As a business owner, mistakes are an inevitable part of the journey. However, mistakes should never be seen as failures. To embrace your growth mindset you must take each challenge and turn them into valuable learning opportunities.
Your personal and professional development relies on evolving, growing, and learning.
Let’s explore the importance of embracing your mistakes and where they can provide wisdom.
Decision Making in Business
“You are built from every mistake you make.”
One area where mistakes can offer valuable insight is in strategic decision making. As a business owner, you are constantly faced with choices that greatly impact your company and journey as an entrepreneur.
If you’ve listened to my TedX Brighton talk you will know about the mistakes and decisions that turned my own life and business upside down.
I created a successful business called Truly Madly Baby which turned over a million in its third year with 432 consultants nationwide providing baby products via a party plan format. I took this business to Dragons Den where Peter Jones wanted to invest £75,000.
In the end, the deal with Peter didn’t progress, and a friend who was also a Financial Director invested instead for a slightly lower share of my business. At the time, I felt this was a great match, and I took a chance on her being able to support and help with my success. Unfortunately, my judgement was wrong, and after three years of hard work, dedication, and working many hours as well as being a mum, the business needed more investment to carry on to its next stage. We had enquiries from Australia, Europe and the USA to take Truly Madly Baby global, but sadly we were the victims of our own success, and without having put in place the right foundations, the business couldn’t operate effectively. My business partner and investor was willing to put more money in but then wanted 75% of the business. I said no.
This was another decision I made that instinctively felt right, but it had devastating consequences. Within a couple of weeks, she had taken my business into administration, knowing that she would make a bid to open it back up without me involved at all. She relaunched it as Truly Madly Baby Dragons’ Den Winner and ran it for a further six years.
What happened next was a chain reaction of difficult and heartbreaking situations, including bankruptcy, a miscarriage, my mum’s diagnosis with breast cancer and the end of my marriage. All in less than 12 months.
Was I in a hopeless situation, or did I have a great opportunity?
That may seem like a strange question! However, I always felt like I didn’t have a choice. I needed to turn this into a positive situation again. Today I know I absolutely had a choice, and I took the right one for my sanity and survival.
Instead of dwelling on the negative outcomes, I reflected on what went wrong. I analysed the mistakes made and used these new life skills and built my strength of character and resilience. This helped me rebuild my career and enjoy and learn from more experiences and successes – something I thought I would never do again during those dark times.
By identifying the causes and understanding the implications, I learned how to refine my decision making process and make more informed choices in the future. If you ask me today, I will always say you have a choice, and as mentioned above, I am built from every mistake I have made.
“Decision making is power. Most people don’t have the guts to make ‘tough decisions’ because they want to make the ‘right decision’ and so they make ‘no decision’. Remember, life is short, so do things that matter the most and have the courage to make ‘tough decisions’ and to chase your dreams.” – Yama Mubtakeraker
Your mistakes can help you with your strategic thinking and evaluate opportunities. They allow you to anticipate risks and steer you toward greater success in your business. Above all, mistakes make you stronger.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and their satisfaction drives sales. Building relationships with your audience is vital; understanding their wants and needs helps you improve your customer service for the future.
Nobody wants to let their customers down, but mistakes do happen. That might be through miscommunication, a product’s quality, or a service’s non-delivery. At times like this, engaging confidently with your customers, listening to what they are saying, and acting on an effective solution is imperative.
Use their feedback to make the necessary improvements to your products or services and be transparent with your audience. Being proactive when resolving mistakes only strengthens the know, like, and trust you have built.
Resolving those mistakes positions you as someone who values your customers, and that strengthens your brand. Step into your customer’s shoes so you fully understand what they need, and if and when mistakes crop up you are prepared to rectify them.
‘The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place!’ George Bernard Shaw.
This quote is one of my favourites!
Communication is often the biggest reason mistakes happen, and whilst we are human and will learn from them, we can do more to ensure we have understood and been understood.
Simple life skills are at our fingertips, free of charge, to use when it comes to communication. Being able to listen is one of the best tools in our human toolkit. However, there is nothing better than the gift of curiosity and conversation.
Don’t allow fear to stop you from exploring another person’s views and, indeed, their world, as this is the best way to understand it and, in turn, create great relationships and limit the size of the mistakes we make.
The art of conversation should not be rushed but should also not be feared. Spend time learning and understanding, as this is the greatest tool you have to embrace growth in business and life.
Whether you manage a team as part of your business or not, learning from mistakes can benefit you as a leader in your field.
You may experience a breakdown in communication with a team, or a poor outsourcing decision that impacts your business directly. Learning to grow as a leader means embracing mistakes, reflecting on how and why they happened, and assessing your management style and business processes.
- What were your expectations?
- Did you offer the necessary support or resources?
The answers to these questions can provide valuable insight and help you strengthen your leadership approach and qualities.
Everyone needs to invest in their professional development and by embracing mistakes you can become more resilient and take your business or team to new heights.
Mistakes are part of being a business owner – they happen! Rather than fear them, try embracing them as small steps towards your growth and business success.
Transforming setbacks is a valuable lesson for any business owner.
“In school, we learn that mistakes are bad, and we are punished for making them. Yet, if you look at the way humans are designed to learn, we learn by making mistakes. We learn to walk by falling down. If we never fell down, we would never walk.” Robert Kiyosaki
Remember, it’s not the mistakes themselves that define your journey but the lessons you take from them. Embrace every mistake you make and choose to evolve, adapt, and thrive from the challenges you face.
How can you find out more about embracing growth and learning from mistakes?
If you want to learn more about embracing growth in your business and sales strategy, schedule a virtual cuppa with me, and we can discuss how I can help you.
“Jules is all about doing it right! Right education, right training, right attitude, right outcomes for all! If you want to do it right, speak to Jules White.” Asvin Chauhan, CEO Pharma Wealth
Alternatively, why not invest in one of my Express30 coaching sessions? Do you have a burning challenge with sales? My Express 30 sessions are designed to solve that issue in 30 minutes.
“I booked an Express30 session with Jules when I was feeling a bit blocked on the direction my business was heading. I needed clarity on the services I offer and a boost of confidence to push forward with my plans. Jules doesn’t waste a second and gets to the core of your challenge quickly ensuring you leave with everything you need and a buzz about your business goals. I can highly recommend these Express30 sessions.” Shelley Wilson, Writing Mentor & Author
Schedule a virtual cuppa with me, and we can have a chat about the membership or my other coaching services.