There are a lot of old adages about how “experience is the greatest teacher.” Really, this is a more positive way of saying, “learn from your mistakes,” or as I like to put it -- learning how to “fail elegantly.”
First of all, if you take the right lessons from a mistake, then it’s really not going to be a failure at all. Because it’s going to point you in a better direction that’s probably going to wind up making you a lot of money.
In my experience, one of the key traits of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to master the Art of Pivoting. You have to be able to adapt very quickly once you get feedback from the marketplace about your business, no matter how much you’re emotionally invested in it. That means setting up a system so that you minimize the losses on your not-so-great ideas, and you capture the enormous gains on the ones that are even better than you first imagined.
A real master of this is Ilya Pozin, who joined me on my podcast this week to talk about the insanely sharp “pattern recognition” he has developed for spotting companies and ideas that can grow massively, and eliminating every other idea that can’t.
Ilya has successfully exited three companies of his own, including Pluto TV, which he sold to Viacom for $340 million. He’s a very smart guy and a cunning businessman, but what he does so well that you need to know about is using a very honed process to sift through business ideas and finding the one or two that he can scale on a massive level.
In a way, Ilya uses some old fashioned Straight Line prospecting in his own businesses, and the success he’s seen is truly massive.
Now, the question you need to know the answer to is -- if Ilya has a $340 million gift for scaling winning companies -- does your company sound like the type that he’d get behind? If it doesn’t, then it’s time to master the Art of Pivoting, so that you can find that big payout that’s waiting for you right around the bend.