When you look back on your past mistakes-–whether they’re business mistakes or any other kind–is your first instinct to distract yourself and think about something else? That’s a natural reaction for many of us. After all, looking back on our mistakes or regrets often bring up uncomfortable feelings, so we do whatever we can to avoid them.
The problem is, the deeper we stuff these feelings and memories from our mistakes, the more they have power over us. These feelings can start to pop up at the most inopportune times, and they start to play a bigger role in our present, rather than being a part of our past.
When you begin to dig out the “gold nuggets” in your past mistakes (and I promise you, these nuggets exist!), you can begin to take away their power, and in turn, their power over you.
With that in mind, let’s focus today specifically on mistakes in business. Here are seven ways to dig up their lessons.
First, look back on what you perceive as a mistake. Get very clear on what your goal of that endeavour was, compared to the outcome you consider to be a mistake or a misfire.
Some business mistakes are bigger than others. They don’t all deserve the same thought or time spent revisiting. Outline exactly where you are now to determine the degree of failure or the impact of the mistake.
Did you expect a $500,000 ROI on your latest endeavour that failed? What was your actual ROI? Now is the time to quantify this mistake and get clear about what you expected versus what the actual outcome was.
This isn’t a time for blame, but it is your chance to break down every little mistake that led to a bigger business mistake. Create a list, as detailed as you can, of every little thing you or someone on your team could have done differently.
Before you move on to learning the most significant lessons from your business mistakes, you can often spot a bunch of smaller, easier to amend mistakes in the meantime. Look back on the list of things that could have been done differently, and right away, you’ll find powerful information to use going forward.
For example, let’s say your list of mistakes included, “Not spending enough time/resources promoting our launch on social media.” From there, you can dig out this lesson, “Time and resources need to be divided differently, or more equally, leading up to a product launch.”
Evaluating a single business mistake isn’t enough to look for patterns that could be holding you back. Repeat the previous five steps for at least three business mistakes or failures. Then, look over the list of lessons and mistakes from each endeavour, and highlight common patterns between them.
Now is where the real work begins, but it’s also where you can reap the biggest rewards! Here, you’ll start to evaluate your business mistakes with more detail and attention. With what you learn here, you can stop making the same mistakes.
But even more importantly, you can start to reframe the narrative around these mistakes. Rather than simply looking back at them as mistakes, you now have the chance to consider them opportunities and lessons learned!
Here’s the thing about business mistakes: to grow as an entrepreneur, they’re inevitable. Embrace that mistakes will be made, but focus on making NEW mistakes, rather than reliving the same mistakes over and over again.
Finding the gold in your business mistakes is just one way to start feeling better about them. Another is exploring the business mistakes others have made, and learning from them. (Here’s a list of 8 of the Biggest Business Mistakes in History)
Another way to find the gold in mistakes is finding a business mentor who has been through it ALL. With that in mind, be sure to sign up for my newsletter below so you can be the first to hear when my Soulful Leadership course launches again! (Hint: it’s coming up soon!) It fills up fast, so don’t miss out.
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