We all make mistakes in business. No. We all make mistakes in general, no just business. No matter what we do, no matter how careful we are, mistakes are bound to happen.
When it happens, you can sit down and cry and feel guilty about it. I used to do that. I have to admit I am a recovering perfectionist. Everything had to be perfect and in my head, I wasn’t allowed to make mistakes. Ever. Whenever I’d mess up something I would beat myself up about it, sometimes for days.
Now, I have a different way of dealing with it.
Your first reaction might be OMG! OMG! OMG! What have I done? Maybe you’ll start panicking or feeling guilty. Stop it straight away. It’s not helping you. It’s not helping anyone. If you can’t stop thinking about it, try doing something that will change your energy from panic mode to a calm mode. You can’t solve any problems when you’re freaking out.
Next step is to analyse what happened. What caused the mistake? Is it something you could have done in a different way? Find the source of the problem so you can start looking for a solution.
Fix it, if you can and what you can. Once you’ve found the source of the problem, try to look for a way to fix it. Is there a solution? What can you do to minimise the damage or the consequences? Can you fix at least one part of it? Have you messed up something for your client? Can you make it up? Offer a partial refund as a compensation?
Learn from your mistakes. Look for the lessons. What can you do differently next time? I’m sure you won’t do the same thing again.
Move on and forgive yourself. Sometimes this is the most difficult step. We can get stuck in the first two steps and not find a solution. We can drown ourselves with guilt. Accept that the mistakes happen. They happen to everyone. Forgive yourself and move on. Staying stuck in guilt mode or feeling bad about it won’t help you at all. You’ll be stuck in one place and there is a good chance you’ll mess up something again.
We are humans. We are not perfect and we mess things up. It’s how we deal with it is the most important part. Try to think of the mistake as a lesson, a learning curve. Next time, you’ll be more careful.
What do you do when something goes the wrong way? How do you deal with mistakes? Let me know in the comments.