Mistakes That Make You Look Good

By Sharon Desjarlais , CC

Mistakes That Make You Look Good

By Sharon Desjarlais , CC

Everybody has probably been through a similar scenario: You’re doing an interview or talking with a client and suddenly you say something that makes you feel … less than accomplished. Maybe you named a muscle incorrectly or were talking to fast, or perhaps you misspoke about the massage technique you were using to ease your client’s stress.

There are numerous ways you might make yourself feel like the you just made the mistake that will cost you your reputation or ensure that client not only doesn’t come back to you, but also tells every person they know not to book massage sessions at your practice.

But guess what? Mistakes are almost never as bad as you think they are, and sometimes may even help.

My Own Mistake (Or Was It?)

It was a moment that lives on in infamy. (At least in my head it does.) Early one evening, I was on the phone being interviewed for an online event about how to grow a sustainable practice.

The conversation was spirited, and we were humming along when suddenly, I made a critical error ... while I was live on the air! I don’t even remember what I said exactly, but I do remember feeling like it was wonky and came out all wrong.

 My stomach instantly clenched.

But when you’re live on the air, there’s really nothing you can do, so I kept talking like nothing happened. But, when the interview ended, I broke down in tears, ate some cookie dough ice cream and went to bed.

When I woke up the next morning still feeling stressed, I decided I should listen to the recording of the interview so I could hear how badly I’d screwed up. Thats when something bizarre happened. I fast-forwarded to the moment I made the mistake — and it wasn’t there.

Now don’t get me wrong. I heard what I’d said, and the truth is that what I’d said still sounded a little bit off. But, as I listened, I also realized it really wasn’t as big of a deal as I thought.

And here’s the important point: The mistake I made was something only I would have noticed.

Risk & Reward

What I learned as I thought about what happened is that when you’re marketing your practice, especially when you’re doing live events or live interviews, you’re always taking the risk that something may go wrong, and when a mistake does occur (and it will!), you’ll always magnify the missteps in your mind, perhaps even to the point that they overshadow all of the things you did and said that were right on target.

If you don’t take a step back or check in with yourself and instead give in to your fear, chances are you’ll starting taking those risks—the risks that can help you market and grow your practice, the risks that can help consumers understand the benefits of massage therapy—less often. There’s no getting around it: Your circle of potential clients will shrink because they won’t get a chance to know who you are.

I’ve thought of that dynamic often in the years since I made what I thought was such a huge mistake. Instead of continuing to replay in my head the tiny part of the interview that could have gone better, I focused on the fact that when you’re in business stuff is going to happen. That’s life. But how you deal with what happens can be the difference between success and … never taking another risk that could be the one that helps move your practice forward.

So, I hope you continue to take risks—even if it means you get some things wrong sometimes.