Expert Awards


Learning from Mistakes: Home Expert Awards

It would be nice if you could start a business, get all the building blocks in place, and launch right into working at the top of the game. Sadly, that’s not how the world works. Even the most professional business people started out as rookies, and rookies make a lot of mistakes–sometimes very big ones. But if you know how to handle them, even the worst mistakes can turn into learning opportunities.

Our experts are at the tops of their fields, but they didn’t get there by being perfect all the time. We asked them to share some of the mistakes they have made over the years, and tell us how they handled them–and learned from them. They had a lot of great advice.

Below, we’ve compiled a few of the helpful answers our experts provided. Check back later in the week for a follow-up article!

What mistakes have you made and learned from?

Are there any mistakes you see rookies make frequently?

What’s your first reaction when you realize something has gone wrong?

How do you handle a client’s complaint when the fault really is yours?

Have you ever made a mistake that couldn’t be salvaged? How did you handle it?

Most Inspiring

"I have always told my kids and employees that making mistakes is how we learn. What I am concerned about is making the same mistakes over and over. It also is a teaching opportunity if you share the mistake with someone else. Mistakes don’t have to be a negative experience if you turn them around and find the positive in them." read more

When you make a mistake, it can be easy to feel like you will never recover and should just give up. Mark's comment encourages us to instead view mistakes as learning opportunities--and a chance to help share the knowledge. The only real mistake is repeating the same one over and over!

eLocal Expert Network

Most Creative

“We always keep in mind one of our interior design caveats: “Things do go wrong; it’s what you do about it that counts.” ” read more

Mistakes are inevitable. If you incorporate this fact into your business philosophy, and include a positive response to it, you'll know what to do when a mistake does happen. That's what Kerry did, and it works well for her!

eLocal Expert Network

Most Insightful

“Nobody wants to be remembered by the mistakes that they made in business or life. Most people won’t remember the mistake as much as they will remember how you reacted to it and your course of action(s) after the fact.” read more

When a mistake happens, the biggest concern people have is that other people will forever associate them with that one mistake. The reality is that the people you interact with are far less likely to obsess over your mistakes than you are. Instead, they're going to care about how you responded to the mistake and what you did to make it better.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Articulate

“If mistakes aren’t being made … nothing is getting done.” read more

2 Thumbs Up Plumbing hits the nail right on the head with this comment. Everybody is afraid of making mistakes, but the reality is that if you aren't making mistakes, you aren't moving forward. Don't be afraid of mistakes; embrace them and strive to do better next time.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Informative

“The most valuable lesson I have learned about making mistakes is they are very telling of the tolerance, education and solution culture that guides your business and that of the clients you have the opportunity to work with. In an outdated, unforgiving professional culture it may be more difficult to enjoy the discoveries. In an updated socially aware corporate culture there are opportunities to revisit errors and patterns that don’t support the objective without a lot of the stress involved.” read more

How you respond to a mistake can determine how much you learn from it, but other people's responses can be equally important. If you have a supportive work culture, your coworkers will understand that mistakes happen and help you through it. If you are being unfairly criticized for a mistake that you responded to appropriately, it might be time to reconsider who you are working with.

eLocal Expert Network