DEAR PRESTON: WHY ARE YOU ENCOURAGING YOUR FANS TO FAIL?
October 4, 2011
I am a wedding planner and a long-time fan. I read your blog everyday. But I notice that you write a lot about making mistakes. You’re so successful; why are you writing about failure? It often sounds like you’re encouraging your readers to use their clients’ events as “practice.” My events are not dress rehearsals, and I expect them to be perfect. I never settle for less. I love your designs, but I don’t understand your approach.
I hear you. And I agree with you that all of the weddings and events we do are once-in-a-lifetime celebrations. I also think that one of the reasons I’ve managed to stay in business for so many years is because I take the responsibility of every wedding and event I do very seriously. However, stuff happens! And even though I treat all of my events with the utmost care and consideration, something, somehow, always goes at least a little wrong.
So, the way I see it, there are two options: we can either beat ourselves up for falling short of perfection, OR we can take responsibility for our successes, our failures and even the things that are beyond our control and learn from them. Only option two helps you grow.
My dear Perfectionist, every opportunity in life, both professional and personal, is an opportunity to practice, learn and improve. Everyone — even you — makes mistakes. I’ve accepted this inevitability, and I encourage my readers to do the same. And I try to remind all of us that it is better to try and do something poorly, than not to try at all.
Dear Readers, I hope it is clear to all of you that when I encourage you to look at your mistakes I am asking you to look at them as growing gifts. And, tell me, what do you think? Please share your thoughts on mistakes, perfection and growth.