Mistakes Happen. At one time or another, each and every one of us has made a mistake, yet in the business world, it sometimes feels that we are expected to do well and excel in every task or project without fail.
The truth is, nobody is perfect, and even though we are being paid to work with a client on their project, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be bumps in the road and potential for an “oops”. Maybe you totally screwed up a big pitch that would have gained you an influential and eye-catching client, or maybe you made a poor decision that is coming back to haunt you months after a job is complete. Maybe you decided to cut corners on a few designs in order to boost your productivity time, but in the end the clients were unhappy and you can now count on losing their referrals and word of mouth. These are mistakes we have all made; mistakes I have made, and as long as you keep moving and running your business, they won’t be the last.
So, what should you do in those stressful situations where an error or a bad decision have been made and you need to take back control? These are my tips for tripping up gracefully….
- Recognize the Mistake – If you made the error, it’s yours to admit. Trying to force your client (or yourself) to believe that it wasn’t your fault or making a million excuses as to why it happened isn’t going to help the situation. Be honest and upfront. Remember, you are human and no matter what it is that has been done, you now have the opportunity to learn from it and grow as a person.
- Accept that the Mistake was Made – This is an interesting concept because even though you have admitted to it, you may be trying to make yourself feel better about the issue by pushing down your feelings of embarrassment or frustration, which is actually contradictory to the entire process. Again, you are going to make errors, and this doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you a human. Accept it, let yourself feel the feelings instead of pushing them away and then start working the solution and the lesson.
- Apologize & Move On – Look, most of the time if you admit to the “opps” and ask how you can fix the issue, your client will understand and will work with you to insure happiness on both sides. You apologized, but they aren’t having it? Honestly, it may be time to conclude that this isn’t the right client for you. The worst experiences I have ever had in both business and life have been times when I refused to quit on a client or person that was upset about a mistake or error that I admittedly made, but refused to let it go and move past it. Holding a grudge is never healthy, for you or for them, and if you are on the receiving end, it can be debilitating to continue to create for that person. Sometimes, the shoe just doesn’t fit, and that’s ok. Decide what is best for you and put that plan in action.
- Learn Something – This is perhaps the most important part of this article. Mistakes are not failures as long as you take something away from the experience. Have a positive attitude, discover the lesson, and apply it to your life or business in the future.
Above all else, remember this if you remember nothing else: You are a strong, smart individual who started a business! That is a super scary thing and you did it anyway. You are not alone and you are brave! Wouldn’t you rather an “opps” than a what if?
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Thursday, April 12th, 2018
THE ART OF MAKING MISTAKES GRACEFULLY