It’s Okay To Be Human. It’s How You Handle It.

Psst. You, yes, you. Did you know it’s okay to be human? Humans are flawed and YOU can’t do anything about it. What you can control is how you handle your own mistakes afterwards. So, how do you handle the aftermath of your mistakes?

woman sitting on bench thinking
Inhale the future, exhale the past. Photo by Swaraj Tiwari

In the marketing/advertising/PR world it’s about calculations and segregating your target audience down to the tee, predicting what your clients want to keep up their brand image in tact and problem solving potential problems that haven’t happened yet.

It’s a constant pressure to be on your A game and be perfect, but guess what. Mathematically speaking you’re screwed, a mess-up is in your near future and If there is one thing you take away from this blog, take this:

The best way to gain respect in any relationship (both professionally and personally) is to own up to your mistakes.

Excuses, finger pointing and talking in circles does nothing but put a bigger wedge between you and the reciprocating person. Being able to own your mistakes isn’t as terrifying as it sounds, to be honest, it’s freeing.

Let’s start out easy and talk about one of my HUGE whoopsies.

A couple years ago the venue I worked for was hosting an Open House event for Orange County couples looking to tie the knot at a unique event space. The in-house catering company wanted to contribute and offered to fund an e-blast through to attract more couples within the area. 

I spent a few weeks coordinating with our account manager at The Knot before finalizing the content and its time of delivery. It got pushed out to Orange County brides (something like 3, 000 couples) and had the wrong link embedded into the email. 

banging head on wall image
#mood Photo by Lucas Pimenta

Instead of being sent to our Wedding Open House page, 3,000 people got sent to our annual automotive Open House event. Never have I EVER felt the instant want to puke my brains out while driving myself over a cliff. #notexaggerating 

If you’ve never worked with The Knot before let me forewarn you, it’s super expensive and incredibly disorganized. The turnover rate is ridiculous and its accounting department needs more help. Full disclosure though, none of that had anything to do with my fuck up.

It would’ve been easy to convince my higher-ups that the wrong link got published because of its lack of organization, but I didn’t.

Instead, I corrected the mistake and switched page links to correspond with the link that got blasted and then fessed up to my boss and catering company. Needless to say they were disappointing, but they weren’t angry, even despite the fact I had semi-wasted $1,000 in advertising dollars.

They weren’t angry. Why? Because I had told them what happened, how I had fixed it and expressed genuine sorrow about the mistake. There is something incredibility powerful and freeing about a person who owns up.

woman twirling
Be free. Photo by Isabel Sacher

I didn’t want anyone else to tell them about MY mistake, it was important they heard it from me and that I had already solved it, and you know what my boss said to me? “It’s okay, you’re going to beat yourself up enough, there’s no need to feel it from me. Just remember to slow down, Shannon.”

There is nothing more gut wrenching than wasting a large amount of money that isn’t yours and let me tell you, I’ll never make that mistake twice. I triple check links before giving the green light. #woof

The most important lesson I have learned throughout my years is that your reputation includes more than your work accomplishments, it’s also about how you handle yourself as a person because we’re all human and make mistakes.


Always own up to them.

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