Mistakes Happen – What Matters Is How You Handle Them

Capture.JPG

It happens. It’s part of business, and it stinks—we all make mistakes. You can’t avoid mistakes forever, and the odds are pretty good that one will happen eventually.

Rather than live in fear of the moment, plan to manage the mistake. A good business practice is to apply a process for troubleshooting and managing mistakes.

Step One - Acknowledgment

Kids say, “My Bad”, when they make a mistake. They are demonstrating Acknowledgement, the first step in recovering from a mistake. Most of a client’s distress about a mistake comes from wondering how you’ll handle it and the extent of the confrontation that takes place. When you own the problem and/or the solution, you automatically diffuse the situation.

You are really managing your clients’ expectations and impressions of your company. They want to see that you are in charge, taking responsibility as appropriate, and recognizing the importance of the situation—without any dramatics.

Step Two - Personal Reaction Space

You’re not a robot, and you won’t feel good about a mistake. Give yourself room to feel the emotional responses to a mistake. You might feel dread, shame, anger, panic, or frustration—all or any one of these are acceptable reactions. However, solutions are more difficult to come by with emotions in the way; they will not serve you in this step. Once you take time with the emotion, then let it go. Focus on a solution.

Step Three - Work For A Solution.

For every problem, there is a solution. As a wise woman once told me, “It will be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.” This is the step where you take some actions. Here’s a plan to follow:

1.      Quality Check – Do your QC:  Go back and see where the breakdown occurred.

2.      Determine Root Cause – Find the moment that created the problem.

3.      Fix the Error – Whether it’s an over-order or price adjustment, make it right.

4.      Share Accountability - If there was responsibility on both sides, propose splitting any costs.

At the end of the day, it’s okay to make a mistake; just be ready to fix it. After all, your character and reputation are not built on the fact that you may have made a mistake - but in how you deal with it. If you are struggling, check out the Better Business Coaching System. Working with Michele and her team means you never have to deal with this alone.

Learn To Trust Your Gut

jan-bolz-457747-unsplash.jpg

Trusting yourself in business is important. Like – really important. I am not asking you to have belief or trust in something or someone who has not proven themselves, but in YOU. You are the business owner. You know your clients, you know your business, you know your desired outcomes, and you know what it takes to get the job done. Trust that experience and knowledge.

Each day I speak with clients about their business, their family life, friendships, love relationships and more. Even though we are focusing on business principles and practices for the most part the decision making we do always pours over into our personal lives. We are the same people at home and business. And every day I am asked what I would do in their situation. And you know what – it is easy to be an arm chair quarterback and call the shots – but we all know the game is different when you are on the field. My question back to them –and to you - is what do you want to do, what do you think is the right move?

Whether it is saying no to an opportunity or yes to a new hire or no to a software platform or yes to a new service provider – each of us has a gut feeling that is based off of years of experience, knowledge, failure and success. We seriously need to learn to trust that feeling, and try to put words and explanations around it so that we can evaluate. And when we know what we should do and have confidence in our choice – we need to act. The longer we try to create a narrative in our mind that makes sense as opposed to really looking at the truth in the situation, the more we diminish that inner check. We are quieting our own voice. 

Each of us is the expert in our own business. What works for one may or may not work for another. Use your resources (past, present and future) to the best of your ability and move forward. If this confidence is foreign to you, and you need help, check out the Better Business Coaching System. There are many webinars and exercises that help you get back in touch with your thoughts, desires and choices. Enjoy owning your business again!

Don’t Get Derailed Before You Really Begin!

jerry-kiesewetter-224438.jpg

Ok, so it never fails to happen. Every year – and I mean every year – I work well in advance to create my goals, plans, dreams and success stories for the year. And every year by mid-January something happens to make me feel derailed before I even begin.

For each of us, that derailment could be different but I would guess that it is quite similar. Some of the derailment could come from seeing what others are doing that you are not. Comparison is seriously the thief of joy. Maybe it could be looking at the to-do list that comes with your dreams and aspirations and feeling overwhelmed before you get started.  Or honestly, just a good dose of self-doubt. Wondering to yourself what you were thinking when you made these plans. Were you having a temporary lapse in judgment?

While all of this happens to many of us – and it is quite normal, we don’t have to believe these lies and stay trapped and sad when we were just on a planning high.  Here are three tips to get your groove back before you even really started.

1.      Connect with your WHY. Really really get excited about why you set these goals and what you are doing to meet them. Connect to the outcome, not the work. When it gets tough, and it will, remember the end goal and make sure it has impact and deep meaning for you.

2.      Evaluate and prioritize the to-do list. When we first create these goals, we are so darn excited that we want to do it all now. But the more we think, consider and plan, the more we see we need to do. When looking at the long list of tasks – it gets overwhelming. Break down your plans into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Work on those items that are significant in nature – not just those that are urgent or important. Plan time to relax and have fun (balance people – balance!)

3.      Believe you can. Our success (or lack thereof) begins in our thoughts. Believe you can reach the goals before you – seriously believe you can – and no one can stop you. Quit looking at what others are doing and comparing. Instead, cheer them on their course of discovery and success and hopefully they will do the same for you.

Your journey may be very different from someone else’s. Run your race and let them run theirs. Cheer for others, recognize their successes, model after it where it applies and leave the rest. Share with those around you. Form community. All of this will help you not derail before you begin.

If you want help creating your goals or joining in community, check out the Better Business Series online coaching. You will have automatic cheerleaders built in!

Profitability is a Daily Choice

ISS_3560_01141.jpg

Years ago I believed that profitability was a state of being instead of a state of doing or of mind. Meaning, look at the bottom line on your income statement – are you profitable or not. But as I dug in a little deeper I determined that profitability was more than that. Here are three ways to work towards profitability one step or choice at a time.

1.      Make profitability a conscious choice. Every choice and decision we make takes us closer to our goal or further away. If we have made a clear and actionable set of goals, then we need to consider what we do in terms of profitability with every single decision – not just in a year-end evaluation of the income statement. It is really easy to just keep paying bills or doing things the same old way – just because we always have. But is that still working for the company profitability?  If not, change it.

2.      Make profitability fun. Saving money and making wise choices with our time, money and talents should be fun. If we have a negative connotation around cutting expenses or saving then it is easy to feel like we are being told NO all the time. Turn it around – and look at it as YES to profits and NO to unnecessary expenditures of time and energy. Celebrate the growing profits!

3.      Make profitability about more than the numbers. Numbers are just indicators. Indicators of success, wealth, impact, expenses, etc. We need to be profitable with our time and energy and other resources to really see a great increase in overall profitability. If your employees are miserable, then you are not as profitable as you could be. If something takes 5 hours that could be done in 2 if you were not multi-tasking – then you are not as profitable as you could be. Look at every aspect of your business for clues to increasing profitability.

Profitability is what we all hope to achieve. We can do this by having fun and being mindful of how the choices of everyone in the company has an effect on financial profits, efficiency, happiness in the workplace and more. Need help identifying profit leaks in your company? Reach out. We are here to help.

Putting YOU back in YOUR business

mike-wilson-406534.jpg

Mirror, Mirror on the wall....

Funny, I would not have thought that this was a discussion we would ever have with business owners. However, given the current quick and immediate access to education and information  – yep, we need to talk about it.

See, information, education and ideas are everywhere. And most of the time – this is a great thing. We can take the new ideas and information and apply it to our lives and business in a way that propels us forward towards our bigger vision and goals  - with unencumbered growth and a joyful heart without issue - right?

Nope – not how it works. I have been having A LOT – and I mean A LOT of discussions with business owners who are finding themselves more stuck than ever as more information comes into their lives. The very information that is meant to be transformative creates inaction. Why? Because many times the information we receive is from different vantage points and is contradictory to the last bit of information we have heard.  Want to STOP the inaction and instead move forward in a way that is natural for you? Here are my suggestions for putting YOU back in YOUR business.

Tip #1: Be you. Identify what you love, what you want, your strengths, your vision, your WHY. Own it all.  Write it down – on paper – print it out. Read often.

Tip #2: With any new idea – refer to Tip #1. Does it align with you? Does it sound great for you? If not, put it away. There is no idea police coming after you for not implementing a new idea. If it sounds interesting, within your strengths (or your team's strengths), investigate.  We are all unique – what worked for one person or business might not work for every person/business.

Tip #3: Commit. Choose a path and commit to excellence and completion. We have to stop chasing new ideas like the proverbial “squirrel.” We are giving ourselves an attention disorder because we keep changing directions. Find what works for you with ideas/technology/planning – and put your head down, and get it done. Seriously – at some point – turn off the noise of the outside world screaming at you for what you should be doing and can’t get done. Focus on what you know is most important.

If you find yourself stuck – ask for help. Get an advisor, mentor, and/or coach to help you decipher through the noise and create a unique plan of action just for you. Then go do that! Put YOU in your process, in your vision, in your company. Stop trying to be everybody else – because that will shut you down.

Michele and her team are happy to help you find YOU again. Reach out if you are interested.