Three Big Questions To Ask Yourself When Things Go Wrong

Three Big Questions To Ask Yourself When Things Go Wrong

Late last week, I had a fairly big order come through on my Etsy store which I was really excited about. Typically, my items are printed and fulfilled through a 3rd party vendor (all the artwork are my originals). But in this case, a woman was trying to get more than a half dozen Bills playoff shirts to surprise her family with for the big game on Sunday. I had to get creative because it was a ridiculously tight turnaround. But I was up for the challenge and also really wanting to help her out.

I found a local printer who could print the shirts and ship them out for a Saturday delivery - score!  All was well in t-shirt land.

Except, there was a hiccup. The big storm that blasted the East Coast caused delays for UPS. I received a message from my customer late Saturday evening saying she didn’t receive the shirts. The second hit was against the tracking code (that the printer provided me) that was invalid, so I couldn’t even check to see where this package was. After calling UPS, they were no help since I didn’t have the correct tracking code and the printer wasn’t checking his email to resend it.

(Insert profanities here)

So why am I sharing this story? Because shit happens to all of us. You live, learn and move on  – especially when you’re taking on a new venture. This was my first custom rush order so I only did what I knew to do at that time.

So when things go wrong in your world, here are three big questions you need to ask yourself in order to move on.

Did you do everything you could to fix the issue, using the knowledge you currently had at the time?

KEY PHRASE: “using the knowledge you currently had at the time” If yes, check it off and move on.  In my case, I had never had to fulfill a rush order like this before and done absolutely everything to try and get this damn tracking code. And obviously, I can’t change the stupid weather (or else, we’d all be sitting in sunny, 75 degree weather).

What did you learn?

There’s a learning lesson in every bumble and no reward without risk. If I’m ever in this situation again (which I hope to be in!), I learned to either ship stuff myself and double check tracking numbers before the end of the business day.

Is your fear of failing greater than your ambition?

I could have chosen to not take the order at all, saying it was too short of notice. But I did what no one else probably would have done. Even though the end result didn't turn out the way it was suppose to, I know exactly what do the next time I'm in the situation because my ambition exceeds my fear of failure.

Have you ever had something like this happen to you? I'd love for you to share!

Here's to getting through when things go wrong,