Oh boy. You’ve really stepped in it this time. You screwed up so badly that even your dog rolled his eyes. Yep, you just handed that dreaded bad first impression out on a silver platter. It’s kind of like getting caught picking your nose. Now, you want to just crawl in a hole and die. But don’t pick out that tombstone just yet. Every dog should have a few fleas, and we all blow it sometimes. Here’s what to do about it:
One easy way to look like a jackass is to mess up and then refuse to apologize. Whatever you did, it’s not the end of the world. We all make mistakes, but show what a standup guy or gal you are by owning it, apologizing for it and offering to fix it, if possible. And don’t let it fester while you work your way up to apologizing. That only gives the other person time to decide you really are a chump. And Lord have mercy, if you do get caught picking your nose, let it be known that you will be right back. You gotta go wash your hands.
Do a 360
Whatever you did to screw up last time, do the opposite. You showed up late for a meeting? This time be the first one there with refreshments for everyone in hand. Did you just realize that you dominated the entire conversation, talking about yourself like you were the best thing since sliced cheese? This is so easy to do when meeting someone the first time. Stop quickly and start to ask questions about the other person and really listen to what he or she has to say. Were you rude right out of the gate? Apologize and then do your best to show that you are more professional than that and your mama did, in fact, teach you some manners.
I’m not talking about psychiatric help (although, if the shoe fights…). Either way, you might have really screwed up big time. It’s ok. Just get a mutual associate who is willing to put in a good word for you. Ask him or her to talk with the other party for you and explain that you were having a bad day and are really not as messed up as you seemed. If you’re really lucky, this person might be able to smooth things over for you enough that you get to make a personal apology and have an opportunity for a second chance to make a good impression. “Hey, I’m so sorry about _____ the last time we met. There is no excuse and that is just not me. It was one of those brain farts you have every few years. And unfortunately, it happened with you.”
Walk That Line
It can take some time to get the person you’ve screwed up with to give you another chance. If you’ve apologized and tried to make amends or show off the true you, give it some time. You might have to show again and again that you’re not a jerk or a screwup. Be persistent and patient in showing that other, awesome side of yourself. But don’t push too hard or try to force it. If it becomes clear that the other party isn’t going to give you another chance and just wishes you would crawl in that hole and die, chalk it up to experience. You can’t please everyone. Just don’t screw up again.
Unfortunately, the sun don’t shine on the same dog’s tail all the time. Sooner or later, we all swing and miss. Do your best to fix your mistake and then move on. Tomorrow is a new day. But please take my advice. No nose picking. Like I tell my kids, no Picking, Flicking or Sticking. Now go out there and kick butt.
You got something to say or are you just sitting there looking pretty?–Charles Strickland, 2016
Charles is far from your typical business person. He’s always ready with big ideas and the initiative to back them up. Heck, at age 13, he started his own window-washing business and sold donuts door to door. And let me tell you, when you grow up in the woods of Georgia, the doors are miles away from each other. He did this all while helping his dad run one of the larger moonshine stills in Georgia. “Oh, those were the days.”
Charles, a devoted husband and father, has been building legitimate businesses since the 80s, including three successful contracting companies. He even tried out a personal and business bankruptcy once. That hurts. Don’t try that one out; it’s no fun.
Committed to helping others, he also put his considerable experience to work founding The National Aids Awareness Center, spearheading The Children’s Wish Come True Foundation and running Hope 4 the Homeless. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? Well, Charles wasn’t finished yet. He heard a voice (his wife’s ) say, “Move away from there! Michigan is the place you ought to be.” So they loaded up the truck and moved very slowly… toward big houses, cheap money and plenty of it. So somehow, he found himself in the mortgage business. Like Charles would say, “Now, that was a hoot.”
Always looking for something fun and profitable with one of the smartest women in the USA by his side, it was time to jump into the world of digital marketing, and the timing was just right. You will find Charles at different networking events promoting Michigan Marketer, which he co-owns, along with the other online publications he owns and operates with his wife.
Never content with being ordinary (because that’s just plain boring), Charles also teaches a class on entrepreneurship a couple of days a week at a private school. He brings a little bit of down home to everything he does, cracking epic jokes while he’s closing the big deals. Charles’ motto is “Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.” Send Charles a message at Charlesfstrickland@gmail.com if you’ve got something to say.
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