None of us like to admit when we’re wrong. We’re taught from a young age to avoid mistakes, and it feels like a personal flaw when we commit these errors.

The reality, though, is that we are human, and so make mistakes. You don’t need to see mistakes as failure, though. You can use your mistakes to your advantage. Here’s how to handle mistakes as a business owner:

1. Acknowledge Your Mistakes

The first step is to acknowledge your mistake and take responsibility. There is power in shouldering responsibility and understanding your role in the mistake. Not only does it show that you are willing to step up, but it also shows integrity. These are qualities that others admire. On top of that, taking responsibility for your mistakes makes you relatable.

Don’t assume that you have to be perfect. Be real and up front about your mistakes. Not only will this make you a better leader, but it will also allow you to better evaluate what is happening, and put you in better touch with the realities of your situation.

You can’t effectively address the problem if you aren’t honest about the situation and where you stand.

2. Evaluate What Went Wrong

Once you acknowledge your mistake, it’s time to evaluate what went wrong. Look back through the event to see how things could have been done differently. We can always improve, so it makes sense to do a bit of a post-mortem to understand what went wrong — or at least what could have gone better.

Going through the process isn’t the most pleasant thing you can be doing, but it is necessary. Being able to dissect the situation and learn from it is the biggest key to how to handle mistakes.

3. Fix the Problem and Move Forward

Once you acknowledge the mistake and understand its anatomy, it’s time to fix the problem and move forward. When we try to figure out how to handle mistakes, we often get bogged down in the past. It’s easy to revisit the problem and play the “what if” game over and over again.

While you do need to understand what went wrong so that you can fix the issue, there is no reason to dwell on it. Once you have taken steps to make changes so that you don’t repeat your mistake, you really need to take the next step forward.

This is important because you don’t want to be stuck in the past, with your mistakes dragging you down. You need to have successful emotional preparation to succeed in your business, and dwelling on the past won’t help.

You will make mistakes as you build your business. The important thing is to learn from the mistakes, using them to make you stronger. Then, you can move forward, creating a better company in the future.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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