When I was a child and someone would mess up a cartwheel and tumble to the side, they would say, “do over!” This phrase was an automatic pass to take back the cartwheel as though it never happened and try the move again.
Many years ago, I was visiting a friend and her 3-year-old toddler, was in the “experimental phase.” She would pull the covers off of coffee table books, throw all the pillows from the sofa on to the floor, and see how many of her mother’s things could she toss in the toilet.
Every time she picked something up to toss or dismantle in some way, her mother would say “make another choice.” In other words, her mom was teaching her that she could always choose – the choice might be a good choice that got her praise and maybe even a treat. Or, the choice might be a bad one, that landed her in timeout.
There have been many times as an adult that I wish I could have a “do over” and “make another choice.” The wonder of childhood is that children have time to learn from their mistakes and make better choices. As we mature, bad choices lose their cuteness. However, we can still learn from our mistakes. In fact, I believe we learn more from our mistakes than our successes, if we are humble enough to admit them and move forward with a mindset to correct them.
In business, as in life, mistakes will be made. Innovative practices only becomeinnovative after several failed tries. I make a habit of keeping a record of every step of a new venture. This journaling of every choice made along the way can then serve as a guide of what worked and what didn’t work.
Now let me be clear, it is best to research the subject matter and talk to others who have done something similar, as opposed to running blindly ahead without a plan. The plan may need to be tweaked and adjusted, but you have a framework upon which to build your idea.
If the idea fails, you can always make another choice or simple yell out “do over!” Then examine the missteps before moving forward again.