Fortune Cookie Friday: Small Business Advice in an Edible Wrapper – Mistakes: Learning from the What and Why

Once again, it’s Friday and time again for more business insight from the confines of a fortune cookie.

This week’s fortune, courtesy of my hot & sour soup and Hunan chicken lunch special:

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

As a solopreneur, dwelling on mistakes is counter-productive, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about them completely. Personally, I’ve learned far more from my fumbles than I have from efforts that went completely according to plan. Not that I enjoy less than stellar outcomes, but I’ve come to appreciate their value in the self-assessment process.

In business, it’s just as important to take note of what didn’t work as it is to celebrate and look to repeat what brought you success. The key is to not only remember the “what”, but also the “why”.

For example, if a marketing campaign failed, was it because it reached the wrong audience? Did the message not resonate? Did it lack a call to action? Did your competitors offer something better at the time?

It’s not enough to know that something didn’t succeed, you’ve also got to dissect that failure and learn from it so you don’t go down the same path in a different wagon later.

So, don’t dismiss the endeavors that didn’t quite work out for you. Instead embrace the opportunity for honest evaluation that they bring – and the fact that now you know better for next time.

I’m open to interpreting your fortune cookie finds, too. Feel free to share your next slip of confectionary-bound wisdom here or email it to me at and I’ll try to use it in my next Fortune Cookie Friday post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.