You’ve been going back and forth with a client about a project. You’re confused and peeved by her latest message because next steps are poorly communicated.
You forward the email to a co-worker on your team, writing that you’re frustrated, that what the client is saying doesn’t make sense, and that you’re at wit’s end.
You hit send.
Milliseconds later you realize you hit reply and not forward.
It’s my understanding that what you’d do next to treat your mistake is similar to how one ought to treat any mistake.
- Communicate immediately and apologize (hop on the phone to say sorry)
- Be vulnerable (admit to the client what you’re feeling and discuss a new way forward)
- Get energized for next steps (feel determined to tackle the project in whatever way you need regardless of what happened)
What trips up a lot of people is the third step. They make a mistake. Apologize. Open up. Then shut down. Instead, any mistake needs to be followed up with an insane desire to do better…and to get right to it.
Stay Positive & No Sulking, There’s Work To Be Done
Hoping for the promotion, for the external event to be invited to, for the friend to invite you over; it’s a waste of your time and energy.
It’s always better to switch from hope to focus and place it on things you can control.
Of course, it’s not a fun thing to do.
The moment you know it’s all in your hands, you begin to feel overwhelmed, anxious, downright fearful of it all. Once you know it’s in your control, you’re squeezed by accountability and expectations for yourself.
There’s no short cut out of it. All one can believe is that it’s less frustrating to do what you can than to wait for someone else to do what you hope.
Stay Positive & What’ll You Choose?
When assigned a task (whether from your boss or yourself), it’s almost an impulse to believe that you’re the expert.
After all, if you weren’t, if you couldn’t do the task, then you wouldn’t have been assigned it.
Consider the ideology of doing something and doing something remarkably.
You will struggle to an unnecessary degree if you think you’re the only one who can perform the task to a remarkable level. Better, I believe, to bring in an expert – someone who is slightly better than you.
Allow them to review the work, raise the bar for you, to push it (you!) an extra level.
The best way to bring your work from “good enough” to “better than one hoped for” is to bring in an expert.
Stay Positive & You’re Never In It Alone (If You Don’t Want To Be)
There are two hills to every project.
The first hill is starting, it’s the protype, it’s the FPO. It’s easy to think this is the toughest hill because then you have an excuse not to climb it. You quickly tell yourself, it’s too difficult, that you ought to wait until a smaller hill comes around.
The second hill is the “Here, I made this,” it’s the polishing, it’s the shipping of the final product. Once you make it over the first hill, it’s easy to think this is the toughest hill because what you have isn’t perfect yet. You quickly tell yourself you need to make more tweaks, you need to make it better, that you should wait until you’re 100 percent sure it’ll work/sell/change someone’s life.
Thing about these hills is that they’re not tangible. They are figments of your imagination and you design them.
Stay Positive & The Hill Is Only As Big As You Imagine It To Be
You could try more clever marketing.
You can claim your product or service isn’t for a particular group so you can make the customers you do have feel like a tribe and attract more of them.
You can invest in brighter signs and lights.
But this doesn’t change the quality of a customer, it merely adds or refines the quantity of customers.
Clever marketing might get people to make a purchase, but what if they didn’t want to? What if the last feeling they have about your product is regret?
And if we know anything about creating a tribe (a group of insiders), you almost always also create a cult (a group of outsiders) who will be against you.
Best, I believe, is to understand the chain reaction of leadership.
The more you treat, respect and appreciate your employees, the more they’ll do the same to the customers, and, by extension, attract more good-hearted, respectful and appreciative ones.
Stay Positive & The Quality Of Outside Customers Starts With The Quality Of Inside Employees
One beer geek enters a brewery’s taproom, enjoys a brew and then asks the bartender if they have any stickers.
“Definitely. One second…Here are a few! We appreciate you wanting to represent, what’s your name?”
The conversation continued and that beer geek’s brand loyalty solidified.
Let’s look at another instance of a bed and breakfast that places a sticker on your bed instead of sweet piece of chocolate. They also place a sticker at every chair in the morning so you have to remove it before you sit. Knowing how hot it is out, they give you a hand fan made from a crafter down the street, and, lucky you, they placed one of their stickers on it. The laptop you ask to borrow for the afternoon has a sticker on it, too. Lastly, the care package they send you off with has a dozen branded stickers in it for you to take home.
Best of all? The B&B owners never mention the stickers.
The best brand advocates you can attract are the ones who want to be, not the ones you trick into becoming.
Stay Positive & Stop With The Stickers, Start With The Experience
Curious how we can often get caught up in the thought we need to have a plan for changing someone’s life instead of making a difference in the moment.
Yes, you can change someone’s life by planning something special, making it a long-term event, and working toward making a grand gesture.
Lest we forget, though, we have the opportunity to change someone’s life today, right now, in this moment.
One compliment. One nod of respect. One hug. One note of appreciation. One acknowledgement of hard work.
Stay Positive & One Is All It Takes, Again And Again