Lessons from Failure

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New Zealand’s failure to bring home the America’s Cup is truly disappointing and also a reminder of what it takes to succeed. Winning a yachting regatta has many parallels to achieving financial success. To begin with, you need to be absolutely determined and focussed on achieving your goals. Having set your goals, make a plan. This includes thinking about what resources you will need. A team of experts will be required to provide technical knowledge and skill to build the fastest boat, provide advice on winds, tides, and race tactics. As well as a fast boat, you will also need a good crew to help you along the way.

Being the fastest isn’t enough to win; you also have to take the shortest route. Stay on course is about mapping out clearly the route you need to take, knowing what your current position is, being aware of adverse conditions that might take you off course, and knowing how to get back on track.

A regatta is won one race at a time, so while it is important to focus on the ultimate goal of the big prize, this can only be achieved by focusing on each step, looking at how to continuously improve your performance. Every race carries a risk of loss. To win a regatta doesn’t mean you have to win every race; it means you need more wins than losses. Without taking the risk of a loss, you lose the opportunity to win. Losing is not a reason to give up. It just means that next time, you apply the lessons you have learned and do it better.

When it comes to your financial future, be clear what your goals are, have a plan, get expert help, have a willingness to take risks and the determination to succeed.

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