We have all said at one point or another… “That could have gone better!” It’s so true, we have all experienced failure on a project that has made us ask ourselves if we should have even started it to begin with. So what is the solution? Do we keep making the same mistakes, or do we learn and grow from them? I think it’s good to ask ourselves… “What is the source of these challenges and can they be overcome? Am I taking things too personally, or is it everyone else's fault”?
The truth is that these challenges actually create unique opportunities for us if we learn to take the time to think about and discuss each of them with our team. It may be too late to change the outcome of a particular project thats gone sideways, but these experiences can add an extra layer of value when they are properly reflected on. By studying each variable that added up to the outcome, we can gain great insights on how to adjust our process moving forward. And by adjusting the process, not only do we gain a better experience for ourselves, but also for our clients! And this is so important because an unhappy client is bound to shop around the next time they need help. Repeat clients are the backbone of any business, and so keeping clients happy means that we should always be looking at improving our way of doing things. It could be anything, literally anything. Improving a website, adjusting email settings, creating a new schedule, buying better tools, learning new skills… this list can go on forever!
One of my favorite expressions is by a really great company in Germany called Yellotools. They are famous for the saying #fixwhatbugsyou. And this moto, along with others, has helped them become real industry leaders who continually innovate by bringing new tools and tricks to the market. It’s a really great moto we can all use! If you want to learn more about this company CLICK HERE.
The thing about improvement… in most cases is, that nobody’s going to pay you for it! Well at least in the beginning, and I'll elaborate on this shortly. Improvement is a proactive process, challenges are not, they are reactive. And since we live in such a reactive world filled to the brim with challenges, when do we find time to improve? There's no straight answer to this question because it will be different for each person. Some people's schedules are packed tight for 8 or more hours a day, while others have the luxury of lots of extra time. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum…it still takes time! Time that likely nobody is going to pay you for. So what is the real paycheck for improving yourself and your business? Happy repeat clients! A client that has a great experience will always come back for more. Even if your price is higher than your competition’s. Think about it… wouldn't you rather pay a bit extra and walk away with a smile on your face? I know I would. A good experience is as good as gold.
So that still doesn't answer the question… where can I find the time to make these improvements? Well, once you start looking, you would be surprised as to how much time is already being wasted in your day. It could be as simple as deciding not to watch your favorite TV show. Maybe waking up 30 mins earlier each day. It might involve more delegation to open up your schedule. Regardless, improvement should be done on a daily basis. Just think about how impactful this is over the course of one year, for example... 1 improvement per day equals 365 improvements per year. That's huge!!!!
At the end of the day, we are all personally responsible for making improvements to our own lives. We are also equally responsible when things do not go as planned. Do not wait for someone to come by and fix your problem, that's not their job. It’s yours! Take just a few minutes each day to think about things that bug you, and then think about fixing them. And then... FIX THEM! This is what the Japanese refer to as 'KAIZEN' or Continuous Improvement!
If you begin with the end in mind, whether it may be a project that ended poorly or a current project you are working on, you will be able to adjust your way of thinking and get more control of what may seem to be overwhelming at first.
Remember the opening comment… “That could have gone better?” NEVER stop saying that, and always look for ways to improve. Learn to love the expression … and the ripple effects will pay you back tenfold.
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