How do you benchmark your own performance or achievements? Is it Linkedin? You gauge your success against the number of people you are linked with or who’s been looking at your profile? Or Instagram or Facebook, how many likes you get for your photos? Well, it could be, but that’s a bit sad don’t you think? Are they not about vanity and ego more than gritty results?

So here’s one I love to measure – cock-ups, failures, crap decisions – and lots of them!

You see, if you are paralysed by decision making because you fear you may screw up, or because it may take you to a place you haven’t been before and therefore you don’t make that decision, guess what? Nothing happens. Well, something happens, and it’s usually what always happens and that is ‘same old, same old’. You’ve heard it a million times before but it won’t stop me reminding you that ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always have’. And for some that is absolutely fine. We like cruising, we like an easy life, we aren’t really that keen on change, we just want things to be…the same. Well, here’s some bad news, the only constant is change. 

And for business owners change is massive. You have to constantly innovate in business or you’ll soon be left behind. So here’s what I do: I give myself 12 shit conversations and 12 cock-ups a year (sorry about the language, but it illustrates the point).

Let’s face it, we all hate any form of confrontation, we’d rather hide under the stairs during lunchtime than have that difficult conversation. But if you give yourself 12 shit conversations a year, and get them out of the way as soon as possible then guess what? You’ll make much more progress than you would if you never had them. Getting rid of a (non) team player, losing a really troublesome client. Just use up your quota as quick as possible.

The same goes for cock-ups. Give yourself 12 a year then when they happen you don’t beat yourself into submission, you quietly say to yourself ‘jackpot, at least that is one more out of the way’ and then get onto the next thing. Of course, it’s worth reflecting on what you may have done wrong and taking the lesson. As a general rule, if you keep screwing up with regards to the same thing you might need to stop for a moment and consider what you need to learn. But it’s also very freeing to accept that when you screw up, as we all do, its no big deal. Once again, you can get onto the next thing. And that’s what matters. In fact if you took all the phenomenally successful people in the World there’s a few things they would have in common, and one of them would be that they have probably made far more mistakes, cock-up, screw-ups than most other people.

So give your permission, don’t brag about it, take the lesson and move on. Very cathartic and will help you build a far better business, far faster.