How To Achieve Entrepreneurial Forgiveness

Dan Sullivan
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Today, I want to share an energy-boosting strategy that’s been helpful to me and a number of my clients over the past several months.

Some of you may be familiar with my saying that “forgiveness is when you give up the hope of having a better past.” I believe that every entrepreneur, by the time they reach a certain level of success, accumulates a litany of “sins” they have trouble forgetting even if they’re not top of mind—bad decisions, bad hires, moments of incompetence or failure, even letting other people down. These are irksome and often lie at the root of why entrepreneurs feel perpetually dissatisfied.

As long as you’re still bothered by the perceived failures and defeats in your past, you may hear other people’s praise and accolades, but you won’t be able to accept them.

Here’s a way I’ve found to shake off this unnecessary burden:

  1. Start by writing down 10 things from your entrepreneurial past that give you a negative feeling when you think about them. I realize this may not be easy because many entrepreneurs are naturally averse to analyzing their history. They prefer to look forward. But stay with me; I won’t make you look at this for more than about three minutes.
  2. Once you’ve done that, take your best profit year ever and multiply that by 10.
  3. From the position of 10x greater profit, look at those 10 negative things from your past. How much would they matter if you achieved that bigger context?

This is the entrepreneurial equivalent of general absolution. Whatever “sins” are in your past, 10x has the power to wipe away their seeming importance and their emotional sting. The Multiplier Mindset is focused on results, but it can also have a significant psychological and emotional impact when you consider how a big success that has a huge positive impact on you, your team, and the people you want to be a hero to outweighs the relatively small “lessons” it took to get there.

One more thought to leave with: There’s no such thing as failure—only success and market research.