Ryan Gilliam became a self-made millionaire through managing a medical practice he started in his mid-20s.
Business Insider asked the now 31-year-old author of “The Cost of Greatness” for the insight he wishes he’d had when he was just starting out in his career. “Failure is OK,” he said.
“Failure is appropriate and failure is needed,” Gilliam continued. “Many of us learn through experience. We’re hands-on people, and we need to learn by doing.”
He said that early stage failures were responsible for some of the most serious business lessons he learned, like when a poorly written contract lost him thousands, and he had to forego his own payday to make sure his employees were covered. “I screwed up so much I can’t even begin to tell you.”
But, he said, it’s because of those mistakes that he knows better now. He continued:
“Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s going to happen because you don’t know what you don’t know until you don’t know it. Try and embrace it — be humble enough to understand that you’re going to screw up.
“Anybody with any type of experience understands you don’t always know what you’re talking about, and that there are so many weak areas you can’t see. All you can do is adjust to them and do your best to stay on course. When someone has the attitude that failure is to be avoided, that’s a red flag for me.”