Why it’s important to give yourself permission to be an amateur.

When I became an entrepreneur one of the greatest gifts I gave myself was permission to be an amateur. Or perhaps the only reason I became an entrepreneur is that I was okay with being an amateur. It’s hard to say.

Entrepreneurs ultimately need to know everything there is to know about starting and running a business. Yet the vast majority of this knowledge comes from on-the-job training. Which is how you learned to ride a bike. It’s how the Wright Brothers learned to fly. It’s how MLK learned to give great speeches. And how we all learned to do the Electric Slide. #boogiewoogiewoogie

By allowing yourself to be an amateur you allow for mistakes. You put a premium on learning, not knowing. Remember, you could never learn to juggle without making mistakes. The same is true for standup comedy. And parenting your children. (Don’t tell my kids that.) We start every area of life stupid. Being okay with that is the smart way to begin.

I make progress by doing what I know to do until I discover a better way. The secret is to always be looking for and open to that better way. Once you find it, you add it to your personal weaponry and you take another step forward. Those who reach the highest level of achievement simply never stop taking steps forward. Neither should you.

My kids and I recently learned to surf. Which is kind of like learning to ride a bike. Only with tighter fitting clothes.

Key Takeaway

Allow yourself to be a beginner. It makes you much more likely to begin. Allow for mistakes. When you accept your amateur status the journey from ignorance to intelligence is more enjoyable and rewarding. Learn and grow as you go. Recognize your improvements. And know that you can apply the same approach to anything in life.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more of the best life lessons I have learned check out my new book, What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.