No one is perfect. We all get it wrong sometimes. Making mistakes is often the best teacher. Let’s be real. Who says “I’m going to make a mistake and I will love it.” No one, ever. That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.
So how do you turn those “WTF” reactions into teachable moments? Hindsight, that’s how. We lay awake at nights when our brain won’t let us be great and get some much-needed sleep. We think of everything that bothers us, whether it was 10-minutes or 10-years-ago. It’s only the mistakes within a healthy distance of time are the ones you can grow from.
The other sweet guarantee? Those mistakes are the ones that best helped shaped your life for the better. Those same mistakes have allowed you to accept yourself, build or end relationships, or make life-altering decisions.
Here are my 4, “WTF was I thinking, but I’m glad I did” moments:
1. Leaving my full-time job with great benefits to start a business. This decision only made sense to Lakesha. Everyone I loved made sure I aware of the consequences of my decision. But, I wouldn’t be the business woman I am today if I didn’t jump and go for it. My decision meant leaving behind a well-paying job and all the perks of that job. It also meant being happy and having the freedom for the first time to build something of my own. It did feel like a mistake for the first three years after I quit my job. But I got over it.
2. Firing friends. Should you mix business and friendship? The short answer, it depends on the friend. A couple of years ago, the ish hit the fan. My business associates turned friends became a great asset to my business. I created and provided them a business opportunity to help grow their business to a degree of which they weren’t able to garnish on their own. At some point, the lines blurred, and they chose not to care that I still had a business to run. It became increasingly difficult for me to give constructive criticism, remain objective, make tough decisions and hold them accountable in a commercial context. You’re fired. The end.
3. Changing friend circles. Two words – level up. You can be popular, or you can build a profitable business. Your true friends will never question your intent. You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Keep good company.
5. Turning down my first investment offer. I was so sure this was the worst mistake of my life. Who turns down money for their business? My gut was right. I wasn’t in a position at the time to take his money. We were due to PCS which meant my business would be closed for an unknown period. There were too many uncertainties to take on the stress of paying back the investment.
Making mistakes reminds me that I’m not perfect. F-ing up keeps me motivated, reminds me how fortunate I truly am and allows me to keep taking risks.