“If this town. Is just an apple. Then let me take a bite. If they say, Why, why, tell ’em that it’s human nature” M. Jackson
I swear I should have a specific name for my own personal journey with entrepreneurship because I feel my awkwardness is in a league all its own. I’ve shared with you different tips for networking when you’re an introvert. I even shared with you a handy dandy list of questions to ask during a one on one business meeting. Yet sometimes, the prep work gets thrown out the window because your head isn’t always in the game. Gasp! Surely, an entrepreneur always has it all together, especially when it’s Go Time. If you’re not the fearless CEO of you for shame, for shame… but let’s be honest, life can get complicated; typos occur, and miscommunication can lead to mix messages, mix messages can lead to bad impressions…the list goes on.
So how do you compensate for being human? How do clean up spilled ink marks on a blank and open canvas? What do you do when you don’t bring you’re A-Game into the sales meeting, the one-on-one business meeting, that coaching call you’ve been on a waiting list for, (you get the picture)?
1) Own it: Excuses legitimate or not are always seen as just that, excuses. If you didn’t come prepared, admit it, if you were emotional, be honest with yourself, if you were tired, grumpy, anxious, or even feeling intimidated, these are all things you have control over. After all, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.-E. Roosevelt And better time management would afford you proper rest and preparation. Self- improvement and personal development is a process not a destination. (And luckily some professional development weaknesses can simply be outsourced in time). So take the 1st step and recognize your own role in your mistakes.
2) Thank the person for their time: After you’re done agonizing over what you think was worst impression of yourself you ever left with someone, (and it probably wasn’t even that bad). Don’t run and hide, someone gave you their time, and we all know how precious a commodity time is. In the process of expressing gratitude for a persons’ time, try to leave a better impression without being too much of kiss up. Oh, and don’t forget to apologize if you made an offense. A hand-written letter of apology if you really screwed up.
Also, even if it was your investment of money for their time, thank them. I’ve been hired for work later down the line after consulting or coaching sessions I paid for. Why? Because even though I was seeking their help I still brought my own unique skills to the table. These skills were something they remembered and needed in time. You never know!
3) Learn The Lesson of the moment: If there is a lesson to be learned, seek it out when analyzing what went wrong. And try to come up with ways to prevent yourself from making the same mishaps. Start with simple questions Do you need to work on your confidence? Do you need to get more sleep? Do you need to do more research so that you can ask better questions? Then move onto bigger questions, And here’s a truth nugget, if you noticed I said if, while I like to believe everything is oh so educational, sometimes, the only lesson to be learned is that there isn’t one. For instance Sometimes no matter if you were prepared or not, you may not be liked, or simply not vibe with the person and depending on how obvious the reasons, there’s just nothing you can do about that.
4) Don’t harbor on it: I’ll keep this point short and sweet. There’s no use in crying over spilled milk. What’s done is done. You owned up to your mess up, you apologized, you thanked the person for their time, you tried to make amends, you reflected. Life goes on and so must you. Which brings me to my next point…
5) Keep it moving: Like I said life gets messy sometimes. Sometimes you will get the sale, sometimes you will not. Sometimes, you will have an awesome business meeting, sometimes within 5 minutes of the conversation your new contact will tell you they have somewhere else to be and give you the “good luck chuck” sign off. Sometimes you will invest in a coach and realize you are not prepared to work with one because you’re not willing or able to put in the work they require. Life is in motion, and while it’s good to stand still every now and then to pull yourself together, you have to keep it moving, with or without anyone else’s approval, acceptance, good graces, or well wishes.
Would you like to add to this list? I would love to hear about lessons you learned when meetings don’t as well as you would’ve liked please share below in the comments!