Why glory belongs to sinners (at least in entrepreneurship)

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What makes a sinner of an entrepreneur? Are they your decisions, your environment, your place of origin or is it something more than that?

In different parts of the world, including the countries of Latin America, sin is interpreted as a handful of thoughts, words and actions that violate what is regularly considered correct. But is sin really that pitiful and fatal event that most assume?

Let’s go back to the origin; The Greek root of the term “sin” dates back to target practice in military training camps, when archers missed, their companions shouted “Sin! Sin!” The meaning of the word was associated with “failure to hit the target” or “miscalculation”, this did not carry with it any pejorative connotation that justified self-flagellation or regret for the action taken, given that at that time it was understood that virtue was forged as a function of attempts. Attempts that bring successes and failures, failures that, if identified, are corrected.

The philosophy of sin as an ingredient in the recipe for success has not been alien to the business world. This is the case of the prolific English businessman and magnate Richard Branson, who has constituted throughout his life more than 360 companies that are part of the Virgin Group conglomerate, of which more than 200 have been misguided, companies that never took off, being the most remembered: Virgin Cola and Virgin Express.

The accumulation of sins of Branson has not been a reason for bankruptcy, on the contrary, they have served to strengthen and leverage its business model, through the capitalization of the learning put at the service of the companies in which it was successful. Consequently, his fortune has not stopped growing, according to Forbes , it is estimated that Branson has an estimated net worth of 4.9 billion dollars, which places him in 2018 in position 388 on the list of the richest men on the planet and in the position number 23 of the United Kingdom, according to the portal Business Insider .

But of course Branson is not the only one, throughout history, referents in diverse sectors have managed to catapult to the top of the podium, boasting with their actions the use of the same principles.

This is the case of one of the most important North American inventors of all time, also remembered for the phrase: “There were not a thousand failed attempts, it was an invention with a thousand steps” , I mean Thomas Alva Edison , who gave life to more than 1,000 inventions ( 1,093 to be exact). Faithful believer that mistakes are never a failure, because he claimed they carry with them the demonstration of certainties, therefore, they are worth it.

Among his most outstanding creations we have; the phonograph (a device that made it possible to record and reproduce sounds), the kinetoscope (the forerunner of the film projector), as well as perfecting the operation of the long-lasting electric light bulb. 87 years after his death, his famous phrase continues to enjoy surprising vitality, although the purpose of his message is still far from the majority.

The multifaceted Oprah Winfrey has not been the exception either, in an interview offered to CNN she recounted the uphill road she went through developing her own television network: “If I were writing a book it could be called ‘The 101 Errors'”. She added, “I believe that I am here to fulfill my vocation, because I am a black woman who has had so many blessings in this world, that there will never be a time to abandon a project. I will die in the middle of what I love to do and that is to use my voice and my life to inspire people to live the best of their lives ”. Finally, Oprah allows us to understand her philosophy in the face of error, in the following lines: “Because when something seems to be wrong, because you failed at something, that does not make you a failure .”

Despite the innumerable benefits that sin produces in the health of enterprises, there is a segment – not a small one – of entrepreneurs who see in it a vertiginous bottomless abyss, an impassable path that paralyzes them, without being aware that the error is present not only by acting, but also by standing still.

It is necessary to reconcile ourselves to our sins, to remove the feeling of guilt and repentance, which are nothing more than a burden disguised as penance. For this, it is not necessary to be in the presence of a confessor, it is enough to stand in front of the mirror, do an examination of conscience and get down to work. Yes indeed! With the firm commitment of amendment.

It is of little use to sin again and again, if in each attempt what is being done is not adjusted in an inappropriate way. Stumbling over the same stone is the best way to waste life.

What makes a sinner of an entrepreneur? I’ve asked myself a thousand times. Are they your decisions, your environment or your place of origin? I have no doubt that sinners are those who do not lower their arms, those who do not stop trying, those warriors who while they have air in their lungs, get back on their feet.

I challenge you to determine an objective, take aim, shoot the arrows that are necessary and do not stop until you have hit the target.

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