• Sharon Pearson

Why being wrong is the greatest gift in business

When I began as a coach in 2003, I bought some real estate for, like, $2 million. A lot of money. I was doing about $70k a month in profit but I was freaking out.


I said to my husband JP, "What if it goes wrong? What if this is a mistake?"


His advice was simple and stuck with me: "You're 90 days away from selling. You can handle it if it's a mistake. If you know the exit, you can handle it."


While I'm a coach I'm not an optimist, but JP flipped my thinking and I became quite the risk taker because of it, which is fun.


On May 21, I told the 90 day story to Sydney powerhouse PR turned empowerment mentor Tory Archbold during a Coffee Conversation we had on her Powerful Steps platform. She's the person you go to if you want something done, and we had a fast-moving talk about everything from how and why I became a coach, values and success strategies.


As I told Tory—my guest on #Perspectives podcast 'The power of passion'—the fundamental key to my success is I am willing to risk in public.


I'm going to say that again. I will risk in public. I go too far. I push the boundaries. I do get judged and—more on that later—that's fine. Because to find out how far is enough, you have to go too far.


I only learned how far I can go by pushing it. If I make a mistake I live with the consequences because you're only ever 90 days away from forgetting what we did 90 days ago.


So long as I can have a 90 day memory, I'm okay. What's the worst thing that can happen? I try something, it doesn't work out, I let it go, try something else. In 90 days, it's in my rear view mirror.


So ... buying real estate and other things, they're risky things for me but I know I can handle it and I should push forward. There are people in my life who can't handle the extent of risks I take but I'm not here to see if anyone else can handle the risk.


I'm here to see if I can handle it.


Truth is, to be wrong is the greatest gift in business. To be right means I'm playing an unbelievably safe game and I don't want to do that. I want to make mistakes every day and keep learning and growing.




Complacency is the antithesis of good business. The moment I get complacent I stress and the moment The Coaching Institute is doing really well consistently, I get worried. I get really antsy if things are going the same, which is why it's exhilarating at the moment because of how the business has pivoted in the last two months.


This is the time to innovate. This is the time to tip all the water out of the bath. This is not the time to hang on to what you've got.


Tory asked me during our conversation how I deal with people who judge me. She's been there before during her reign with her Torstar global PR business, which launched retailers like Zara, Nespresso and Victoria's Secret in Australia.


When it comes to judgement, you're either the critic in the audience or you're in the arena.


If you're not in the arena—if you're in the cheap seats—while I'm having a red hot go, uou don't get to judge me. Get in the game or don't have a view, because I have people in the arena who really appreciate what I do.


I only listen to people who have expertise. They either have expertise on me and know what lights me up—and that's my really close group and inner circle—or they have expertise on the topic.


Then they get a seat at the table. It's a good table: there's trust, strategies, creativity, innovation, planning for everything, and a lot of history.


I trust the people at your own table are just as important and will never just give compliments on what you dish up but honest feedback, and support during the unglamorous bits—the washing up after the fun, if you like.

And maybe take a risk today. Let me know how that works out for you.

19 views