Two weeks ago I said yes to my first order of a physical product since baby Mara (she’s six months now).
Because it’s been ages since I last “made” something and I was dying to get my hands back into crafting, aaaand since it was for a wedding, I said yes to a client who wanted my flower confetti cones. Plus with Covid messing up weddings this year, you gotta make a bride happy anyway you can.
What I didn’t take into account was just how messed up I am with a baby on board and how the months of interrupted sleep have pilled up. I know, these are excuses, and while I hate to bring it up, this was my context, my status quo if you will. The whole experience served as a wake up call to remind me that my present-day context is different than what it was before I became a mom.
So, as it turned out, I made every mistake in the book with this one order.
🙄 I didn’t check my email’s spam folder and the client had to call me to tell me she sent an email days before
😑 Because my phone’s memory was full with baby pics, my email ceased to synchronize on my smartphone, and I missed another email from the client saying she wanted a customized order
🤔 The client called and I felt so bad for missing her email that I said yes to customized without increasing the price and with only a few days before the delivery date
🙄 I started working on the sample and I messed up the date of the event and the client had to call me and tell me. I still have no idea how that happened. I worked with the text in Photoshop, I looked at it as I did the trials for the printing set up, and I looked at it as I was manufacturing the actual cones. And I also took photos of the cones. To this day, I still have no idea how I could have missed that
😳 Finally, the client asks what do I owe you, and I say, let me check, should be this amount. Which was wrong, so I followed up later with the right price
😖 I got the sample right, prepared the order for delivery and when the client comes to pick it up she looks at the order and says, hey didn’t we agree to change the date, and I’m like yes, all of these are good to go. And what I did was add the samples to the order as well. So she had 20 pcs all good plus the two samples with the wrong date
Never in my life have I made so many mistakes with an order. I felt sooo bad I initially wanted to just go and hide under a rock.
Then I started doubting if I should even be doing this at all. How could I be so unprofessional? How could I miss so many different things? How could I be so careless?
What was even worse – for the first time EVER I had to explain why this happened to the client. Who was such a sweet lady, but that’s a different story.
I’ve been working with clients in different situations and industries for more than a decade. I know better than giving excuses. Clients don’t care why something happened, they only want to get their stuff without any headaches, as fast as possible and to the quality that was promised… Needless to say, I felt like the quality of my service was shameful.
So after some self-flagellation and feeling worthless, something new started to sink in as I realized that:
mistakes are a gateway for growth
My old self, the Monica who was just starting in business years ago would have obsessed over this for weeks.
My present self feels awfully bad about this, but instead of staying stuck in the why this happened, I am now focused on the How to avoid this type of situations happening again.
I kicked ass at multitasking before I became a mom. My friends and collaborators would have often referred to me as the octopus, because I had my hands in so many different things at the same time, and still managed to deliver high quality, and on time everything – all the time.
But with my baby brain, with the exhaustion, something has to change. I can’t revert to who I was before becoming a mom. And why should I?
This process of growth in my life should correspond with a time of maturity in my business as well. It was truly just a matter of time before I would have reached the level where I needed to develop and follow systems.
So what’s this rant all about? How does this help you as an entrepreneur?
Honestly, if there’s something I’d like you to remember out of this, is treasure your mistakes. We too often tend to ignore or self flagellate when we make mistakes. Or we dread the idea of failure so much that we just play it safe. Unfortunately, if you are determined to grow as a human and as an entrepreneur, accepting mistakes as part of the process is essential.
So here’s to you learning from my mistakes and to accepting that failure opens opportunities to grow.