No shame on making mistakes, the shame is not to correct those
If you are active, you work, it is inevitable to make mistakes. Sooner or later, no matter how much attention you pay for your tasks, you will. It’s not that you wouldn’t care, or you wouldn’t want to strive for perfect work delivery. It is just the essence of being a human. So far, there is nothing special. No shame.
The trouble would start when one does not have the spine to admit, also to one’s customer/buyer, and wouldn’t give options to correct a situation.
“Recently” happened to me, two months ago, I made a (little) mistake while doing a translation job for a new client, translating from Dutch to English. I didn’t see that from the nine blocks of texts, two have been the same. Why? One of the two blocks had a different, long, starting sentence. Easily made mistake, and you can see how. That meant, the gig became 107 words less, $2 less on costs.
However, I spotted the mistake afterwards, very soon after delivery of the results. So, when my heart started to beat again in a normal fashion, I immediately messaged my customer and told the absolute truth. Also, offered solutions, in form of two options:
a. he can receive the $2 to a bank account or PayPal, OR
b. he’ll receive a price cut on a next order, if any, bit over the 2 bucks.
Did this turn to a bad conversation because of the mistake, or…?
Indeed, or. The customer simply highly appreciated the honesty I approached our deal with, and him as my client, and gratefully accepted the latter option: a price off from the next order, which he would like to place a week later. Awesome! On the top of that, after delivery of this order has been successfully closed, he placed a 5-star review on my translation gig.
So you see, mistakes happen, no matter how careful and precise you might be. But being honest and handling cases with an amount of fairness goes a long way. And, apparently, it can quickly solve a situation. And it’s a teaching moment, reminder for something else as well: even more checks, controls on future assignments. So I also improve my freelance services all the time, on the way to perfection.
Of course a happy end isn’t always guaranteed, nothing is in life, besides an end of it, but there are few points to keep in mind is more than worth the efforts:
- Be honest
- Communicate appropriately,
- Practice fair business,
- Note it and learn from history, keep improving.
- And like a flag, undulate in the wind of pride, you did it right!
Perfection doesn’t fall on our lap, on the way some failures are unavoidable, sometimes we fall. Then we stand up stronger and wiser.