What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business?
You might have to think about it for a minute – after all, we all make plenty of mistakes on the way to the top! But I can identify my biggest fxxkup without a second thought.
In 2018, my online business support company was growing and thriving. I was working with smart clients and doing a job I loved when an incredible opportunity (or so I thought) presented itself. My biggest client asked me to go exclusive, and I jumped at the chance. Sure, it meant giving up clients that I’d worked hard to establish relationships with, but it would be worth it for well-defined working hours and steady, reliable revenue.
And, at first, it was great! I loved being able to focus my gifts on one project rather than always hustling to bring in new clients and generate new leads. It felt like I was on easy street – until they fired me without warning just a few months later….
Turns out, that golden goose of an opportunity just bit me in the ass, and I was left with nothing. No job, no clients, no income. It wasn’t pretty.
I did all the things you’d expect- cried, raged, panicked- but at the end of the day, I was left with a decision; call it quits and give up the business of my dreams or work my butt off to rebuild it bigger and better.
You can probably guess which one I chose!
I can tell you without absolute certainty that my biggest mistake turned out to be my biggest opportunity. Without that colossal error in judgment, I would not have the business and the life I have today, so even though I screwed up BIG TIME, it was well worth it.
We are all going to make mistakes. Hopefully yours won’t be potentially career ending, but you’re gonna make them. And when you do, you’ll find yourself at a crossroads wondering where to go next. Are you going to lay down, wallow in that mistake, and declare yourself an utter failure? Or are you going to stand up, dust yourself off, straighten your crown, and get back to work, better and stronger than before?
There is no mistake that can’t be reframed as a learning experience. You can turn your missteps into growth opportunities if you’ll remember these three things:
1. You Don’t Have to Be Perfect
Perfect is an illusion. It does not exist. You can (and should) strive to be awesome and bring your best to your business every single day, but if you’re waiting to achieve perfection before you make the leap to the next level, you’re going to be waiting forever.
Learn to be okay with less than perfect. Life is always going to be unpredictable, and if you can adapt and change course if needed, you are going to succeed no matter what the world throws at you.
2. You DO Have to be Honest with Yourself
When you make a mistake, big or little, you need to be able to get to the root of it. Why did this happen? Did you overlook an important detail? Did you plan enough? Did you put the systems and strategies you would need to meet your goals in place before you started your project?
We can screw up in a million different ways, but if you figure out where you went wrong, you can avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. That leaves you plenty of room to go out and make fun, NEW mistakes that you can learn from!
3. You Have to Grow
This is where your setbacks become step ups because you have the opportunity to make your business better. What are you going to do next time? Maybe you need a better action plan, or better KPIs, or better strategies for tracking your success and tweaking problems before they become disasters.
Your mistake revealed a weak spot in your business, and now you have the chance to build that framework bigger and stronger so you can lead your business to the next level of success.
I truly believe that mistakes- even REALLY big ones- are just opportunities in disguise. When you can keep a cool head, and analyze your errors without fear or judgment, you are stepping into your leadership and proving your strength to everyone around you.
So, get out there and lead boldly. Sure, you’ll screw up along the way, but you’ll get better with every stumble!