Monday, February 9, 2015

Making Mistakes










Sweater: Gap (on sale!); Top: Gap; Jeans: Gap; Boots: c/o Lulu*s

I recently fulfilled a calligraphy order (a physical set of place cards) that contained an error. I misspelled someone's name. Though the place cards weren't urgent, I was mortified to have made an error on one of my first orders and I think I physically blushed when I received the client's email saying that she needed a replacement for one of the mistakes. She was very kind, but it weighed heavily on my mind. I'd double and triple checked the order and just happened to miss an "m." It felt like a rookie mistake (and I am a rookie so that shouldn't come as a surprise).

When I interviewed for my current job, the owner of the company asked me a whole series of tough questions to gauge my fit in the company. He kept driving at questions that would determine my ability to take risks, step outside of my comfort zone, and, inevitably, make mistakes. When I used an example that cited my previous work environment's aversion to any mistake making (not limited to typos or data entry errors on reports), he visibly balked. He let me know that a crucial piece of working at his company was being able to make mistakes. To not be afraid of doing new things and taking on new responsibilities that could lead to errors. Without mistakes, he said, there was no learning process. There were no risks taken. And that message hit home for me.

I usually operate under a "try never to do anything wrong" mode and that leads to really safe behavior. My thinking immediately defaulted to: if I'd never started my calligraphy business, I'd never have made a mistake on place cards. If I'd never taken that risk, I wouldn't be feeling some embarrassment at my error. And yet, despite that negative train of thought, I know that I am better for that mistake. For a first physical order of ink on paper, it was a small mistake to make and one easily correctable with a new place card. And I learned something insanely valuable: regardless of how many times you proofread an order... make Ben proofread it too. I'm pretty sure that the cost of this mistake (about a dollar in postage and paper and some red cheeks) was far less than the payment of experience and of learning a lesson.

The lesson from my interview with the company owner rings true tonight - we can't be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes foster growth, learning, and often mean that we took a risk to be able to move forward. 

18 comments

  1. Looking so beautiful in this casual outfit! I like these kind of outfits with just a plain jeans, sweater and collar blouse sticking out! I could live in that kind of outfit! :D

    http://lartoffashion.blogspot.com

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  2. Another gorgeous look, Kelsey! I love the colour of the sweater, it goes so well with the navy stripes. As for making mistakes, they are definitely necessary, but they can be hard to stomach for sure. I am a huge perfectionist and can kick myself for days over the smallest misstep. It's definitely something that I need to work on!

    xo, Dolce // http://www.mydailysweet.com/
    Leave me a comment; I'm always looking for new blogs to follow!

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  3. Amazing pictures! Such a gorgeous look! Great sense of style!

    xx

    cvetybaby.com

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  4. Loving your layering here, the stripes peeking out are so cute! And mistakes happen...it is best not to beat ourselves up over them and move on and learn from the experience :)

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  5. I sound like something on Pinterest, but 'Embrace the Mistake'!!

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  6. Lovely outfit and I like your writing :)

    Emilie

    http://mylittlefashiondiary.net

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  7. This is a good post! I think that taking risks is really important for growth. When I left my cool, trendy, low paying agency job for being an independent contractor I was TERRIFIED. I seemed to be breaking all the rules of moving forward in your career, yet I am happy to say it was the best choice I've ever made. My life both personal/professional have changed drastically for the better. But the risk was HUGE it could have really turned my life upside down. Sometimes you have to take the leap!

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  8. Amen sister! Make those mistakes, and wear them as a badge of pride, then move forward and make new ones.

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  9. I love that your interviewer made that a point in the interview. I struggle when I make mistakes, but I also know that some of the best things in our world came about due to a mistake. It is important to take risks. I like to take them as cautiously as possible, but there is no moving forward without taking the risk to fail.

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  10. I totally agree with this, both that making mistakes is scary and sometimes painful, but also that being willing to make mistakes allows you to take on new challenges. Good advice/reminder for us all!

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  11. This is a great message! So many times we are shamed for making mistakes, but in those mistakes comes opportunity for growth. Sounds like you work for a good company and have learned a really powerful lesson that we all need to remember. :)

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  12. Congrats on the calligraphy order, and I'm sure making/learning from mistakes is a crucial part of operating a small business and it has to happen to everyone in the beginning!

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  13. I enjoyed reading this post, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    http://fashion-soup.com/

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  14. ElleSees.blogspot.comFebruary 11, 2015 at 3:59 AM

    such an excellent sentiment! what a great interviewer--i'm keeping that advice mind!

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  15. Love the outfit! I'm a perfectionist myself and I'm constantly reminding myself to let go. Great post! :)



    www.stylishcravings.com

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  16. This is a really awesome post. I'm very similar in that I would usually rather NOT take a risk, and therefore not risk failure, than take a risk and possibly embarrass myself. Great advice!
    (also a very cute outfit)

    https://forsevenseasons.wordpress.com

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