Having a fear of failure or being consumed with self doubt can be the biggest obstacles to moving forward in any business. But this fear must be overcome because although nobody likes to make mistakes in business, making mistakes is very often the thing which moulds you.

Embrace your mistakes

Making mistakes without a doubt makes us feel bad about ourselves. However, most successful business people will tell you that they have made mistakes along their journey. All of them will tell you that they certainly wouldn’t be where they are today had they not learned from them.

On my own journey, I am not ashamed to admit I have made many mistakes in business – some of them having worse consequences than others. But there is no doubt that however bad they made me feel at the time, these have made me stronger. They have served me well and taught me valuable lessons on my journey.

I have always lived by the following philosophy – if you make a mistake and it upsets someone then you can always say you’re sorry. To not have tried at all is really not an option!!

So whatever mistake is making you feel bad today, embrace it – learn from it and move on!


Remember – Nobody is perfect!

Everyone makes mistakes. There is nobody on this earth who is perfect. Those business people who say they don’t make mistakes are merely conceited and blind to their own imperfections. Remembering this will make you more empathetic towards your staff, your customers, and more importantly yourself.

It’s only right that you expect every staff member to work with integrity, dedication, and attention to detail. But you can only expect them to do their best – that’s you included. Expecting any more is unrealistic and will not make for a happy work-life or working environment. 


Moving on after making mistakes in business

Nobody likes to admit to making mistakes. But to do so is often empowering and the enabler to moving forward. Accept the mistake, learn the lesson and move on. Dwelling over it or making yourself or your staff constantly feel bad about it will only inhibit the growth of your business.

Accepting you have made a mistake and taking accountability for it will set a good example to your workforce. It will open the door for your staff to accept their own failings and confront them.

If you’ve been the one to unfairly assign blame for a mistake it is vitally important that you find a way to make it right with the offended party. As a business leader, it is your responsibility to set an example – so step up and put it right. That will only encourage honesty and accountability from your work force in the future.


Business mistakes you can learn from

You can learn from others mistakes as well as your own. Even some of the bigger companies get it wrong. Here are just a few who have made colossal errors of judgement – some have lived to tell the tale, some have not. However you can learn from the mistakes of others just as much as your own:

  1. Several big publishing names such as Harper Collins and Penguin outright rejected JK Rowlings first Harry Potter book. A much lesser know publisher agreed to take it on after the CEO’s 8 year old daughter begged him to publish it!
  2. Decca Records famously rejected the Beatles saying that ‘groups were out’. EMI Records went on to sign one of the most successful bands of all time!
  3. Blockbuster declined to purchase Netflix back in 2000. A decision which ultimately saw its demise.
  4. Kodak failed to move with the digital era despite it being one of the first to realise that digital was the way forward. It’s fear of loosing so much revenue from traditional film processing prevented the company from adapting in order to thrive.
  5. Excite turned down an offer to buy Google. The refusal of Excite to buy what is now a trillion dollar company for a mear $750,000 is cited as being one of the biggest business mistakes in history. It is reported that Excite wasn’t very excited by the company and declined to purchase!!

If you are having trouble moving on after making a mistake in business or just looking for business help and advice then contact me today.



Categories: Advice


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