Move the Needle: Stop trying to be perfect


By CJ McClanahan

Every month, my firm hosts a workshop in Fishers that is attended by between 75 and 125 professionals.

A few weeks before the July event, our sign-ups were down about 75 percent. We assumed that everyone was on vacation and decided to cancel the event.

The morning of the canceled event, I began to receive messages from people who showed up to the facility wondering, “Why is no one here?  Did you cancel the event?”

Apparently, plenty of people had signed up, we just had a glitch in our system.


I felt absolutely terrible. We quickly went into damage control and held an impromptu meeting to figure out what happened and ensure that we fixed the issue.

I hate mistakes. They are embarrassing, cost money and can damage your brand.

But, they are absolutely necessary. In fact, I typically find that the more successful you are, the more mistakes you have made.

In other words, stop trying to be perfect. Your growth depends on the pain associated with failure.

The key to your success is figuring the best way to deal with your errors. I have some simple strategies that will help you out.

First (and this is the hardest), embrace the blunder and take 100 percent responsibility for whatever took place. Don’t even think about blaming someone else.

Next, document the most important two to three lessons you learned. It’s not enough to recognize and discuss them with someone else. You need to write them down.

Finally, forget about it. Once you’ve documented your lesson learned, there is absolutely ZERO value in dwelling on the error.

As with most things in life, the solution is simple. All you need to do is execute.