Hindsight is a devilish thing. It allows us to look back with relative clarity and usually with more experience and insight on the things we have done. In doing so, hindsight can lead many people to regret decisions made and paths chose, but for people like me, it is more a tool that allows us learn from the past and apply valuable insight to decision in the future.
“Before, you are wise; after, you are wise. In between you are otherwise”
― David Zindell, The Broken God
This applies to entrepreneurs more than perhaps any other type of person I know. The learning curve in entrepreneurship almost demands that we fail more than we succeed in order to learn hard and valuable lessons, and if we fall into the “regret cycle” then we start throwing up our own blocks which may prevent us from starting something new. One thing that we can, and perhaps must do, is learn from the mistakes of others. Standing on the shoulders of giants doesn’t just mean building on their success – that’s only 25% of the battle – it means learning from their failures and mistakes.
Applying this to myself, I often find myself wondering if I shouldn’t have attended somewhere like Babson College at some point in my career. Babson has been ranked #1 in entrepreneurship for the past 20 years, and Bloomberg rated them as the #11 “Executive Education Provider in the World” for 2013.
My career moved at a rapid clip from the military to teaching and then into entrepreneurship before falling out of the game for a few years, moving to the U.S. and starting all over again. A well-rounded education in the foundations of management and entrepreneurship may have saved me from making some of the mistakes I’ve made over the years, allowed me to spot opportunities that I may have missed, and taken the edge off of some of those hard learned lessons.
Still, as I said at earlier hindsight is a devilish thing. I’ve learned things the “hard way” (just wait a minute and I’ll start telling you about how we used to walk to school barefoot in the snow, over broken glass and it was uphill in both directions), but you don’t have to learn all your lessons that way.
Check out Babson College and see what kind of foundation they can offer you as you begin your road to entrepreneurship.