As Alexander Pope said, “To err is human…” But when you’re running your own business, who wants to be human? LOL
The truth is, we learn more from our failures than from our triumphs. The question is not whether or not you will have challenges, but how are you going to deal with them.
In the book Failing Forward, author John Maxwell presents the concept that although you may stumble from your mistakes, as long as you do not land on your back and stay there, progress is being made.
So what is the best way to deal with setbacks and failures? Here are a few ideas that can help you not only survive your missteps but even profit from them.
Own Your Stuff
If to err is human, then it is also human to want to cover up our mistakes. (Remember Adam and Eve hiding from God in the garden?) But blaming others or not admitting to problems invariably causes much bigger troubles in the long run.
More importantly, not facing the reality of the situation makes it nearly impossible to learn anything from it. Don’t waste time pointing fingers, ranting about it, or wallowing in upset about the possible consequences.
Does anyone remember New Coke? What a complete blunder! But in a rare move, the Coca-Cola Company immediately admitted that they had blown it (as was obvious by the public outcry) and they brought Classic Coke back 77 days later.
React and Repair
Being upfront about your mistakes frees up your time and resources from trying to cover up and avoid blame so you can use your creative energy to correct the problem as quickly as possible.
The solution to some hurdles may be immediately obvious. Others may take some time to solve. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm with your team and your coach, mentor, or advisor about how to move forward most effectively and quickly.
Learn From It
Your mistakes can be precious lessons – if you let them. And here’s the paradox: you can only learn from mistakes if you make them. And if you never make mistakes, chances are that you aren’t stretching yourself or playing a big enough game.
The kind of mistakes you make actually define you. The more interesting the mistakes, the more interesting the person.
Some mistakes are just plain stupid or careless. These are the easiest to correct, but provide the least amount of learning. You should actually strive to put yourself into situations where you can make interesting mistakes.
Move On With Courage
So if to err is human, then be divine and forgive yourself and others! Set a tone in your business that encourages being bold about admitting, learning from, and course-correcting after a bungle. Becoming timid or overly cautious in the light of mistakes will only lead to a more complex type of failure.