By necessity, small business owners need to watch a lot of things like a hawk: from your cash flow to your invoices to how much you spent on smoothies last week. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you likely have a white-knuckle grip on a lot of things in your world.
That kind of control is wise. You need it and in many cases, your business will not survive without that kind of oversight. But what you definitely do not need? The occasional anxiety that comes with watching and worrying over all these details! Inevitably, no matter how much you try to throttle them into submission, uncontrollable things will happen. And sometimes those will be bad things. But why make an unfortunate situation worse by “sweating” the small stuff? It’s not worth it! There are probably 19 other things you can and should spend your time on.
Here are five things you should not sweat:
1) Receiving a poor online review
People are wary of companies that have a perfect review score and quick to call “BS” on those that do. Believe it or not, having a poor review can actually show that your business is legitimate. So embrace it, don’t delete it! If your company was at fault, be honest and admit the mistake in your public response. Offer some remedies to make things right. Your audience will notice and respect you for it.
2) Botching a presentation
You prepared for weeks but you blanked out on major points of your presentation. Recover quickly by sending out a follow-up memo that recaps the presentation, including highlighted points missed. Sure, your coping skills will be tested on this one, but don’t take it personally. Chalk it up as great practice for the next time you present.
3) Making a poor hiring decision
Kudos to you for finally hiring someone to help you grow your business! But wait, are you finding they aren’t the “star” candidate that you thought …that they are actually quite the opposite? Ugh. Understand that this happens. Often. An entrepreneur’s greatest asset is his people. If you made a hiring gaffe, don’t continue to spend time worrying about it. Remedy it immediately. This could mean additional training or even a termination. Whatever the solution, don’t delay. Keep the big picture in mind and move on.
4) Forgetting an important meeting
For whatever reason, you stood someone up. Ok, yeah. This one is bad but it’s not the end of the world. (Remember, “it’s all small stuff.”) Apologize immediately but not over-effusively and request a second chance at a place, date and time that is most convenient for your contact. Then, make up some ground by showing up early, being very well-prepared, picking up the tab and following up afterward. It may take a few months to overcome the first negative impression, but it can be done.
Bottom line, everyone makes mistakes. Nit-picking about the small stuff is pointless. Be mindful that how you handle the small things is indicative of how you handle the big things. So, take everything in stride, make quick amends and forge ahead. Your business (and you!) will grow as a result.