In business, practically everyone makes mistakes – even super successful billionaires. Back in January, for instance, Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates, suggested that the coronavirus pandemic would be a minor blip and nothing to worry about. Now the entire economy is shut down, and the future of investing is in tatters. Likewise, Elon Musk of Tesla fame has been known to send out the odd wayward tweet, landing him in trouble with the SEC

But there’s a difference between making a mistake and dealing with it. If you are in business for any length of time, you will invariably do something that sets you back from your goals. We’re all human and it is only natural. The difference between the people who make it, and those who don’t, is how they respond. You either have a growth mindset, continually looking for ways to improve yourself. Or you have a fixed mindset, and carry on making all the same mistakes that you always did. 

If You Make A Mistake, Own Up To It

If you make a mistake, you should always own it. Fundamentally, that means taking personal responsibility for what happened and making it clear to the people around you that you were at fault. 

Usually, we are afraid of doing this because we worry it shows weakness. But because it is such a difficult thing for the average person to do, it can actually be a sign of immense strength. People who feel confident about themselves and their leadership ability aren’t afraid to expose their flaws, especially if it will benefit the team. 

Protect Yourself Against Legal Action

Like it or not, we live in a litigious society. People are continually looking for opportunities to extract money from you whenever they can. Thus, a simple mistake or oversight could leave you on the hook for fines worth thousands of dollars. 

The good news is that professional liability insurance for your business can usually stave off the majority of financial losses. So long as you don’t do anything overtly criminal, you’re covered from this kind of action, shielding you from the consequences of negligence. 

Learn What Your Did Wrong And Improve

The sign of a strong and successful person is somebody who can learn where they made mistakes and improve. In business, you’re not going to get everything right the first time around. It is going to take time and effort to build your skills. It doesn’t all come at once. The key is reflecting on how you messed up and then putting in place systems that prevent it from happening again. 

Many top business leaders spend days of their lives thinking about the mistakes that they made and how they can make amends. They feel as though they owe it to their colleagues and customers to sort things out and make improvements to the way that they go about their work. 

So, in summary, everyone makes mistakes. And while you can feel embarrassed by them, the best policy is always to own the mistakes, learn from them, and then move on. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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