Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person?
My mildly embarrassing gaffe was sending an agenda to a committee I was chairing to the wrong committee. Fortunately, I have not had the monumental email mistakes that occasionally make it into the news.
But even though mine was only mildly embarrassing, I still wanted to reach into the computer and retrieve the email blunder.
It is times like those where we really want a do-over.
For definition sake, I would define a ‘do-over’ as a second attempt at something where, when granted, the first attempt disappears as if it never happened.
Examples that qualify for a do-over include shooting a free throw in front of a packed auditorium and completely missing the basket, backboard and all. Or walking into the wrong restroom. Or talking to someone you thought you knew only to find deep into your conversation you have never met before.
These bloopers are mostly just embarrassing events but did not cause any lasting damage.
In the business world, things happen where those involved wished they could get a do-over. Unfortunately, these events are seldom humorous, and are frequently are tragic. Product design mistakes, poorly thought-out CEO comments, and badly conceived advertising all severely impact the company and its bottom line.
And while they wish they could get one, do-overs do not exist in business.
One of the most important non-do-overs is the first impression. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Competition is stiff in all markets, and you only get one chance to convince a client to use your services. If they are not satisfied and their expectations met, they will go somewhere else. And what compounds this experience, is they will tell other potential clients of their missed expectations.
We cannot approach our customers with anything less than a complete strategy. We need to justify our prices, be service oriented, create value, be responsive, and be personal
In business, you do not get to say “oops,” and all is forgiven.
All customers today are informed, educated and willing to travel – to the next competitor. We get one chance, and we need to be prepared right now for that chance.
The best news is while the business world has no second chances, we have a God of do-overs. Our God is a God of second chances, clean slates, new chapters, a new day, and fresh starts. That is what forgiveness is all about.
We don’t, and shouldn’t, expect this level of care in our business world, but it does exist in our personal world.
When asked how many times we are to forgive, Jesus responds,
“seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22),
which is Bible speak for continuously.
God’s Do-Overs in Business
We understand that there are no do-overs in business, so we try hard and do the best we can. Mistakes happen, we find ourselves the focus of an unfortunate event, and the damage is done. God will be there when we regroup, get over the embarrassment and shame, and start once again to build our reputation.
Even if the business world does not give do-overs, thank God we have a God who does.