Have you ever made a massive mistake before? I’m not talking about the kind of mistake you forget in a week or so or the type of mistake that nobody knows about.
No. I’m talking about the kind of mistake you dwell on for days, the kind that makes you want to climb under a rock and stay there, or the kind that makes you want to flee the country and change your name.
Alright, I may be a tad dramatic, but you get the gist. We’re talking about those big mistakes. We’ve all had them – or at least, I sure have!
As a business owner, mistakes are part of my everyday life. Although, that doesn’t mean I like them!
While I’d love to say I have a formula that will help you avoid mistakes and, therefore, the embarrassment that comes with them, I can’t. The bottom line is that we will all make mistakes in life. Yes, you can do your best to prevent them, but sometimes it just happens.
So what do you do in these situations? Just because they happen doesn’t mean we always handle them well. So let’s talk about some of the things that can help you move on and learn from mistakes:
1. Adopt a failure mentality (aka the growth mindset).
Mistakes don’t automatically mean failure. Failure doesn’t automatically mean the end of the road. Mistakes and failure can be one of the most important and influential things to happen to you. Mistakes, problems, and failure are all reasons to pivot. Clearly, something wasn’t working, or you hit a roadblock, meaning it’s time to find a new way.
If you can get comfortable with failure and lean into the growth mindset, you’ll set yourself up for success in unthinkable ways. I’m not saying get sloppy and allow frivolous mistakes to happen. I am saying that every point of failure and every mistake is a learning opportunity, and the sooner you can understand that, the better.
2. Acknowledge it.
It’ll do you no good to hide behind a mistake. If anything, it’ll make it even worse. Own up to it, talk about it, and take it in stride.
3. Investigate and understand the cause.
Did it happen because you missed something crucial? Did you miss it because you didn’t have all the information? Or did it happen because of something out of your control?
Knowing the how, when, and why of your mistake can tell you if something needs to be fixed, what to do differently next time, or even more about yourself. I can’t tell you how often my mistakes have given me insight into my strengths and weaknesses!
4. Determine what needs to change.
Once you know the how, when, and why, you’ll be able to fill in the what – as in “what now.” Do you need more information for next time? Do you need to hire a different person for the job? Do you need to try another product?
Whatever it is, it’s worth the time and energy to determine what updates or changes need to be made.
5. Understand the difference between “I made a mistake” and “I am a mistake.”
There is a massive difference between “I made a mistake” and “I am a mistake.” There is a separation between a choice you’ve made or an action you’ve taken and who you are.
Making a mistake means you made a wrong decision or chose the improper action. It does not mean you as a person are wrong, bad, or a mistake.
Sometimes mistakes happen. It’s just the truth! Whether you’ve spent your whole career climbing the corporate ladder, you’re just starting your entrepreneurial journey, or you’ve been running a business for a while, you’re bound to make mistakes.
The good news? Mistakes don’t have to send you running for the hills as long as you’re willing to learn from it!
If you’ve found yourself stuck in a pattern of mistakes in your business and want to get out of it, let me know! I’d love to figure out how to help you get out of that cycle.