I was recently out with a friend who mentioned that one of his larger concerns surrounding at least testing the freelance waters by taking on more direct positions with potential clients was his concern about making mistakes. That’s not to say that mistakes weren’t made by him as it was, but because he was part of a larger organization, he felt secure in being insulated from most, if not all, of the blow back.
This line of reasoning is understandable, to a point. Nobody likes to make mistakes, per se. Taken at face value, they can be very embarrassing at best. However, more and more people are opting to take more of a big picture viewpoint of making mistakes which may leave one to believe that they are welcomed.
For one: When addressed properly, mistakes go a very long way to demonstrating trustworthiness and empathy. When people seek out an expert in (insert field/profession of your choice), it is only after admitting to themselves consciously or unconsciously that they are in some way not smart/smart/etc enough to deal with their own situation. In this respect, said experts and professionals can take on an “infallible” aura, that makes them seem like they have all the answers. If they do slip up, and admit to it swiftly and in the right manner, it can show a client that they are people too, and not immune to the occasional “whoops”
This segways into the second important point: When a mistake is made, is shines a light on a problem area that may have been otherwise unnoticed or ignored for a bit too long. Again, if such situations are not too quickly dismissed, but embraced and carefully analyzes, they can only serve to better performance in the long run.
In short, the moral of this story is: Don’t fear mistakes, fear repeating them.