I posted yesterday on Guy Kawasaki’s list of five things he’s learned as an entrepreneur. His list reminds me of one very important reality I’ve dealt with through more than 25 years of running my own business.

You Make Mistakes
Starting, growing and running a business involve choices all the time, decisions and more decisions. You just can’t do that without making mistakes sometimes. There’s no way you’re always right.

This seems obvious, I hope, when I put it down here in words. But the ramifications are not so obvious. If you start, grow and run a business, you had better be able to deal with the trail of mistakes in your wake. You can look back on that and drive yourself crazy, or look forward and keep trying.

Lots of activities involve trying a lot and failing a lot. In baseball, getting a hit one out of every three tries is way better than average. The pitcher in baseball gets to use up three bad pitches before the batter gets a free base. In basketball, a team that hits 50 percent of its shots is doing very well. In soccer they play 90 minutes and average one or two goals per team.

Business is another of these activities. Expect to make mistakes. Don’t dwell on them after the fact. Deal with the mistake, recognize what went wrong, analyze what should happen next and why–and get on with the business.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.