"Consider This," is a series of short weekly posts with things for you to think about. My career is always surprising me with what seems like a never-ending collection of new experiences. So, I want to fill this new feature with ideas to help you learn from my mistakes so you can make new ones of your own!
by Skip Cohen
We’ve all heard the expression, “Hindsight is 20/20.” And, we all know people who are “Monday Morning Quarterbacks.” They swoop in like hawks after their prey with one suggestion after another telling us what we should have done. But worse is what we often do to ourselves, over-focusing on our regrets and then second-guessing future decisions.
Sheila and I have been together as a couple for almost seven years, and I never realized how often I was looking backward at a situation. One day she looked at me and said, “Don’t should on yourself!”
She refuses to take credit for the concept, but since I first heard it from her, it’s become an incredible lesson and changed the way I look at so many situations.
Here’s my point – whether a business decision that didn’t go as planned or something in your personal life “shoulding” is simply a bad habit when not accompanied by a constructive plan to change things.
Here’s a prime example.
Many of you knew me in my role as President of Hasselblad USA. I was with Hasselblad for twelve years and left on great terms to be President of PhotoAlley, an online educational site with a retail store.
When the Internet imploded, just two and a half years later, the two founders couldn’t get us in the black. We were over thirty million dollars in sales, but without profitability. PhotoAlley collapsed and I found myself in the unemployment line. Those were pretty dark days in my career, and I can’t begin to count the number of times I “shoulded” on myself – all about things outside my control.
Well, there’s another thing I’ve learned in life – everything works out for the better. My experience in the Internet was invaluable, as was failing and feeling the pain of having to collect unemployment. However, the experience lead to Rangefinder, AfterCapture, and WPPI and eventually to starting my own company. It all brought me to this point in time right here today.
We can’t help but should on ourselves once in awhile, but for too many of you, it becomes an obsession. You have to take risks in business today to grow, but when they don’t work out the way you planned, figure out what you did wrong and then start again.
Most important of all, you can’t slow down or wait for everything always to be perfect!
If you wait for all the lights to turn green, you’ll never get started on your journey!