George Spanos has published another of his great articles on GameSound Design. This time he gives 10 (actually 11) different advices that can make you a better sound designer, no matter your field of work. I agree with almost all the tips, but as George said, this is the most important of the list:
Make mistakes. Ok, so I lied. This list actually contains 11 things to make you a better game sound designer. I saved this one for last partly because it relates to number 10 above, but more importantly because it is perhaps the most important of all the suggestions listed here. I cannot stress this enough. You must be prepared to fail and make mistakes. If you do not make mistakes and fail occasionally you are doing something wrong. You must take chances in your audio and sound design. Sure, you will make stupid and idiotic errors from time to time. But you will never advance past hobbyist to a full fledged sound designer who is in demand by production companies and game developers unless you continually try new things and push your comfort zone. See how far you can go in a direction that you would not normally take. You may be surprised at the results of what you can achieve. If the end result does not work out then you at least have learned something along the way that will combine and form to make you a unique sound artist with potential and a unique voice. We need more sound designers with their own voice and experience to push the art and craft further.