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Don’t let Mistakes Grow

Steve Jobs: Live Each Day As If It Was Your Last.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, some day you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. ~Stanford University, 2005

A quarterback can give a great game. But if he screws up in the last touchdown, the public and press are going to blame him for losing the entire thing.

Mistakes can make a lot of noise. In the Communications Era, 1 mistake equals 101 good experiences. Regardless of how many times you did it well, the point is how did you manage the low percentage of bad experiences with your Customers. 

We can’t stand upon our past acheivements. People will judge you harshly for your lastest fumble. Just as in football, the most recent mistake will haunt you in business. This is just human nature.

The Latin phrase Carpe Diem means to “Seize the day” which means to use what you have now without relying on what may or may not happen in the future. This expression is further demonstrated by Steve Jobs in the following video:


In a similar fashion this can be applied in business. But in addition to not counting on the future, one must not count on the victories of the past. We have to live in the present. Yesterday’s great game doesn’t give someone a green light to see how many screw ups will be tolerated. Never assume that one can ride past achievements to the finish line. Following the wisdom of Murphy’s Law, It is more likely that something will go wrong. And no amount of trophies decorating your wall will save you from the pitfalls of the present. Most people will be quick to point out faults when they are unhappy, and slow to shed light upon the good that has been done.

Right now the problem you have with an unhappy Customer is small. But if you don’t take care to solve it quickly, it will grow. Don’t let a problem that is now a hill become a mountain.

Mistakes are going to happen. The important thing is to minimize the damage that can come from these mistakes. Put 100% of your effort towards solving today’s concerns.

What is your best advice to deal with unhappy Customers?

Author: angelberniz & Thomas Wells (All Rights Reserved by the authors).

Source: Original Text (based upon first hand knowledge).
Image:  nyul –
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