Getting things wrong is just a fact of life so build a bridge and get over it.
Thomas Edison failed over 1,800 times before suddenly he had a light bulb switch on inside his brain and guess what – he invented the working light bulb!
My greatest successes have always had deep roots in past failure and I have never allowed the odd mishap to derail me from producing something I consider to be up to scratch. While this is not going to be a post on how ERH has messed things up so very badly, there is a lot to be said for failure and making mistakes.
Treating your mistakes as learning experiences will help you appreciate the lesson far more deeply than if you just followed advice or a guide book. When you encounter a mistake, and often in my case it is brought to my attention after the event, analyse what has happened. After I have thrown my teddy in the corner and had a fit, I always consider what has happened, what led to the error, why I did whatever caused the problem and more than that, how do I make sure it doesn’t occur again.
When you make a mistake with a client project, that is never a “good thing” but it pays to keep things in perspective. Clients are easy to come by and are replaceable which may not sound like I’m too hot on customer care but that is not the case I can assure you. A professional differs from an amateur in that they recognise their mistakes and make efforts to correct them no matter what. For most clients, a positive attitude to dealing with their concern or grievance is more than enough to put a smile back on their faces but for some clients there is nothing you can do that will satisfy them. In either case, they are not so important if you have a perspective that allows you to see to the next project or commission where you will be able to start applying the lessons (l)earned from screwing up in the first place.
My very first client is still on my books; you may say he gave me my break with writing. I messed up a lot but he was very patient and took the time to explain what was wrong. In this I was very fortunate with a very understanding client who took a shine to a very inexperienced newcomer. Though time limits and commerical considerations dictate the relationship, in large measure the reason why I’m able to make my living today is because of all the cock-ups I produced working for him – and not making the same cock-up twice!
Perhaps my title should be amended – Why I Enjoy Being Wrong but Only Once!