If you’re anything like me, I imagine you would like more:

  • Freedom…
  • Money…
  • Growth…

And you would like to have less:

  • Stress…
  • Pain…
  • Responsibility…

Simply put, you want to earn more by working less. You want to make the most out of this (one) life you’re given, and you want to fulfil your potential and become a true success story. What if I told you this was possible, and that it’s your mistakes that play a fundamental role.

Or more importantly, the type of mistakes you make, and the ones you DO NOT make.

Not All Mistakes Are Equal

Your mistakes and failures can be your greatest resource. James Dyson failed 5,126 times before he found a version of his revolutionary vacuum that worked. Each mistake provided valuable lessons and taught him what did and did not work. But not all mistakes are valuableSome mistakes have the power to turn a good entrepreneur bad, and instead of learning these first-hand, I encourage you to learn from those who have been there and done it. So if you desire to earn more and work less, be sure not to make the following mistakes:

Do Not Have a Plan B

My friend Scott Oldford has often noted how dangerous having a Plan B can be. An entrepreneur who has a Plan B is an entrepreneur who isn’t committed to Plan A. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t adapt or move with the times. If something isn’t working, you need to make changes and find the right solution. But so long as you have something to fall back on, you’re setting yourself up for long term failure and making it nigh-on-impossible to fulfill your success. Take Jayson Gaignard, and how he went from millions to nothing in 18 months. Jayson built one of Canada’s biggest ticket sellers, and had “everything” he was supposed to want. Yet he never felt satisfied, so he self-sabotaged what he built without even knowing it.

Jayson desired more from life than money in the bank, but his Plan B made him millions, so he should have been happy. The thing is, your Plan B will never make you happy.

Do Not Get Good at Saying Yes

Successful people say no. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to get good at saying yes. My friend Claud Williams got good at saying yes, and it lead him to fall out of love with his business. After setting up his photography business at university, he loved life behind the camera. But he kept saying yes to clients, to projects, to this, to that, and before long, he hated the camera he once loved. Your job isn’t to say yes. It’s to say yes to the right opportunities.

This means saying no an awful lot more,

Do Not Become Consumed by Money

The most successful people I know appreciate that money is important, but that it’s only important in the role it plays within your lifestyle. Meaning, you need money to live the life you wish to live. But money itself is not the end goal.  Becoming consumed by the almighty dollar is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Steve Olsher fell victim to this, chasing it throughout the nineties. He made lots of it, but also suffered through the dot.com crash of the new millennium, and the real estate collapse a decade later.

These painful ordeals lead him to search for his ‘what’, and to becoming America’s reinvention expert.

Money is still important to Steve, but it’s no longer what drives or motivates him.

Do Not Forget to Build Scaleable Products

When you first start out, this isn’t a problem. You have lots of time and resources to dedicate to your customers. You can serve each one individually. But then your business begins to grow. You have less time. You’re strained. You have reached your ceiling, and you know you’ve made a big mistake. Pam Slim did, as she spent years doing one-on-one coaching. She loved it, and so did her clients. But then she stopped growing. She grew tired, stressed, and strained.

Worst of all, her service and quality suffered.

Your job is to not only build profitable products, but ones that can scale long into the future. This is the only way to work less and earn more.

Do Not Model Yourself on Other People

There’s a difference between inspiration and replication. Successful people look to others for inspiration, but always ensure their own style, voice, and personality shine through. Whereas everyone else wishes they had what other people have and copy-and-paste their approach. If you’re doing this, you’re making a big mistake.

Marianne Cantwell tried to conform to her industry in the beginning. She figured if she copied other successful people, and did it a little bit better, then success would follow.

She was wrong. Success didn’t follow. In fact, success only followed when she embraced her own sparkling personality and shared it with the world.

Do Not Listen to Your Fear

Fear in itself is not an issue. Fear does not define you. In fact, fear can become the fuel and motivation you need to fulfill your potential. Successful people have fears just like you, but what separates them from everyone else is that they do not let their fear hold them backDebbie Millman listened to her fear when she graduated college. She had dreams and aspirations, but chose a sensible corporate career (because that’s what you’re supposed to do). Her fear was real, but she didn’t have to listen to it.

Your fears are real too, but you, and only you, get to choose whether you give in and listen or push them to one side and make giant strides regardless. When I interviewed Debbie for ‘The Successful Mistake’, she told me how listening to her fear remains one of her biggest regrets. She then told me about a conversation she had with her friend Dani Shapiro, and how she said, “We think we need confidence to do something and take action, but confidence isn’t what we need. What’s more important than confidence is courage and competence.”

Courage and competence, this is what you need to overcome your fear. In fact, courage and competence will help you overcome many of the mistakes we’ve covered today. You will make them. Some will become the greatest lessons you’ll learn and spark splendid success for years to come, whereas others will hold you back and stifle your growth.

Instead of making these yourself, learn from those who have been there and done it. And if you would like to learn how, I encourage you to check out my free guide that shows you 11 things successful people do not do.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Matthew Turner
Matthew Turner is the author of The Successful Mistake: How 163 of The World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Transform Failure Into Success. After interviewing 163 authority figures, Matthew’s unearthed how successful people overcome failure and adversity, to not only ensure they don’t ruin their livelihood, but craft their greatest idea out of it. To grab your free & exclusive paperback copy of the book, visit successfulmistake.com/influencive