My biggest four professional mistakes have served me far better than their cost.
I don’t know about you but I own my four biggest professional mistakes. Some have been behavioral. There have been some tactical mistakes.
There have been some major blunders. I can state for sure now that I’ve learned some incredible lessons from those errors.
Let’s lay them out.
I cared too much about what people thought. This has been a lifelong fight for me. This single issue has cost me more sales, relationships, and opportunities than I can measure.
“If it is good to say or do something, then it is even better to be criticized for having said or done it.” Marcus Aurelius
The lesson: I look back and now see that every time I extended myself, moved out of my comfort zone with respect to what someone was going to think, I was better off.
I didn’t stick with certain things long enough. Some call it shiny object syndrome. If you don’t stick with something long enough, it just won’t happen. Some are lucky and things come together fast.
The lesson: I’m not giving up. Until the benefit occurs, financially, emotionally, or physically, I’m staying in the batter’s box and I’m going to keep swinging.
I promised you four, two more to go.
I was selfish. Yep. Professionally and personally selfish. I could say I was under pressure to provide, I could say I was only doing what anyone else would do. Not good enough.
The lesson: Give, give, give. I’ve learned that when I stop keeping score, professionally and personally, life is better. The world does NOT revolve around me.
I procrastinated. A lot. Next to an abnormally high need for approval, procrastination has likely cost me more than any other behavior in my life.
The lesson: Just do it as Nike stated. Mel Robbins’ book, The Five Second Rule actually helped me with this one. When I don’t want to do something, I now countdown, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and damn if I don’t just get started.
What do these points have to do with Blue Ocean Strategy or business? Just everything.
When you offer someone your strategic counsel, you have to be firm in your thinking. If their issues warrant discussion, you have to go there. You may lose the contract. So be it.
You have to be committed to long term growth to advance. They say, yard by yard it’s hard, inch by inch it’s a cinch. Without the ability to see through a commitment, one fails. Believe me, I have failed here.
Selfishness never serves the consultant or business owner. A selfish strategist brings baggage into the process that serves no one.
Why put off to tomorrow what you can do today truly has become my mantra. I put off nothing nowadays. Personally, the little things like shining shoes, making the bed and keeping things straight all contribute to business success.
I hope you’ve learned from my four biggest professional mistakes. If you want to talk about the mistakes you’ve made. I’m here. If you want to talk about how those mistakes may have affected your business, I may be even more helpful. Schedule that complimentary call here.
Sherman G. Mohr is an Insead Blue Ocean Strategy Institute Certified Blue Ocean Strategist residing in Nashville, TN.