As a business owner, you have to allow yourself to be human also. When you make a mistake, as humans inevitably do, there’s nothing wrong with admitting it.
Here are some real-life examples.
Quoting too high on a project. This happened to me recently. I was offered a job I don’t often do, and quoted a rate way above what’s acceptable. After doing my homework, which I should have done in the first place, I realized my mistake. Even though I felt silly, I contacted the potential client and gave him a realistic, fair quote. Will I get the client? Maybe. Maybe not. But I definitely showed my human side.
Missing a deadline. While not a wise thing to do, it may happen despite your best efforts. Sometimes life gets in the way. Or perhaps you miscalculated the time necessary to complete the project. What’s important is that you communicate with your client. Let the client know what’s going on, and do your best work. Ultimately, the client may be lost. But you might have redeemed yourself to some extent by being honest.
Forgetting to return a call or email. I received an email from a potential client I wrote almost a year ago. Her kind note apologized for her late reply, which happened because she put the wrong email address in her reply. We never wound up working together, but her message reminded me that admitting a mistake isn’t the end of the world. What do you have to lose?
Basically, we’re all human first and business owners second (or third). Remember this, and don’t beat yourself up (and don’t let anyone else beat you up) when something goes wrong. Be yourself, handle the situation head on, and move on.
What are some other human moments you’ve encountered in your business? How did you handle the situation?