The Proper Way To Learn From Experience

Updated: October 31, 2020

We all make mistakes, there’s no doubt about that fact of life. From the moment we were born, up until the day we die – we will make thousands of wrong decisions and bad judgment calls.

And I know you’ll agree that when that happens, the best course of action is to transform those failures into learning opportunities.

“I’ll just charge it to experience,” we would often say to ourselves.

Indeed, instead of giving in to anger, harboring self-doubt, feeling self-pity, or finding blame – it’s always better to admit and accept the mistake. Learn the lesson that life is trying to teach us at that moment.

However, I’ve discovered that many often learn from life’s mistakes “the wrong way”. They’re unaware of the proper and better way to learn from experience.


Years ago, I invested P10,000 in the stock market. I eventually lost all of that money within a few months. This experience made me realize that investing in the stock market is a high-risk venture — and one shouldn’t go into it unprepared.

After going through what happened, I learned the following lessons:

  • One shouldn’t invest without an emergency fund. The last thing you want to do is to sell your shares when the market is down.
  • Trading stocks and investing in stocks are two different things. Each requires a unique set of technical skills and fundamental knowledge to be successful.

That’s pretty much the two most important things I learned from that experience. Eventually, it led me to build my emergency fund, and spend time teaching myself the best-known strategies for trading and investing in the stock market.

A couple of years went by, and the day finally came when I was able to convince myself that I’m ready to once again ride the fear and the greed of the stock market.

I contacted a stockbroker and opened an account, deposited P25,000 as my initial fund, and prepared to “take my revenge.”

But, as I looked at the charts and the tables, my first stock market experience suddenly replayed in my mind. A hundred “what-ifs” started to plant seeds of self-doubt in my head.

It was then that I realized I had one more lesson to learn, and it was the most important lesson of all.

Take and learn the lesson, then let go of the past.

I discovered that all this time, I’ve used the “negative experience” as my prime motivation to learn the necessary lessons.

While doing that has strengthened my resolve to be better, I made the mistake of holding on to the feeling of helplessness and fear of the original experience. And as they say in failed relationships… “I have not yet moved on.”


Recall all those moments when you made a mistake.

That time when you lost money in a network marketing company. That time when you started a business that didn’t take off. Or that time when you lent money to a friend who hasn’t paid you back until now.

All those times when you thought you had it all figured out, but suddenly life throws you a curveball and you struck out.

There is a lesson or two to learn from each of those times. Lessons that you should learn without the need to dwell on the experience, to not linger on the negative feelings.

It’s time for you to create a positive and healthy self-image, and discover the proper way to learn from your mistakes.

Take and learn the lesson, then let go of the past.

It’s time to move on and let go of that poor mindset. Subscribe to Ready To Be Rich today and learn the secrets of wealth.

Photo credits: nettsu and 69er


  1. Hi fitz, just curious, how did you lose money in network marketing before? I heard a lot of people say the same, and yet one of my friends is doing very well in their company.

  2. Hi Jun. I actually haven’t lost money in a network marketing, but I know a lot of friends who did because:
    1. They had a get-rich-quick mindset and not the entrepreneurial mindset.
    2. They didn’t work on their selling skills.
    3. They easily lost focus and interest when new opportunities came.

    I am personally, a believer in network marketing. But it takes the right mindset, passion in the products you’re selling, and a strong belief in the business concept to be able to succeed at it.

    Unfortunately, most people don’t have those – so they eventually “lose money” because they give up too soon before they could make a profit.

  3. Hi Fitz!

    I too once dabbled in network marketing and I must say that I gained money from it. But my mindset was not right, I squandered what I gained too easily and was trapped in the notion that I had to increase inventory without really formulating a sales plan. So in the end, I lost money. As such, till now, I am wary of doing network marketing or direct selling. Not because I don’t believe in it, but because I’ve realized that I don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit nor the sales drive.

    As such, I’ve looked at other means to increase my wealth base and gain passive income. I’ve been reading your blog and learning more and more about investing. I’ve tried investing in the past and lost money in the process too. One experience was when I invested 12k to a kind of insurance company/investment company. The type where you pay monthly premiums which over a length of time increases in value. At the end of 15 years, you can withdraw the money. During the time you are paying the premiums, you also get life insurance.

    I lost money here because I paid the initial premium using all my saved up emergency funds. Then discovered that I cannot keep up the monthly payments. So I had to stop and was not able to recover what I’ve initially paid.

    However, now another similar opportunity is being presented to me. This time, I am more careful. I need to secure my emergency fund first, then once I’ve determined that I can pay the premiums monthly, then that’s the time I’ll start.

    My question though is, am I doing the right thing? Are companies that offer such investment schemes valid?

    Thanks a lot and keep up the highly informative posts!

  4. Hi Elleica,

    You’re probably talking about VULs or variable universal life insurance – which is indeed a valid investment product. Just make sure that you are buying that from a stable and reputable company.

    There are other similar products, such as the long-term health care, which is a health insurance, life insurance and investment product all rolled into one. I have this type of investment.

    Yes, I am a firm believer that your emergency fund should come first before insurance and investments.

    It’s the “safest” thing to do because you don’t want to default on your premiums. So I believe you’re doing the right thing. 😀

  5. Hi Fitz,

    You’ve mentioned…
    “There are other similar products, such as the long-term health care, which is a health insurance, life insurance and investment product all rolled into one. I have this type of investment.”

    Can you possibly share where can we avail this one?
    What is the company? What product or offer did you actually avail of from them?

    As you’ve had experience on this and that we trust you, can we actually do the same? Of coures we’ll make a study on this prior to availing. Kindly guide us please.

    More power, Fitz! 🙂

    Is it okay to share it privately thru my e-mail? Or you can publish the answer to all readers if you prefer though. 😉

  6. Hi Erwin. My long-term healthcare insurance is from Kaiser International, a product which I availed through IMG.

    If you’re interested to learn more about Kaiser, I suggest that you sign up for the IMG Wealth Academy seminars because this type of insurance / investment is discussed there.

    You can register through this link.

  7. May I share a recent personal experience? During the COVID-19 lockdowns and multiple extensions, my wife was close to tears several times while our three local business ventures were shuttered. She was upset to a high degree because, as she stated to me: “I haven’t lost my money, I lost your investment in the business.” She claimed it was her poor planning and lack of vision for what could have happened.

    Now, everything has worked out, our business ventures are back up and running plus we have a tax holiday on earnings from the BIR that was announced to help in the economic recovery. During the lockdown, my wife stared three new ventures, all of them far more “virus proof ” than what we previously had running. So, yes, we had a setback and it was serious. We came though all of 2020 eating well, no unpaid bills and no one in the family contracted the virus. That alone is something to be thankful for. During the crisis we were able to continue supporting the charities we love and even increase our giving because of our offshore income. Again, something to be thankful about!

    The lesson I shared with my beautiful Bride comes from my night time gig as an option trader. I said to my wife, “Honey, you have just experienced your first black swan event.” These occurrences are rare but when they happen they can be painful. In my world of trading, we can place “hedges” to protect and defend a position. Still, it takes patience to ride out the storm. Often, a black swan event will present you with a great oppertunity.

    Case in point, the market drop that reversed in March 2020. What a great run to new highs we have enjoyed! Maybe the correction will not fit some folks definition of a black swan event but surely the COVID crisis was the trigger event. Either way, there were multipole trading opportunities. As serious as the crisis was, the gift of free time was used by my wonderful wife to create the new improved version of one our business ventures and to build an entirely new business in a field she has always wanted to be in. Again, oppertunity in chaos for those with patience!!!

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