had a pretty nice repertoire of clients (UPS, Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, BMW, Mobil) my idea was pretty simple: I would create a little agency and help match sponsors with clients/events. For example, an event would come to me in need of sponsorships and I could leverage my relationships with my sponsors and take a percentage.

The David Siteman Garland Agency was born. Nice, creative name…sigh.

Brilliant idea, right? Can you spot the problem?

The problem wasn’t the business model. It worked. And I could have made a LOT of money this way and done it for a long time. The problem was that I was not chasing a passion or interest…I was chasing the money.

It went against my philosophy that money follows passion and not the other way around.

I didn’t wake up in the morning excited to sell sponsorships for other people’s stuff. Sponsorships weren’t what drove me. I was successful in the past at selling sponsorships because I was passionate about my company.

What is the big lesson here that we can all learn from? The number one failure I see in business all the time is people that take the philosophy I did, which was: “Here is a good idea and it can make money.”

Because if all you are chasing is the money, you better be REALLY passionate about that damn money (and some people do have that “whatever it takes to make money attitude even if I have to do work I hate”…good for them, but that isn’t us). Every business has its ups and downs. Good days and bad days. Awesome streaks and terrible streaks. If you don’t love what you are doing, it makes it REALLY easy to give up.

And sometimes that can be a good thing…because it means you are doing something you really don’t want to do anyway. Check that one off the list. Process of elimination. No harm, no foul. No need to be embarrassed about it.

Because we don’t give up on things we REALLY care about. We just don’t. We find a way to make it work. We keep going. We move forward. Period.

What did I do? I decided quickly it wasn’t for me after just a month or two. And that is when my whole world changed (for the better) and I’m thankful every day I switched paths and ended up creating The Rise To The Top.

Would you have done the same? Do you have any stories on giving up on something which led to greater things?

In the next David Chronicles: Where The Idea For The Rise To The Top Came From.

In case you missed it:

8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

Unlock the Offer!