My Blog

Do You Find Yourself Up a Stream Without a Paddle?

I stuffed up the other day. I was running against a deadline and my choleric nature took over. I just decided to go ahead and put a new digital product together, which I needed to launch for a client. It involved filming a series of videos that formed part of an Accountability Partnership Bootcamp.

The principle was simple enough… I was to record all 8 videos which would be released on a weekly basis, with an introductory video that explained the program to the delegates. I understood the drill and knew the effectiveness of the program — having recently completed a similar 13 week program earlier this year.

As I approached the week leading up to the filming, I put together the outline for my notes, only to experience a technological failure of biblical proportions! The power failed, my router reprogrammed itself and I lost access to the Internet. Thinking that
the worse was over, I realised that my worries had only just begun as all access to my network storage device was brutally ripped away from me!

Unable to access my files and with the clock ticking away loudly in my ear, I decided to start again. Without a moment to waste, I worked away at a furious pace to set up the framework for my filming session. With minutes to spare, I completed my task and we set up the room to film it in my office. The video shoot went well and with the exception of one video that was refilmed,
we concluded the session ahead of schedule.

Pleased with the outcome, I posted details of my accomplishments on Facebook. A few days later, I received an email that rocked my world. The author of the original bootcamp that I participated in connected with me, asking about my new program. And that was when, Houston, we realised that we had a problem. The name of my program was far too close to his…

As I reviewed my material, I saw the similarities. I speculated on the potential path I could walk. Maybe if I simply recorded a voice over, I could change the name and get away with it. But no matter how optimistic I was, it became evident that the best way
forward was to rerecord the complete program — at my personal cost.

Here are 5 lessons to take from this experience:

  1. When things are going against you, step back from the situation and review your options. It is often cheaper to do nothing than have to do it again!
  2. If you stuff it up, confess your sin. It was a better option to ask my colleague for forgiveness (which he gave me) alongside his blessing to continue.
  3. Ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary to push a project through or seek a short delay instead. They say that a stitch in time, saves nine…
  4. Seek external counsel. If I had run my initial ideas against an external party, they would have picked up on my rookie mistake!
  5. If you do make a mistake, choose, like my friend Kary Oberbrunner says, to be a Victor and use your O.A.R. (Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility) rather than to be a Victim in B.E.D. (Blame, Excuses and Denial). So the next time you find yourself up the stream without a paddle, create an O.A.R. and row your way to safety!
Nsanz GSF