Well, I did it.  I made a mistake, and it was a costly one.  As mentioned on my podcast (Square Peg Round Hole) mistakes aka failure, is inevitable in business.  I’ve learned over the years to follow 1 basic rule after I do something.  I repeatedly ask myself the following 4 questions:

  1. What did I do right?
  2. What did I do wrong?
  3. Would I do it again?
  4. If so, what would I do differently?

Let me share with you what happened and walk you through my mindset for moving forward.  

If you’ve heard me speak before, or you’ve listen to episodes of my podcast, you know that I believe in coaching.  Getting support from others really can help you grow your skills, your business, and make you a better person overall.

So, In May of 2017 I signed up for a 3 day coaching event to be held in Pennsylvania.  It meant that I needed to drive over 5 hours, stay in a hotel 4 nights, and pay for meals associated with the travel. It was an intensive 3 day training.  In fact, there were only 8 of us in this class. I would consider that very intensive.  We received one on one coaching with the instructors and we also has some group sessions.  We worked together and independent throughout the 3 days.

This training was all about growing as a speaker.  We were to bring a 15 minute segment from a speech with us so that we could work on that and make it better.  I had my 15 minutes mapped out to a “T”.  I knew every single word.

Here’s where it all went wrong.

Day 1, we were asked to do the first 4 minutes….I started strong….but then I lost my lines.  This happens with speakers on a regular basis, especially when they are practicing. Generally they find them shortly thereafter.  For me though, I couldn’t find them again.  I clammed up.

Good thing this was a small group, and it was basically practice.  No harm no foul.  Unless you count my ego.  I had practiced a lot for this training, making sure I knew my lines tight.  I knew every word, every move, every sentence.


As I look back…that was the problem.  When I missed an “I”, an “and”, a “the”, it kept tripping me up.  

The training was fabulous.  It changed my speaking career by moving me up a notch. The training itself wasn’t the problem, it was worth every penny.  The problem was me. The problem was my mindset.

I was trying to be perfect.  Trying to hard. Instead, I should have been more relaxed, and easy going, willing to go with the flow.

As I ask myself my 4 questions, I come up with the following answers:

  1. What did I do right? I booked training to grow as a person, a speaker, a business owner, and I picked a highly skilled team of consultants to help me move to the next level.
  2. What did I do wrong? I focused to much on being perfect, then when I hit a failure point, I focused on the failure and not the actions necessary to pull me forward.
  3. Would I do it again?  You bet I would.  These consultants are the best in the business.  In fact, I have already booked another training!
  4. What would I do differently?  There are a number of things I would do differently…
    1. Not over analyze things
    2. Go with the flow
    3. Practice messing up so as not have it be new
    4. Learn how to better deal with failure when messing up
    5. Not be focused on every word, just get the right message out in the correct order. The key words matter, all the other words can flow in as they fit.

So why was this a $6000 mistake?  Because I allowed my focus to be altered when I failed.  This lack of focus on the right things resulted in me not taking full and complete advantage of the training.  I may have missed the full immersion experience that may have existed had I been all in on the training.  Instead, I ended up focusing on my failure, battling the mind games associated with failure.  Because the training was 3 days, it was over as quickly as it began.

The mistake….was simple….

The mistake was lack of focus on the right things!

Don’t allow yourself to lose focus on the goal.  Don’t allow focus to transition to the failure.  Failure is inevitable.  It happens regularly in business.  It’s how you deal with failure that makes you a better person.  Don’t allow the failure to control you or to dictate your actions.  You must press on.

I’m pressing on!  Are you?

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