The best preventive cure for your mistakes

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There is a saying in the start-up world that the “product-market fit” cures many sins of management. What this means exactly is that when you’re starting a new business (and even later), you do make many mistakes.

Setting the wrong prices, hiring the wrong people, mismanagement etc. But if you have a product that customers crave, if they’re prepared to pay a solid price for it (and your profit margin is high enough), then you can survive making more mistakes.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a “product-market fit” or you are starting business with low margins and a small volume, even the smallest mistakes can throw you out of business.

Thus you want to have as much traction as possible, with a very high margin and a strong competitive advantage. That isn’t easily achieved, but it is a must if you want to succeed in the business world.

Promising startups usually acquire lots of capital (and attract a lot of smart people) to reach the “product-market fit”. Capital and/or knowledge are their buffer, their lifeblood, their stockpile on the way from an idea to the “product-market fit”.

The more money and knowledge that a start-up has, the faster it can move, since more tests and experiments can be done in a shorter time in the search mode. Interestingly, without proper knowledge, too much money can stifle innovation, creativity, the scientific approach and focus on the right things.

Basically, capital and knowledge (and other resources) help you find the product-market fit and then you get yourself into a position to create even more resources.

The best preventive cure for your mistakes

Perfect fit is the best preventive cure for your mistakes

It’s no different in your personal life. The better the personal fit and the position you have, the more mistakes you can afford to make.

Having a chance to make more mistakes also means opening more opportunities for you and finding new ways no one has found before (meaning being more efficient). Let’s see what I have in mind, starting with your health.

Practical examples

If you’ve been an athlete from a young age onwards, you’ve developed a strong, solid and muscular body. When you’re older, you can afford more laziness and a poorer diet (not that I recommend it) than people who have never done sports in their life. Muscles have their own memory and you can quickly get back into shape after a few years of pause.

It’s the same if you are really good and talented at a certain sport. You still have to train hard, but you can afford many more mistakes, for example training less, trying new techniques and so on. Someone that is not as talented will never catch up, if you really have naturally good skills.

Talent, meaning doing something that’s your personal fit, in combination with hard and smart work and the right kind of environment lead to miracles – the outliers.

If you find your fit in personal relationships, you can afford more mistakes. It takes time to compromise and catch the rhythm with a new person, but if there is the right fit, meaning both partners really want the relationship to work, then tolerance towards mistakes is much bigger.

If there is no real fit, every small mistake can endanger the relationship. There are always lines you aren’t allowed to cross, like physical violence, cheating, but you get the point.

Money is the most obvious one in this context. The more assets you have, the more you can experiment, learn and try new investments. The better personal investment strategy you find, the more money you will make.

If you find your revenue fits and investments fit, you can really become rich. Finding your fits simply means you’re passionate and interested in something, so putting in hard work is no problem.

It’s the same with your career. The better you are at your occupation, the more you can achieve. The higher on the social ladder you are, the more mistakes you can afford. Well, the right kind of mistakes, not all of them.

But again, you get the point: the better you are at something and the better position you have, the freer you are to try new things, experiment or just make normal human mistakes.

The worse your position is and the more you’re doing things that aren’t right for you, the sooner you will make a mistake that could be fatal and cause a collapse in one of your life areas.

In summary when you find your fit in life:

  • You have an unfair advantage because you do or have something that you are naturally good at or is meant to be. Rarely put people the effort in to find their true fit, that is also why they are so unhappy.
  • Since you are naturally good at something, you can afford more mistakes and errors, but not only that you can also experiment more which can lead to even greater success.
  • There is still a limit how many and how big mistakes you can make before you get yourself out of the game, but your error buffer is bigger. The two most common mistakes are not giving your best or not innovating enough when you are in an unfair position.

Find your fit and shine

Thus if you want to feel freer in life, if you want to be in a position to try more on your journey, experience new things and be able to afford more mistakes, find your personal fits.

You should introduce the search mode into your life and before executing anything, find the one thing that really suits you best.

Find the right person to build an intimate relationship with. Find a person for whom all the struggle is really worth it; and it will be worth it. Find a career that really suits you best, one that you are passionate about and where you can really deliver value added.

Work hard to be in a good position and then take bigger and bigger risks that will take you even a step further. But take risks you can still afford (usually risks with small downside and big upside), not risks that could potentially take you out of business.

It’s called a positive/negative spiral. The more you achieve, the more risks you can afford, the more risks you can afford, the more you can achieve and so on. And vice versa: failure leads to failure. And if you don’t have outer resources at the beginning (money, real-estate, statues etc.), you can start with investing inner resources (knowledge, skills, creativity etc.).

Resources -> Product-market fit -> More resources

To accelerate the whole process, you want to find your personal fits, where your progress will be the fastest and you can afford to take some risks immediately, no matter your starting position, because of your natural talent (inner asset).

Know what you want, find your personal fits and then execute and find yourself in a positive spiral.

About the author

Consulting and management coaching

Blaž Kos has managed venture capital investments over the past 12 years and participated in the development of the start-up ecosystem in the region. Today, he advises companies on growth strategies, process optimization, the introduction of lean agile methods and the digitalization of business. In addition to the Slovenian blog, he also writes an English blog, which was selected among the 50 best bloggers in the world in the category of personal and business growth.
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