Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them." -Bruce Lee
Back when I was still acting, I was in a great acting class that helped me hone my craft and taught me the business side of things.
Because let me tell you, as an actress, I was the CEO of a small business. One thing we’d focus on in class is the art of booking jobs.
In order to have the privilege of getting paid to perform, you had to learn how to get hired.I found the actual acting job itself was usually the easy part; it was the process of getting the job that felt challenging.
There was, of course, all the mindset stuff that came out to play (I mean so much of it, y’all). There was getting the actual opportunity, an audition. Then there was learning how to master your audition.
Just like booking a new client or selling a product, there was an art to selling yourself in an audition that had various moving parts. So, in this acting class, we worked on those different aspects of booking a job.
One thing this acting teacher always harped on was the importance of how we handled our mistakes.
Because we all make mistakes. No matter how well rehearsed you might be, mistakes are inevitable and a glorious part of being human. It’s how we handle our mistakes that makes all the difference, and in this case, if you were the person who booked the job or not.
In fact, we were taught that casting directors (the people who ran auditions) were often paying attention to see how you handled a mistake. They knew, mistakes will happen on set. And they wanted to know, would you be rocked by the mistakes or rock the mistakes.
It was this distinction and perfective shift that was so important and helped me book more acting roles. For as many roles that I booked because of a great performance, I booked parts and lucrative commercials where I royally f-ed up in the audition room. It was the way I rolled with the punches, acknowledged my flawed humanness, and got back in the zone that allowed me to book roles over more ‘perfect’ auditions.
There are a few jobs in particular where I believe it’s only because I made mistakes that I actually booked the part! Truth. Those mistakes gave me the opportunity to demonstrate how I handled them and how I’d behave on set under a little stress. They also made me more real in the room and gave me a chance to connect in a different way.
Why am I sharing this with you? It’s not to relive my acting days. This very much correlates to our businesses and selling.
Whether we’re selling products or services, selling in person or online, automating or using some good old fashioned elbow grease, the back end of our business is human. And to be human is to make mistakes.
While mistakes are inevitable, I see so many of us are operating under the false belief that we can somehow eradicate this human quality. So we don’t expect mistakes. And when mistakes arise, because remember we’re human, it throws us into a quick-spin spiral.
We either aren’t prepared with how to handle it, try to avoid and brush it under the rug, or allow a little mistake to become a big thing that grows three arms and a leg.
But just like casting directors are looking to see how you handle mistakes because they want to know if you’re someone they want to fly across the world and work with for weeks on time, your clients and customers are curious about the same. They might not consciously be thinking, “Hey, I wonder how they’ll handle a mistake?” But when they notice something off, they’re wondering what you’re going to do, and your response (or lack thereof) is everything.
If you freak out and make a mountain out of a mole hill, your customers are going to notice and lose some faith.
If you try to act perfect or push the blame elsewhere, you’re going to seem inauthentic, robotic, and distance yourself.
If you just ignore it, your people are going to wonder how much you care.
Here’s what I’ve found to be true in acting and in business, acknowledging our mistakes and humbly owning and embracing our humanness can go an incredibly long way. In some instances, your response to mistakes can even seal the deal. Owning up to our mistakes allows us to get real and connect in a way we can’t when we’re polished and performing, and people want real.
I’ll tell you, I make mistakes all the time. I’ve also booked clients as a direct result of some of those mistakes. Truly, in this way, mistakes can be a gift and an opportunity.
I’ve also found it’s our recovery time that means so much. Our recovery time is that time between freak out because we’ve ‘fucked up’ to the time we address it and move on. Recovery time matters. Successful business owners don’t screw up any less, they just have a faster recovery time.
I hope this week, you’re able to cut yourself some slack, give yourself a little grace, and embrace the glorious human that you are. I also hope you’re able to open your eyes to mistakes, shift your perspective, and see them as a gift and a new way to show up, connect, and even book more ‘parts’.
Wishing you your version of success!
P.S. Today’s my birthday, and I like to keep it pretty low-key. But, I’ve decided to give myself the gift of working with one of you because coaching puts me in my happy place. I’m giving away One, 60-minute Coaching Session in my Facebook Group and on Instagram today! Want to play and enter? Look for the post to enter your name. That’s all you have to do!
Can’t wait to support one of you in making more money doing what you love!
P.P.S. If there are any mistakes in this blog post, it’s just so fitting. Don’t you think?