The Biggest Mistake

Note from Michelle: I read this article in a newsletter I subscribe to and wanted to share it. Great analogy!

A couple weeks ago my family was vacationing in Aruba. My husband and I were having a great time lounging on the beach while the kids were building a huge empire in the sand. Even at 15 my son felt compelled to help out in this endeavor.

Later on we heard our youngest, Caitlin, sound pretty upset. I went over to see what was going on. I saw that Justin and Eveline were building an empire together. Eveline had asked Justin for help with her structure. She pictured what it was going to look like and asked for assistance. They both jumped in and started building.

Caitlin, on the other hand, was having fun just building as she went along, but had not come up with a design for her structure. She was upset when she saw that not only did Eveline have a better structure than her, but that her brother was helping to build it. She was upset to realize that her structure paled in comparison, and why on earth was Justin not helping HER?

In looking at this from a mompreneur’s point of view, I realized that she was upset, but failed to take any action from the situation. She just proceeded to get upset. There are many business owners who do the same thing without realizing it.

Sometimes we get upset that something didn’t work. We may feel like we failed. It’s important to realize what your idea of success looks like and to take action towards that vision.

Caitlin did not visualize what she wanted her structure to look like. In order to be successful, you need to know what success means to you. How do you know if you have reached success, if you don’t first outline what that means to you? Success means very different things to different people. How do you know if your business is what you want, if you don’t first visualize what you want your empire or business to be?

It’s also important to learn from your mistakes and take action through each step. Whenever top leaders make a mistake or realize that their business is not heading in the direction they envision, they take a step back and figure out what it is that they need to change to get where they want to be.

In Caitlin’s case she could have taken a step back and figured out why she thought her sister’s sand structure was better than hers. Was it really better, or was her sister just further along in building because she enlisted help from her brother?

Every once in a while it’s important to take a step back and observe what others in your field are doing. Are they doing something you would benefit from? Can what they are doing give you ideas on improving your own business?

Copyright ©2009 Kim Reddington and Cereus Women. All rights reserved.

Kimberly Reddington, Moms in Business Thoughtleader for Cereus Women, teaches moms how to turn their skills into a successful home-based service business and to find a balance between their business and their family. Discover Kim’s popular special report by visiting

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  1. […] week that talks about sand castles and goals called “The Biggest Mistake” – click here to read it, and share your […]

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