Some Days are Just Rough

Celebrate tough times

I took on a big contract from a company in San Antonio to help my career and help me build my network. I knew it would create a time crunch for the clients I took on.

Holy Shnikies! It was more than I expected.

I wanted to schedule a client call and I kept having to move it. I felt really bad.

I could tell my other clients were getting frustrated. One client stopped replying to my time changes for our meeting.

You can’t escape the rough days, but you can learn from them.

I decided to lay it out there and apologize.

I apologized for my tight schedule and told him I’m trying my best. We’ve had a lot of past success and he saw how sincere and honest I was being, so he forgave me.

He replied to my email and we got the meeting scheduled. I blocked that time out and refused to move it.

Celebrate Mistakes

I decided to celebrate my rough couple weeks. I got takeout for the family and my favorite drink (kombucha), since I don’t drink beer anymore.

Intuit highlights mistakes that they make so they can learn from them.

“At Intuit we celebrate failure,” explains co-founder Scott Cook, “because every failure teaches something important that can be the seed for the next great idea.”

I love this idea because I think too many companies are afraid to try new things that could be potentially big wins because they are afraid of making mistakes. When you let fear dictate choices you will never have big wins.

Try turning your mistakes into a celebration and a teachable moment.

Be Open

There is no shame in making mistakes. Share your mistakes and how you fixed them. This shows your company personality and shows how you go about fixing your mistakes.

I suggest you do this with your team on a regular basis. Start off slow and only share your own mistakes in the first session. That way they can see that you as a leader will make mistakes, but you are always willing to listen and learn from them.

Then schedule the next “learn from our mistakes” celebration in 6 or 12 months. I suggest bi-yearly or yearly so not to harp on mistakes too much.

It will take some time to get used to celebrating mistakes, but it’s done wonders for our happiness.

Your Turn

What mistake have you made in the past year and how do you think you should celebrate it?

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