Why You Should Make More Mistakes

I don’t make a lot of mistakes, Self punishment woman boxerbut I shouldn’t admit that. Or be proud of it. Or even think about it. Because avoiding mistakes sucks up a tremendous amount of time. And most mistakes aren’t worth avoiding. They just aren’t important enough.

A few weeks ago I sent out a Clarity Tip to my Clarity App. The banner had a typo, as did the tip itself. I don’t make a lot of mistakes like this, but, yes, I was in a hurry.

When people contacted me to point out the mistakes, my response was:

Did you click on the Clarity Tip? Yes 
Do you usually click on my Clarity Tips? No

Did you get in touch with me after receiving a Clarity Tip? Yes 
Do you usually get in touch with me after receiving a Clarity Tip? No

Wow! Seems that mistake was a complete winner! My error made people pay more attention and get in touch. Net positive, without a doubt!

I’m not advocating an end to proofreading. Nor am I recommending you become careless. However, I am recommending you quit worrying about mistakes, especially little mistakes! They happen. Who cares.

I met with the Board of a non-profit a while back. Everyone was late, except for me. I sat down with three of the Board members once they arrived while we waited for two more. They asked me to hold off on the important stuff. That was a mistake. I filled the time, way too much time, with minor questions that turned out to be pretty irrelevant once I was given permission to start at the beginning. That’s when I asked, “What are you trying to accomplish?”

I didn’t get the project. My mistake was bigger than a typo, but not the end of the world. I learned an important lesson: When told not to start at the beginning, start at the beginning! I don’t blame them for their request, nor their decision. Most importantly, I don’t blame myself. We both made mistakes. Blame accomplishes nothing. Time to move on.

Some people beat themselves up after losing a sale. Worse yet, some become so worried about making another mistake that they over-prepare, over-think, and let fear of failure paralyze. These are destructive and super time-consuming behaviors. Learn your lesson, dismiss the event, and move on.