Jeff Bezos was the master of entrepreneurship of the first two decades of this new century. He managed to put together a logistics system that was totally unheard of before him. To move from being a small online book store to overtaking Walmart as the top retailer in the world was a BIG accomplishment. Being an information technology guy myself, I was rather proud of his accomplishments in that regard. I knew that online sales would overtake brick and mortar business, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. This pandemic caused that to happen.
But now it is time for Jeff to move aside, at least some, to make room for Elon Musk. I’ve have been reading quite a bit about Elon the last few months and his accomplishments are very impressive. He is my hero in the sense that he will soon be providing me with a fast reliable internet connection that I have been waiting for more than a decade. It seems that everyone has promised to bring the rural part of the country into the internet age, but their promises have always fallen short. Elon will have given us rural folk that capability before the daffodils come up again.
Now, to finally get down to the main topic of this post, Elon recently made the comment that:
The most important life lessons that we can pass on to future generation are our failures.
It’s easy for successful people to parade out their successes than their failures, easier especially on an ego basis. Everyone wants to be successful but realistically that usually means failing a few, or perhaps many times, before that is accomplished.
One of the problems with many in the Gen-Z generation is that they have been told all their lives that they are special people and will someday be very successful at what they are passionate about. I have heard so many of that generation think that they can conjure up an idea and it will immediately bring them fame and riches. Let’s face it, nine out of ten new startups fail within the first year. That basic statistic hasn’t change in decades. They need to be taught that lesson so they won’t be devastated by failure.
So, maybe the best thing we can do for all those budding minds in Generation-Z is to prepare them for some, maybe many, failures before they know where their talents belong in the world. We do that by showing them our failures and how we overcame them. We do that by convincing them that there will be many forks in the road ahead for them to redirect their passions to something that more relates to their gifts and talents.
But I suspect that there are as many under confident Gen-Zs around as their are overconfident. Some of those are people with special challenges in life such as living with a disability. Some are under confident due to their family’s economic status. I certainly knew about both those circumstances when I was looking for my own place in life many years ago.
One of the things I have joked about here on RJsCorner is that this blog is about helping you learn from all my failures so you don’t have to make them yourself. That was a joke but of course, given Elon’s quote, maybe it IS the most important part of my corner.