As business starts flowing more easily, our brook now becomes a stream. At this point, the stakes are higher, the pace of change faster—and there’s even the occasional waterfall.
Risks are necessary, just as sometimes waterfalls are the only way down. Sometimes the falls are graceful, but other times we end up tossed against the rocks.
Recently, I had a mix-up with a client. I thought that she was seeking advice when she wasn’t. A quick re-read of her email had me quickly sending an apology for the unsolicited opinions and after that it was water under the bridge (so to speak).
Next time you encounter a work situation that feels out of your control, don’t forget to stop and regroup. Admit to yourself and anyone else involved in the mishap that you miscalculated, you didn’t spend your time well, or you couldn’t meet the customer’s needs. No denials, no excuses—just own up to it, then make it right. After that, notice how strong and deep you feel afterward, compared with how shallow you’d feel if you had denied the mistake.
An added bonus: customers love honesty. They’re smarter than you think they are, and they’ll remember the positive interaction with you much more vividly than they will the original issue—even if you end up parting ways.
During our teen years, we vow to always be cool. We want to grow into adults who take risks, run the rapids—and even into our twenties, we do.
Then, a bit more time passes. Now we have children of our own, and are distracted away from the latest music and exciting times. We find ourselves going to bed early, traveling to less exotic places, and spending less time with our friends. Totally “lame.”
This summer, allow your children to bounce off a few (metaphorical) rocks. Accept that “I hate you!” is just their way of saying “I need to experience life without you.” Have the real conversations you need to have about what’s ahead, about testing new limits and learning.
Then let them go.
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
– Johnny Cash
TAKE IT TO HEART
Mentors are invaluable to teens. See if your skills can be matched to a local group (young musicians? coding for girls and minorities? the Big Brother, Big Sister club?). Your wise words are often heard more clearly than so-called parental “noise.”