All posts tagged self improvement

Four Quick Steps to Overcoming Mistakes

Four Quick Steps to Overcoming Mistakes
Four Quick Steps to Overcoming Mistakes

Four Quick Steps to Overcoming Mistakes

“You make mistakes. Mistakes don’t make you.” This quote by surgeon and author Maxwell Maltz speaks volumes about how to overcome your mistakes. We all make them in every aspect of our lives, but when you are self-employed, they can be especially devastating. Rather than dwelling on the mistake or pretending as if it never happened, here are four steps you can take right away to overcome your mistakes and keep moving forward.

1. Recognize that your ultimate goal is to improve and that mistakes are part of the learning process. No one is immune to making mistakes, and as someone who is always striving to better himself, embrace your mistake so you can learn from it. For example, a consultant new to her direct sales business, was asked by a customer if a particular pair of earrings was hypoallergenic. The consultant, instead of checking to be 100% certain, gave her best guess on the spot. She turned out to be wrong, causing the customer to complain about the product and return it for a full refund. The consultant was worried that she had made a bad impression on this customer and her friends from the party, but instead of letting it get the best of her, she realized that she is capable of overcoming this setback. It was surely a rookie mistake, and in the grand scheme of things, it wouldn’t make or break her business.

2. Find a way to rectify your mistake. The sooner you can do this, the better. Our jewelry consultant from the example above fixed her mistake by calling the customer to apologize for giving the wrong information, and also sent her a handwritten note with a $20 credit to use on a future order. She wanted the customer to know that she wasn’t a careless person, but that she was an honest businesswoman who made a beginner’s mistake. It was important for the customer to know that she truly wanted to rectify the situation.  If at all possible, fix your mistake so that you can begin anew without the worry of a previous error.

3. Forgive yourself. People in direct sales businesses are naturally ambitious and motivated to succeed. Because of this, we can sometimes be our own worst critics. Although it is good to hold yourself to a high standard, cut yourself some slack when you make a mistake. If you spend too much time beating yourself up about it, you won’t be able to get past it and possibly won’t be able to enjoy what you do. Forgive yourself so you can rebuild your confidence and move forward.

4. Give yourself an opportunity to vent your frustrations and express your emotions. It is unhealthy for you to keep your emotions bottled up. Confiding in a close friend or relative about how you are feeling or writing in a journal can be quite therapeutic. You’ll likely feel much better after venting and you can then continue to move ahead.

Mistakes are inevitable in any endeavor, so rather than letting them define you, embrace them by learning, improving, forgiving yourself, and moving on. You will be more successful in the long run if you do.

How do you overcome your mistakes? Please share your comments below!

Effective Ways to Build on Mistakes

Effective Ways to Build on Mistakes

Although we all try to avoid making mistakes whenever possible, it is important to accept that they are bound to happen eventually. In the best interests of your business, embrace your mistakes as learning experiences and build on what you’ve learned to move forward. The following is a list of ways that you can build on your mistakes to minimize damage and prevent them from happening again.

  • Accept full responsibility for your mistakes. It may be tempting to play the blame game and make someone else the scapegoat. Aside from creating tension in the workplace, it also keeps you from recognizing the real problem. Every aspect of your business falls back on you, so demonstrate strong leadership by holding yourself accountable for your mistakes. You will be setting a good example for your employees, and everyone involved in your business will respect you more for taking control.
  • Work as a team to fix the problem. Act quickly to gather the appropriate people who can help rectify the problem caused by a mistake. For example, if a marketing flier with incorrect information has been distributed to customers, choose the people who are best equipped to handle the problem right away. Delegate someone to create a new flier with accurate information, someone else to contact clients about the error, and yet another person to make arrangements with the printer to deliver the new order as quickly as possible. Always demonstrate a professional demeanor even in the most stressful of situations, and show your team that working together is the best way to move forward.
  • Implement a process to deal with mistakes and ways to learn from them. How you handle mistakes will of course vary depending on the situation. However, you should absolutely have some kind of support system in place, especially if you find yourself in unchartered territory. Support groups, mentors, or even informal advisors can provide you with guidance you may need to not only deal with the mistake at hand, but also to learn from it. Think of your support system as a disaster preparedness kit. You hope that you will never need it, but if you do, it will be a lifesaver.
  • Share your mistake with others. It is human nature to want to cover up our mistakes so others don’t see our weaknesses. This is counterproductive, as it enables you to avoid getting to the root of the problem and gaining new wisdom from it. First, own up to it using first-person statements like, “I neglected to approve the final draft that contained inaccurate information.” Second, talk about it with people you trust, even those who are not involved in business at all. Venting to a confidante will make you feel better and help you identify where you may have gone wrong. Third, listen to the advice of others. You will benefit from getting advice from a variety of perspectives. Talking it out with others will maximize your learning.

When dealing with mistakes, keep your cool, take responsibility, act quickly, and reflect on the problem by talking it out with others. You won’t be able to avoid every possible misstep, but you will certainly take away a newfound wisdom that allows you to move your business forward. How do you build on your mistakes? Please share your ideas below!

7 Steps to Create a Winning Mindset

7 Steps to Create a Winning Mindset

In life and in business there are many unforeseen obstacles. Some of these obstacles can trip us up and cause us to fall flat on our faces.

How do you get back up? How do you make the pain of falling on your face go away? How do you keep going?

If you have a winning mindset you can overcome these obstacles and use them to motivate yourself to push forward and succeed. Here’s an outline to create your winning mindset.

  1. Define your WHY. List three top reasons that you want to succeed. The first reason should be personal and for yourself, the second reason can be based on loved ones and the third reason could be for anything important to you.
  2. Make a plan. The plan should include short, medium and long term goals. Then include the how, when, where, who and what.
  3. Accountability. Share your plan with a friend or family member that is willing to cheer you on and be honest with you. Even better, get a small group of supportive, positive people who will hold you responsible and keep you on your plan.
  4. Make a daily routine and schedule. A winning mindset is built on momentum. Checking off each thing on your to-do list daily will help you see progress and give you motivation to continue.
  5. Use visualizations. See yourself and your goals as a campfire. Like a fire you need to keep adjusting it, adding wood to keep the fire going and make it big. Every step makes the fire bigger and sometimes a misstep or problem may diminish your flames. That means you need to adjust quickly and keep the fire going.
  6. Make a plan for when you fall. Like with any injury you will need time to heal, to evaluate what happened and maybe some physical therapy to get back to full strength. Have a system in place that you’re comfortable with to help you evaluate and learn from your mistakes. You could keep a journal, take a walk or draw a map. See mistakes as detours that help get you where you want to go more quickly.
  7. Perspective. Goals are destinations and mistakes/missteps are detours. You will get lost from time to time and sometimes you’ll speed ahead. That’s the nature of a journey. It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there. Having patience will give you the long-burning fuel you need to reach your destination.

Creating a winning mindset is like being a great baker: it’s part science, part self-confidence and part ingenuity. The science is in the plans you make, the confidence is in the belief in yourself, visualizations and your perspective, and the ingenuity is in finding ways to get things done.

Did we leave anything out? What else would you include in a winner mindset? Please share with us in the comments section below!

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