I have made mistakes. Quite a few of them actually over the past 10 years of starting projects and founding companies. These mistakes have led to project delays, contractors and client qualms, unreasonable stress levels, missed flights, failed partnerships, downed websites, missed or botched orders, typos in everything from email announcements to product packaging, and much more. Some of the mistakes were dumb and avoidable, while most were honest ones that led to massive growth opportunities and improvements.
There’s been three constants with every mistake I’ve made. I aim to always:
- Own up to the mistake, as soon as possible.
- Go above and beyond to make things right.
- Treat it as a key learning moment.
More often than not, making an honest mistake and over-delivering on its resolution, has led to a stronger relationship and a better end result. Most reasonable people you work with will understand that mistakes can and will happen. Even to the most skilled and vigilant, and especially in industries changing as quickly as music, entertainment, and consumer technology. The key is handling the aftermath of the mistake in the right way, and funneling the newly acquired wisdom into your work process.
I will be writing about some of the mistakes I’ve made, and the lessons I’ve learned, in a series called Mistake Mondays. Unfortunately my schedule won’t allow for a post each Monday, but I hope to be able to write one every other week or so starting in the new year.
Why? Because remembering will further cement the lessons into my brain, and writing about them will force me to analyze the situations for lessons I may have missed originally. And finally, in the words of Jay-Z when speaking on sharing his lessons learned, he “did that, so hopefully you won’t have to go through that.”
I’ll leave you with my well wishes for 2013, and a Charlie Kaufman quote I love: “Do not worry about failure. Failure is a badge of honour. It means you risked failure.”
By popular demand, I’ve set up automatic email delivery of new posts from this blog right into your inbox. That means you won’t have to keep checking the site to see if it was updated, or rely on noticing a new post link on twitter. Sign up now, in the side bar to your right, and receive updates only when a new post goes live. No spam or non-blog related messages ever.