Create Systems from Your Mistakes

Create Systems from Your Mistakes

One of my dear students had a horrible thing happen to her this week. She was house-sitting for a current client that had an aggressive dog. She knew the dog was aggressive, but she had been house-sitting for the dog for two-plus years.

The dog loved her. She got a little too comfortable. She was playing with the dog and hugging the dog, and rolling around with the dog. Out of nowhere, this dog bit her horribly. I saw the picture, I about died. I immediately called her to make sure she was okay, and we had a discussion.

She was like, “This was my fault. I let down my guard. I knew this dog had aggressive tendencies. However, I just got too comfortable.”

Use the incident as a learning lesson.

My suggestion was to, one, really help yourself emotionally, obviously, to get over the pain of the incident. But then to use it as a learning lesson for herself and her team and create a system through mistakes and accidents. So what do I mean by this? When something terrible happens in your business, it’s awful. It feels like a punch in the gut, but you need to get into the practice of creating a system from what you learned from the incident.

Create a system from what you learned. Have a meeting with your team and present the protocol.

In this case, I would have a meeting with my team. I would explain in detail what happened. I would show them the picture of my injury, and I would say, “Okay, here is the protocol. Here is a reminder that this is how we deal with dogs that we have that are aggressive.”

Now, in my case with my business, I would no longer service the dog. Okay? To me, it’s too much of a liability with my pet sitters to have them in a home with a dog that could hurt them. That might be something that you might change.

You might have a new policy in place where you’re going to say, “Okay, no aggressive dogs whatsoever are going to be on our client roster.”

In this case, I know this pet sitter well, and this business owner, and I know she’s probably not going to give up this dog, so she will likely have the policy where she’s going to be the one that’s going to take care of it. But then she’s going to know our boundaries, and she’s going to be reminded, “Okay, this is what you do when you go into a client’s home with a dog that has aggressive tendencies.”

Turn the things that happen in your business into systems.

Create Systems from Your Mistakes


It’s taking any simple thing that happens in your business and turning it into a system, turning it into a policy, turning it into a procedure to make your business better, to make your team better. Having regular team meetings to discuss the mistakes or the accidents and the new streamlined system in place is imperative for you to grow your business. I do this in my life in general, not even in my business.

When something happens, what’s the system?

How can I make this reasonable moving forward, too, so it doesn’t happen again? That is my advice for you today, guys. Create a system policy or procedure out of a mistake or an accident, and your business is going to be better off.

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