Entrepreneurs Make Mistakes: And Schedule Webinars on Holidays

After some thinking, I’ve decided to move my first webinar to next Wednesday, September 15th from 4-5 pm and my second webinar to Wednesday, September 29th from 4-5 pm.

I know this is the second time I’ve moved the webinar so let me explain my reasons:

1) We had a short week due to Labor Day

2) Those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah have an even shorter week

3) I’d like to be able to get the power point slides to the attendees before they attend so they can have questions prepared.

4) Along the same lines, I’d like to provide more information about what I’ll be presenting during the webinar so potential guests will know if it’s for them.

On Friday, I’ll post a brief blurb about my presentation so you can find out more about it and decide whether it’s worth while for you to attend.

In the meantime, I’ll send an update to everyone who already registered for the webinar (thank you!).  You’ll get to either join for free next week or, if you can’t make it, I’ll hold a private “redux” for you.

And, no, I am not making a habit of changing times for webinars.  But, like the title says, entrepreneurs make mistakes.

Entrepreneurs Make Mistakes and Publish Private Posts Publicly

I promised earlier in the week that I’d have a mistake for you. Here’s a fresh one right off the RSS feed:

The way I have my site set up, I publish my posts for the general public by default.

In other words, if I’d like to limit the post to members – or a tier of members – I have to indicate that affirmatively.  Pretty much, I have to check certain buttons, change certain settings, and choose who has access to the post before I press publish.  This will hide the post from the public and also keep it off the RSS feeds.

Once I override the default and limit access to members, members will be able to log in to the site and read the entire post or, in some cases, the rest of the post. (E.g., there is a teaser excerpt.)

Last night, I wrote a post that I was supposed to publish exclusively for members only but I didn’t go through all of the required steps to override the default: I published my discount code for the world to see!

Thankfully, I caught the mistake within a relatively short period and took the following actions while most of the world slept: I deleted the original post and updated the discount code.  I posted the new discount code and went through all of the steps to make sure it was accessible for members only and off the RSS feed.

This may not seem like a big deal but imagine the same thing in these scenarios:

On a larger scale:  Instead of sending around a newsletter announcing that Lady Gaga will be in town, the arena sent out an e-mail offering half-priced tickets!

Explaining the mistake to your boss:  Instead of you realizing your mistake, kicking yourself, and fixing it, your boss realized your mistake or found out about it somehow.  Now, there’s even more fuss about how this will impact the project, the company, and everyone’s reputation.  Fixing it takes way longer than necessary because everyone’s worried and scatter-brained.

This presentation is the bread & butter of your organization:  You own a small business.  Part of your stream of income comes from short (awesome!) campfires that are part webinar, part Q and A, and part chatter.  Imagine you only have limited space and you accidentally advertised that all of the $200 tickets were $100 off.

Mistakes.  Gotta live and learn.

[Note:  Next week's campfire only costs $19.99 - site members & newsletter subscribers receive $10 off as explained here.]

Entrepreneurs Love Mistakes: A New Column

I think the best part of being my own boss is that I can take risks without having to answer to anyone. I can try new things and if anything doesn’t work, I can stop and change direction. I realize that this is a rare but essential privilege for any business person. No matter how supportive your work environment may be, it’s a lot easier to bet the farm when it’s your farm.

In other words, I’m allowing myself to make mistakes so long as I learn from them. And, trust me, I make plenty of mistakes.

That’s why I really appreciated this article on Bootstrap Website Advice, for example. While Steve Matthews focuses on websites, his advice to those bootstrapping their endeavors applies to many projects. I especially appreciated these tips:

1. Give yourself permission to launch a ‘Version One’ website. Nothing online is permanent, including this site.
6. Good enough. Along the same lines as the previous item, you don’t have time to be a perfectionist. Most new entrepreneurs wear lots of hats, or ALL the hats. That means you don’t have weeks to spend on your logo, or to perfect your business image coming out the door.
7. Know when your startup period is over. Whether it’s 6-months in or 18-months in, your ‘Version One’ website has a limited life span. Simply put: kill it and upgrade your home base. If you’re using that same website in Year 3, there’s a problem. New businesses are forgiven for bootstrapping; established businesses look cheap, and turn away work without knowing it.

Not only did Matthews remind his readers that mistakes and trial periods are okay, but he also reminded us that there is a limit to the mistakes we make. Entrepreneurs are still responsible business people, not simply the reckless black sheep of the corporate world.

But, back to my mistakes. I’ve decided to create a column here where I admit to some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way. (…probably after I’ve taken some time to stop kicking myself over them.) While I’m not sure if it’s the smartest thing I’ll ever do – admitting my mistakes freely and publishing them on the internet – I’m hoping that other people will also learn from them and also remind other entrepreneurs that they’re not alone.

I’ll try to include my mistakes and also how I went about fixing the problem. I’ll appreciate any tips or supportive comments in the comments.

And, yes, there is already a backlog of mistakes that I want to write about so look for the first installment soon!