Every five years or so, I look back and think, “How could I have been so silly?”
I have now come to see gaps in my knowledge and think about how differently I should have approached certain situations. I often feel a little foolish, given the experience I’ve gained in subsequent years.
Recently, I’ve been working on a new TV show about tech that Channel 9 is going to air nationally in Australia. Over the the past few years, I’ve tried to sell three different TV shows on tech to broadcasters. The first show wasn’t succinct enough conceptually – and deservedly didn’t get taken up. The second was, and still is, a killer concept . But we (Tommy and I) made an error in hiring someone with great connections to sell it in on our behalf. He failed to get us the result we wanted. I’ve learned that when it comes to concepts, they buy because of the person selling it – first and foremost – and then the product, second. Turns out it is impossible to buy into someone who isn’t in the room! This is something I knew from my other endeavours, but failed to remember for this new venture. We sold the third concept over a screen via Zoom, with much less development work done. The thing we actually sold was ourselves.
Reminder to self: Even in different industries, the principles rarely change. Those who say, “But it doesn’t work that way in this industry…” are very often protecting their own interest in maintaining the status quo.
Now that I have finally have this project up and running, I can look back and say,” I failed to get those projects up and running simply because of the errors I made”. There would be nothing worse than persevering, trying and not knowing you need to get better, iterate and improve your approach. When it comes to our future, it’s absolutely vital we can look back and think, “Geez, I got that so wrong”. If you can’t say that, then it can only mean one of two things. Either you’re stagnating or you’re too ignorant to know you need to get better.
It doesn’t matter whether these five years’ of hindsight relates to your technical knowledge, career, relationships, health or almost anything else – the principle is the same. It comes down to this: if you can’t look back and laugh at your own folly, then you haven’t grown. The one thing we should wish for is that in five years from now, we can look back at today and wonder how we could have been so silly.
– – –