Tell My Employees and Friends to Make Many Mistakes

Whenever I welcome employees to my PR agency, I always tell them make many mistakes and if a friend starts a company I tell them the same thing.  Nearly unanimously, both groups look at me like I am nuts when I say it, and and then repeat it.  I mean it – making mistakes is a necessary path to doing great work, and its inevitable. When you take chances and work hard you will make mistakes – and that’s ok.

Nick Schulz of the American Enterprise Institute wrote a great article this week entitled “Steve Jobs: America’s greatest failure,” stating “lots of digital ink will be spilled about Jobs in the coming days, most of it focusing on his truly marvellous successes.  It’s better to focus on his failures. Jobs failed better than anyone else in Silicon Valley, maybe better than anyone in corporate America. By that I mean Jobs did what only the greatest entrepreneurs can do: learn from their failures.”  (The article can be read at: )

In growing my PR Agency from a 1-man operation in 2003 to 1 of the 25 largest U.S. PR Firms I have made many mistakes – at my firm, with clients, employees and in other entrepreneurial ventures – yet I remain determined to succeed and to win. I have learned from my mistakes and I realise its necessary to win and to keep going and keep growing.  As the media celebrates Steve Jobs for the many great things he did also remember Steve Jobs for bringing us the Apple I and Apple II computers (which were complete failures.) He also invented a computer named Lisa which failed miserably and cost tens of millions of dollars to develop.  All of us can learn from it – and use it to push forward and keep going and keep growing.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of NY based 5WPR