Character Matters

Unmake the Mistake

Pro Tip: What do you do when it all goes wrong?

Okay, so today I would like to talk about screwing up. There are basically two reactions that people usually have when they screw up. The first one is, “Oh my god, everything’s wrong, what are we going to do?” They panic and that’s honorable that you feel that way, but it doesn’t make anything better. Worse is the people that go, “Was not my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong. The computer program didn’t go off or the campaign didn’t launch when it was supposed to,” or you were late on your deadline, so it’s not really my fault. None of these things are helpful for the client. They are job one.

Paul Lushin, who’s a mentor of mine, had a great piece of advice that I follow as much as I can. Which is, at the beginning of your relationship with the client, have a conversation with them and say, “Look, when I screw up, and if we work together long enough something’s going to go wrong, don’t judge me on the screw up. Judge me on how I react to the screw up.” There’s a lot of different things that you can do to make it right. You can refund their money. You can double down on the next campaign and deliver it 200% and not charge them for it. You can optimize a different campaign and bring some kind of better result to them than what they were expecting.

There’s a lot of things that you can do to make things better. Because, the panicking and the excuses don’t help them, and you’ve spent a lot of time developing a relationship with this client. The last thing that you want to do is make them feel like you don’t have their back. So, lose money for a month. Your reputation is worth more than a check somebody is going to write you for June, so do whatever you can to fix that relationship and make it better than what it would have been had things gone the right way. Do whatever you have to make it right. Thanks to, I don’t even know who to thank for last week, there was so … Bob Jarosinski, thank you very much because he said something nice about my mom. If you have questions you want me to answer during one of these videos, please email me at

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