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How To Deal With Embarrassing Mistakes In Your Business

Have you ever made a mistake in your business? We all have!

But what makes some people able to keep rolling past a mistake, while others get stuck? I think it’s an essential skill every business owner must have, and I’ll tell you what it is in this video.

 

 

I think the difference between someone who moves past mistakes and someone who dwells on them is an ability to laugh at ourselves — and that ability is the skill I think is so essential for all business owners to have.

In business, you are going to make an idiot of yourself at times, you are going to risk what will feel like rejection. It’s inevitable! So a healthy dose of not taking yourself too seriously is needed. Which I realise, of course, is easier said than done.

My experience of dealing with embarrassing situations

I learned this personally before I was in business. You may not know this but I lived in Brazil for a while and Germany for a long time. When I first moved to both places, if I wanted to get anything done, I had to deal with having the language skills of a 5 year old.

Did I occasionally embarrass myself – oh yes!

Once I nearly got my computer thrown out at work by accidentally adding it to the wrong type of list (I added it to a Schrottliste, which means junk list). And another time it took 3 attempts at making a sentence in front of a boy I liked.

But generally I find the only person who gets upset or worried about these situations is you.

Own it, apologise and keep moving

While hopefully your examples in your business will be less awkward than trying to talk to a crush in a foreign language, there will be times when you have to put yourself out there and it will feel scary – sales conversations, sharing your stuff on social media, launching your first product. Maybe once in a while you’ll stuff up and say something wrong or send the wrong link.

In those sorts of situations, the best solution is to own your mistake and move on.  If, for example, you send out the wrong link in a newsletter, just send another explaining what went wrong. Own the mistake, apologize, and keep moving.

We’re all human, and I think our customers and clients understand that, too. Anyone who doesn’t clearly wasn’t your ideal customer anyway, and it’s best to just graciously let them go.

You can only do your best, right?!

The other thing to remember is that we are all out there doing our best. Every business person – no matter how big and famous – has made a mistake, and an ability to laugh at yourself can really help.

That’s how I do these videos. If I stressed about my hair, which has a life of it’s own, or how I have gained weight since starting this business nothing would ever happen. Instead I try and take it more lightly and know that people will see the value in my material, no matter what my hair is doing.

Remember too that we are all our own worst critics. What you see as a big mistake might go completely unnoticed by your audience – so long as you don’t make a big deal out of it!

Let’s hear about your experiences…

So, when you’re feeling embarrassed about something in your business, remember: it happens to everyone, it’s probably not as big a deal as it seems to you, and it’s worth having a laugh about!

If you’re willing to share one of your business blunders that you can laugh about now, please do so in the comments below this video! It will help others realize that everyone feels like this sometimes!

6 Responses to How To Deal With Embarrassing Mistakes In Your Business

  1. Hi Cat, Thanks for this video and blog post today! I totally agree… you definitely have to learn to laugh at yourself to get through the mistakes and blunders. There are many mistakes I’ve made I can’t even choose the worst! ha ha :)

  2. Haha! You do make me laugh! I’ve made plenty of mistakes at work. You pretty much learn NEVER to do that again if nothing else.
    I’ve made heaps of language blunders living in Switzerland and Germany. Once asking friends if they were going to the ‘Bash Fich’ (translates as ‘Bash F%$K’ when I meant to say ‘Bach Fisch’ (A ceremony of putting the fisch back in a stream in the local village).

    The worst by far was locking my bosses handbag, keys, phone wallet everything in the cupboard at work whilst she was in a meeting and forgetting to tell her. I thought, worst case scenario, she would have her phone and keys to the cupboard, and/or remember where the spare key is hidden. WRONG. Worse than my worst case scenario she had nothing at all. Her husband was travelling, she had to get a lift back to a town an hour away by car, get the keys off her neighbours and cancelled all her credit cards in case the bag had been stolen. This all on the one night I had turned my work phone off at 8pm. Yep. This was a HORRIBLE situation at the time, now it’s just an absolutely hilarious story of just how wrong things can go with even the very best of intentions.

  3. Thank you Cat for this video. I made an embarrassing mistake in my business and just discovered it last night after the fact. I was beating myself up over it but knew that was not the best way to handle it. I literally googled “how to handle an embarrassing business mistake” and found you.
    My mistake didn’t hurt anyone only embarrassed me. I made the mistake when sending my product to many collegues not just one so my mistake was magnified in my mind. I also felt bad that it would be a poor reflection on my product when it was human error on my part. I took your message to heart and feel much better and positively enlightened.

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