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Most people will not admit when they have done something wrong.
In fact, people go to great lengths to cover up mistakes they have made in order to spare themselves the consequences of their actions.
We all make mistakes from time to time. All of us do things and are embarrassed by them later on.
But the person who can turn a mistake into an opportunity is someone who will likely be successful.
The way you view the mistakes you make throughout your life is one of the factors that will determine your success. Resilience is one of the most important qualities of successful people.
The list of people who have filed for bankruptcy protection and come back to become successful is long and distinguished. The list of politicians who have made incredible errors in judgment, and then gone on to be elected or reelected is a study in the human capacity for forgiveness as much as it is in megalomaniacal determination.
My term for this invaluable trait is “the short memory.”
Each of us must have a long memory for the things we do well, for our successes and for the good times. We must also have a short memory for mistakes that may have set us back.
When we hit some kind of adversity – particularly adversity of our own doing – we must be able to move forward as if it never happened.
My Huge Mistake
So here’s the mistake I made…
When I first started working with Lawyers I excluded large firm attorneys from my target audience. I figured they didn’t have the flexibility or the desire to implement some of the ideas I developed. (Things like value-based billing, productivity enhancements that help attorneys spend more time out of the office, business development tactics that include direct mail, speaking to groups of people and article writing.)
During the last six months, three new clients have come to me from the ranks of large firm attorneys. My assumption that my message was not relevant to them was wrong.
Why was this huge mistake?
I could have been working to transform the legal landscape on a large scale by improving the level of service clients receive from large firms. I could have also improved the quality of life of many large firm attorneys.
C’est la vie.
Now I know and I am making the appropriate adjustment.
Do I have any regrets?
No way. I love working with boutique law firms and solo practitioners.
But I missed an opportunity.
So now I’m motivated to attack this opportunity with a vengeance.
That brings me to my final point.
There are two times when you should correct a mistake. The first time is immediately after you make it. The second time is right now.
Learning from life and developing resilience is critically important. If you view your activity through this lens, you will be wealthy financially and in spirit.
Here is another resource you will find valuable:
Listen to this interview I conducted with author Ori Brafman on making better decisions. This is an incredibly valuable look at human behavior and how we all fall victim to the tricks our mind plays when we take actions we regret.
This is one of my favorite interviews to listen to over-and-over again.
Be sure and let me know what you think by connecting with me on Google+.