Even $100 Million Mistakes Can Turn Out Well

Your worst critics can become your best resource.

If you’re going to take risks, you’re going to have plenty of failures along the way—and you better learn how to deal with them. Everything you did is going to be criticized. When you get beaten, the critics come out in force. That’s why you want to do everything in your power to succeed so that the missing links will be obvious to you if you fail.

In The Lone Ranger, maybe it was simply the casting of the little-known Armie Hammer in the lead role for the $280 million blockbuster. It could have been that they were doomed to failure from the moment he was selected, because the public couldn’t reconcile an “unknown” being the star of a blockbuster about such a well-known figure as the Lone Ranger. Who knows? Maybe even Gone With The Wind would have flopped if Armie Hammer had been the star instead of Clark Gable.

We’ll never know if that was it. Or like everyone says, maybe it was because the directors failed to develop enough of a relationship between the Lone Ranger and Tonto. If you’re the director, then when the criticism comes, you have to just sit there and take it because the movie flopped.

But your worst critics can become your biggest resource.

The reason? Critics love to criticize big flops. Nothing gets them more excited. There’s no thrill in picking on the little guy, and they are going to pour over every aspect, for every possible negative, like vultures picking at a dead carcass. Rather than becoming overwhelmed with frustration and anger, the way to respond is to analyze what they’re saying. Critics save you the job of figuring out where you went wrong, because they’re going to bring everything up. And only you, the one closest to the situation, know which of their criticisms are valid and which are totally off base.

This is how the deepest secrets are revealed.

From the start, you did everything you knew to put yourself in the position to win. If you got beat, then obviously you missed some key points. You made some bad judgements.

The critics help you fine tune your 20/20 rear-view look your performance. Not only do they point out what you did wrong, they will point out what you did right, because that won’t be criticized. But they will expose the weaknesses, and you can fix those the next time. These are the critical missing links in your success.

$100 million losses can be turned into $500 million gains.

When you’re in an industry where you can lose huge amounts of money, it also means you’re in an industry where you can make unlimited amounts of money. The studio investors and director of The Lone Ranger shouldn’t focus on how bad they got beat this time. If they’re smart, they’ll learn the lessons and use it to win big the next time.

The winner keeps on striving. Even when he has a devastating defeat, he will turn that to his advantage the next time.

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