I didn’t make bad grades in school. In fact, if I made an “F” more than two or three times, I’d be suprised.
This doesn’t mean I’m a genius: not by any means. It means I went to a small school, was smart enough, and was often given the benefit of the doubt, due to my good nature and character.
This week, I wish I’d have gotten more F’s. More “Kid, you’ve got to get this right the first time and pay better attention.” I made a rather serious mistake on a bid proposal this week that might very well have cost me, and my business associate, the gig. And it was due to rushing, not triple checking my work, or writing out detailed notes to myself, so that when an item was called into question, I actually had a coherent answer instead of trying to rely on my memory, which is feeling a bit overstuffed with “important matters I must retain” mental clutter.
I’ve owned my part. Apologized. And made it as right as I could; however, I don’t know if I’ve retrieved a level of trustworthiness back, and I’m not ok with that. In a word, I failed. It’s awkward. Uncomfortable. And it would be damned easy to sit here and bewail my stupidity.
That’s not going to get me more work. Nor will it help you, should you find yourself in this humbling position. The ONLY thing you can do is move on and do the next right thing: LEARN FROM IT! What did I do wrong? How can I not repeat that error again? What do I need to do to avoid that same pitfall the next time a “shortcut” seems like the answer?
Today, I wrote a letter to a new contact to further strengthen that relationship. Hopefully, some good work will eventually come from there.
Tomorrow, I go and meet a potential client to discuss another proposal for something entirely different. I’m prepared, but I’ll be even more prepared by the time I’m sitting down. I’ve got a list and am taking extra care to listen closely.
Failure is not a fun place to live. I do not plan on building a house here and setting up permanent residence, but it happens. And it will happen again. We’ve just got to have the humility enough to admit our error, rectify it if possible, learn from it, and move on.
By doing those things, we are setting ourselves up for lasting, overall success. And modeling the right behavior for co-workers, friends, and family members as well.
Hello, Human here. I sometimes make mistakes. Try not too, but I do. When I do, I’d appreciate you letting me know, that way I can improve and be a better Human.