It’s often easier to focus on what went wrong than what went right. My dear friend Joan Rivers once told me that what kept her going for many years was that at the end of each day, she made a list of all her blessings. She never made a list of everything that went wrong.
I love this idea, and I make my own list every night. But I also think it’s important to acknowledge when something goes wrong and think about how things might have gone differently. For instance, I was blessed with a wonderful client who was excited about my work. But then an issue came up, and we ended up in a tough spot:
Client: Oh my god, Preston! Everything is beautiful. Can I take a picture to show my friends?
Me: Of course! Please, go right ahead.
But then the next day she called me with some bad news…
Client: Preston, I showed your design to a few of my friends, and I think I want to go in a completely different direction.
Me: Okay, but what made you change your mind?
Client: Well, it might be a little much. My friends think it’s too much.
In my mind I was thinking, “You should tell your friends it’s not their wedding!” But I held my tongue and instead said:
Me: Why don’t you come back to my office, and we’ll give this another go. However, please understand that I’ll have to charge you for a second presentation.
To make a long story short, my dear client hit the roof. She didn’t think that I should charge her for another presentation, but I thought my request was completely within reason. Eventually, we worked it out.
But, Dear Readers, I’m curious. What would you have done in my shoes? Please share your thoughts in the comments.