SUCCESS IS MOSTLY ABOUT FALLING DOWN

I learned something the other day.  I took our daughter Macy to her gymnastics class the other day, and my eyes were opened to something I never knew.  Gymnastics gyms are absolutely insane.  Macy is in a class with a small handful of other 4 years olds, and mostly it looks like marginally-organized chaos.  Actually, the entire gym is pretty much chaos.  There must have been close to 100 gymnasts, of all ages, working out in various groups across the gym.  As I watched what was happening, I learned a few things.

Sorry for the horrible, zoomed-in iPhone photo, but that's Macy!

Sorry for the horrible, zoomed-in iPhone photo, but that's Macy!

1. Success is mostly about falling down.

It may seem cute when you watch the 4-year-old, little people gymnastics class, but the gym where Macy has her class is no joke.  This is the same program that trained Olympic gold medalist and world champion Jordyn Wieber, and is owned by the USA gymnastics Olympic team coach.  I say that because the gymnasts here are good - and they're legitimately training to be the very best.

And, apparently, the way to become the very best, is to fall on your butt - a lot.  Every time a gymnast lands on his/her butt, he or she learns to make little adjustments.  It's almost like shaving off the rough edges of your performance with each pass.  Eventually, after enough falling, you've locked it in, and you land on your feet.

2. Being really good is 90% muscle memory.

I remember when I was younger - and I took piano lessons.  I remember my piano teacher telling me that "you practice so that your fingers remember what to do."  I always thought that playing the piano well was about my brain remembering what to do, but I was wrong.  

Repetition breeds success because it teaches your muscles to do what they are supposed to do - without you having to think about it.   It's true for piano players, it's true for gymnasts, and it's true for creative businesses.

3. Having a coach really matters.  

Sure, coaches are there to help teach you the routine, and make sure you don't fall on your head when you're flying through the air, but that's not really the most important reason to have a coach.  Coaches give you an outside perspective.  They can see things you can't see, and help you make the small corrections that make all the difference.  You're never going to become an elite gymnast, or elite anything for that matter, without a coach.

This is true with running a business.  Whether you find someone you trust to "coach" you informally, or you hire someone who can help you professionally, having a coach to give you outside perspective, and hold you accountable, really does matter.