Mistakes are part of life. Everyone does things they regret or finds out later that they should have done something else. That’s just as true for business. Oops! With the right attitude and perspective, mistakes in your online business can be the fuel that propels you forward.
Have you ever had thoughts like:
“If only I had chosen a different shopping cart system. My customers wouldn’t have been so confused and I would have sold a ton of products.”
“I wish I would have known how to make a decent sales page. I lost the opportunity to reach all of those people when I was mentioned in the article on that big blog.”
“Why did I throw all that money away on that training program? I wish I would have bought Product B.”
Online Business “If Only's” and “Shoulda's”
The online home business “if only’s” and “shoulda’s” can get pretty painful. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and it’s easy to fall into kicking yourself for past decisions. A big enough dose of regret can make you fearful and discouraged.
The antidote? Accept where you are in this moment and own your responsibility. Drop the pointing finger and the careful explanations for your current circumstances. Sure, acknowledge that things didn’t go so great with a former business coach, take note of the failed marketing campaign and admit your self-sabotage. But instead of staying in that space, looking back and lamenting “Woe is me,” learn from each experience. Squeeze out every lesson you can, then get back on the road.
What Others Think About Our Mistakes
We may think that people are watching us, jeering at our perceived failure and judging us. Maybe there’s some truth in that. Maybe your competitors are feeling a little smug. You know what? They’re so busy with their own stuff that your success or failure is just a momentary distraction and ego trip. They won’t come to your funeral someday and they don’t love your family and friends. So why plan your life and business around them, and allow your fear of them to paralyze you?
As long as you focus on business mistakes you’ve made in the past, you’re moving backwards. When you make a decision to man up and stay present, you’re on your way to change and new ideas and the next thing.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Successful People Make Mistakes
Successful people have made mistakes—usually a LOT of them. They just fail forward by picking themselves up quickly, learning from the situation and getting back on the journey. As tempting as it is to throw a pity party and berate yourself for what didn’t work out, don’t look in the mirror too long. Shake off the regret and stop pointing fingers to blame others. It is what it is, and it’s likely that this little detour is an important part of your success story.
Look at mistakes—and their cost—as part of your business education. You’re paying tuition for the lessons, just like you would for a college class. Learn the lessons well, say “Next!” and move on as a smarter business owner.
Remember that your brain was designed to learn and develop new skills. Every time you make a mistake, choose to focus on the lesson, not the embarrassment or dismay. Rather than getting stuck and discouraged in the regret, pull up your socks and get back to work.
Shake off the mistake, get back in the game and look forward to what’s ahead. Give yourself grace. Spend time with some people who cheer you on and don’t let you get away with self-pity. Before long, you’ll find that your “Oops!” was a necessary part of the journey to your business success!