Last week I sent out the latest version of my newsletter, The Stacker (if you’d like to sign up, check out the banner just above this post). For those of you who’ve been a subscriber you’ll know what a labor this newsletter has been. Twice I’ve sent empty emails to the list (that’ll make you a lot of friends). On this latest installment, I tested the piece about ten times and still managed to sneak in a blank paragraph with gibberish instead of words.
Yeah, that’s not good.
But on the other hand, it’s great.
Sure, if you subscribe and you’re annoyed by my lack of professionalism over the last few months on the Stacker, I’m with you. However, as I create systems for this new brand, my focus is squarely on creating a newsletter that’s consistent, time-worthy, and different than what you’re getting elsewhere.
To do that, I have to focus on my systems.
When I mess up I have two choices. I can either focus on that single problem and groan about just how bad it stunk or I can figure out a system to make sure it doesn’t happen again. While I’ve now failed three times at my newsletter, my systems of creating it have gotten better. Not only will I have a great newsletter but I’ll have the right controls in place to avoid mistakes that others will continue to make.
Where am I going with this? I don’t think this only applies to newsletters.
When I’d work with people on their budget they’d fall of the wagon between meetings and become frustrated. Something unexpected happened and they’d spent more money than they should have, or they didn’t have their family budget meeting that I champion so hard (read Experience the Magic Called a Family Budget Meeting for more on this).
Forget the past. It doesn’t matter what happened. What matters is how you fix it.
Some people fall backward. If you say, “Well, I CLEARLY can’t stay on a budget,” you’ve given yourself the wrong message. What if a child fell down after the third time they tried to walk and thought, “Well, walking CLEARLY isn’t for me!” Wouldn’t that be the wrong conclusion?
I’m sure you’re laughing at the analogy, but isn’t it the same?
Walking, and budgeting are a process. You give it a shot. You mess it up. Then you correct what went wrong and mess up again.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
The only mistake you can make is if you fail to repeat the “repeat” part of the equation, right?
This is the same for investing. I’ve found that people lose money in an investment and decide that they shouldn’t be investing anymore. Rather than learn from the mistake, they quit. (…a great article on how easy it is to understand basic investing is When It Comes to Investing, “Good Enough” is Good Enough at MomAndDadMoney.com).
I’ve seen it happen with real estate, technology stocks, and with preferreds. The investment isn’t the problem, your approach is.
What I’m Not Saying
To be clear, what I’m not advocating is just the old, tired wag of “getting back on the horse again.” If you make ZERO changes to your approach and “get back on the horse,” you’re just going to fall off again and you haven’t moved forward.
Get playful and dream up a tweak.
Try the tweak.
Tweak the tweak.
You can have anything you want.
Budgets can work.
You can invest wisely.
I can create a newsletter that’s mistake-free.
Just wait until you see my next one. I have an idea to make it even better…..
From Big Ben’s Store: Want more on the importance of systems? Nothing convinced me of systematizing my life and work more than The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
by Michael Gerber.