Take Ownership of Problems

Have you ever failed?

I have. I’m currently behind on a project and I’m really not sure how I’m going to catch up, since next week I’ll be taking a trip to Mexico and won’t be taking my laptop.

That means no catching up on coding. But really, how much ‘catch up’ actually happens when you travel? Usually about 110% less than you figured you’d do.

Own it

We all want to own our success, don’t we? That’s good. We should own that success and we should tell people about it. Marketing isn’t sleazy, and if you don’t tell people you’re awesome, who on Earth is going to do it for you?

But do you likewise own your failures?

You know that 99% of what you see on Twitter or Facebook is the highlight reel, right? You’re comparing your current state of being (which may be good or bad) with what others choose to share about their own state of being.

I do this too. As much as I’ve written about my failures, I write way more about my successes. That means you see more of my successes than my failures.

You need to start owning your failures. Why did you fail on this project? What processes are you going to put into place to make sure you don’t fail on the next project?

Was this a client you shouldn’t have taken in the first place? Did you vet them properly?

If you don’t have a client vetting process, you can get mine with Effective Client Email

What question should you have asked before you agreed to the project in the first place?

When you fail in the middle of a project — or heck, even if a client fails, like the time my client let their hosting expire — own it. When my client failed, I owned the solution to the issue. I didn’t blame them, I owned it and got it fixed, even paying for their hosting and billing them for it.

At the moment my client’s site went down, they really didn’t care why it happened — they cared that their site was down and it needed to be fixed. So I fixed it. Later, I explained what happened and we set up a process for them to be reminded about hosting and domain renewals, so hopefully it doesn’t happen again.

The point is, when you encounter failure, take charge of it. Come up with a solution and implement a process to give you the best chance to avoid repeating the failure in the future.

Then move on. Failure happens, it’s part of life.

photo credit: activars cc

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