I’ve failed many times in my life. Both personally and, in business. Hopefully, those mistakes were painful learning moments that can now lead to a few snapshots of advice.
#1. I’ve have failed to communicate with my team in strategy, reasons behind decisions and just regular need-to-know items. Over time, employees have shown me they want clear goals, feedback on how they are performing and a clear direction of where the company is headed (extremely important for small businesses). Most challenges with people I’ve worked with resulted from a communication gap.
#2. I was unwilling to become uncomfortable and really push my own personal boundaries to achieve success. My favorite quote of Mario Andretti, “If you feel in control, you’re not going fast enough.” True.
#3. I didn’t exercise due diligence when vetting a potential client or partner. When you love to cut the deal more than the quality of it…you’ll get bit in the fanny. Cover the details or have someone do it for you.
#4. I didn’t follow through when my gut told me a phone call was needed. Pick up the damn phone immediately. Its likely things won’t get better unless you act.
#5. I exercised an unwillingness to address a client problem face to face; and, did it through an email instead. Face time is definitively more effective when problems arise.
#6. I’ve made the mistake of taking on projects or work outside of our core mission and skills. I know we need to innovate, but there is plenty of ways to do that in your own space.
#7. I’ve been guilty of not recognizing the strengths of others; but, focused on weaknesses. I’m cognizant of this now and strive to truly appreciate the talent others bring to the table.
#8. I’ve also lacked full commitment to a project – I’ve learned to devote my heart and soul to every meeting, phone call, podcast, etc. If 100% is not the commitment, beg off. If you are like me, 80% of my self is not enough talent to do anything really well. Also, a desire of full commitment will also help you decide what projects to take or pass on.
#9. No way…no way do I express enough gratitude.
Hopefully, I’ve beat myself up enough so you don’t have to. Learn from your missteps and move forward! Best of luck – JP