276: $10,000 Learnings

9 Minutes Read

Growing your business means learning from mistakes. 

But our human ego often wants nothing to do with that.

To stand out as a business owner and leader, you need tools to help you short circuit the ego's desire to sweep failures under the rug. 

The $10,000 Learning is the most powerful tool we have for doing just that. In this episode you will discover:

  • How to create a team culture where failures are discussed and learned from, rather than covered up or blamed on someone else
  • How to turn setbacks into momentum for yourself and your team
  • How to create more value for your customers even when your business makes a mistake


Grow Smooth - where you learn how to bake reflection into your business processes among other things

Click here to join the Superabound Collective to get free access to the Leadership Book Study group Steve mentions in the episode, starting with Adam Grant's Hidden Potential.

If you want 1:1 coaching support for your business, Erin and Steve currently have openings for new clients. Click here to line up a free, no-pressure consultation.

The podcast episode about Ripple Results and Delaying Disappointment is here.

Listen to it on Spotify here



Episode Transcript

Steve Haase  0:01  
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches Erin Aquin and Steve Haase where business owners like you learn tools that help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges. You are listening to episode number 276: $10,000 Learnings. Did you know that the things you learned can be worth $10,000 to you and your business? That is what we're here to share today. Honestly, this is one of the biggest breakthroughs that we have applied to our business. I think Erin was the first to come up with the dollar amount. And of course, it's an idea. It's a rounded figure. But most of the time when people refer to their learnings, most they're really often just kind of beating themselves up over the ways that they failed. And this has been one of the best ways that we found to not beat ourselves up about failures, so to speak, but to actually dive in, and eagerly look for how we can learn from situations that did not go well. So I'm looking forward to the conversation today. It's something that we use all the time. And let's dive in welcome, Erin. Hello.

Erin Aquin  1:07  
Okay, so the $10,000 learning is not just for dramatic effect, we actually had something that I think actually worked out to be far more than $10,000 worth of learning to our business. But basically what happened is, we had a situation with one of our programs where scheduling is always the biggest, the biggest challenge in our business with with folks in a group, and we had to rearrange a time for some of our clients, and it was less than ideal for one particular participant. And it would have been fine, we would have done an amazing job. As her coach, we would have taken amazing care of her. But in that moment, when we realized we had created a little hiccup, I thought to myself, Oh, this is not how I want to start my coaching relationship with this person she was in our mastermind, she had paid us a lot of money, I wanted her to have this incredible experience and feel really taken care of. So I went to this client and I said, Listen for the inconvenience of having to go back and forth about this time change. What I'd like to do is offer you a free private session. It's something I don't usually offer. It's something we never do really in our business. And this person was pleasantly surprised. They said, Oh, you know, it wasn't such a big deal. But yes, I'll totally take you up on the session, we had an incredible one on one coaching session. And at the end, she said, How do I work with you as my private coach, a hiccup turned into a moment of generosity for us as customer servants. And that turned into an experience where that person feeling so taken care of and coached very well went on to work with me for the next two years, it was worth more than $10,000 to our business. I know it was really an important thing for that client. But that is why we call it $10,000 learning because if you do it right, you are going to gain something that could be $10,000 or could be priceless to your business.

Steve Haase  3:20  
And I think even just the reframe of this was a mistake, let's fix it. Or let's put a process in place to never do it again, to actually how can we create $10,000 worth of value from this can help you change your mindset from one of, alright, let's grit our teeth and, you know, handle these mistakes? Versus how can we grow our business from here? How does this open up even more doors for us? What did we learn that's so valuable, we would pay $10,000 for that lesson, or it will potentially create $10,000 or more in revenue for us. I was reading a book about a trading firm that had done a bet that went $300 million in the wrong direction. And there was no retrospective on it. They didn't even pause to say, Hey, why did we make that but they just kept on moving. And the person in the center of it was asking that question. Why was there no conversation about this? And I think it's central to many people's ego, many people's sense of who they are not to face big mistakes, not to ask, why did this go wrong? And what can we learn from it? Maybe they're afraid of admitting that they messed something up, maybe they don't want to make other people feel uncomfortable. And that's all natural. It's understandable. So that means we need as many tools as we can get to go against that. Your ego is going to want to defend against mistakes, you're going to want to not look into them because it's painful. It's embarrassing. It's all of those things. But if you shift your mind and say yes, we had a hiccup Yes, we dropped To ball, this was not ideal. But how can we create even more value from this, that's going to change everything for you.

Erin Aquin  5:06  
Yeah. And now in the Superabound ecosystem, we have this sort of baked into the method in a few different places. When we work with people who are having a lot of emotions about something that's happened in their world, we have a process where we, we call it healing static, where we actually go through and try to find even the lesson or the wisdom from the emotionality. And not to circumvent feeling it, it's still important to learn how to process your emotions and deal with those in a healthy way. We're not bypassing emotions. But it is really helpful to get into relationship with those moments and those experiences because they're going to happen because we're humans in business, and things don't always go the way we want them to. I don't know, that's probably not a newsflash for any listener, any leader, any business owner out there. But it always feels like a sting, no matter how many times things happen in your business that aren't ideal learning and having tools for working with your own emotions around that is really, really important. It's something that we teach a lot in our programs and with our clients. And then we also have it baked into the process of how challenges are taken care of, and how experiments are run in the businesses we work with. Having a period of reflection, that is routine is really important. Anytime you're finishing a project, maybe it's a Friday check in something where you have a chance to reflect on where the $10,000 lesson is what it might be. Ways that you're going to avoid mistakes next time or ways you're going to take a mistake and turn that into something that's profitable and beautiful. It's a really creative way of working with things that out in culture just kind of suck. But in your business can be very valuable, raw materials for something new to be created.

Steve Haase  7:10  
Putting this kind of review into a weekly process or a monthly process is one way to kind of bake it into your organization, bake it into your routines. It's also part of your own personal growth, we all know that if you want to grow, you have to get uncomfortable, you have to embrace discomfort, even ideally, seek out discomfort. If you are heading to a place that is a bit outside of you know where the cosy defended sense of self wants to just hang out, then you know, you're heading into the right zone, just this last weekend, I did a 60 Kilometer ride on muddy gravel at around one or two degrees Celsius. So you know, 3535 37 or Fahrenheit, it was very uncomfortable. And I think I grew quite a bit from it. Anyway, that's the kind of thing that I do for enjoyment, but also just as an exercise in vitality, and resilience. And you know, doing it with other people helps as well as you suffer with others. But this is a practice that you can incorporate in your business, to actively seek out that discomfort in order to be a more powerful leader to be a more effective business owner. If you are the person who is willing to do it, you know, in a fun, gentle, open kind of way. But do it, you will be ahead of the people who would rather defend themselves rather stay closed to any unpleasant information, right. And this slight reframe of calling it a $10,000 lesson $10,000 learning is part of how you do that, right? We are big believers in making things as fun as possible. And when you're talking about exploring your fuck ups, calling it a $10,000 learning is one of the fun ways to do it. So there's the way you think about it. And there's the experience you invite other people into, it's powerful to do it for yourself, reflect on those $10,000 learnings yourself. But if you can really bring your team into it and create a culture of embracing this discomfort of not sweeping things under the rug. Just think about the money you will save of the heartache that will be avoided when screw ups are just brought to the surface when people share. Hey, here's how I messed something up. Let's turn it into a $10,000 learning rather than God, I hope the boss never finds this out because I'm so embarrassed. I'm so ashamed. And I'll probably get fired. Creating that transparency needs to start with you and the more fun you can make it the more people will feel invited into it.

Erin Aquin  9:53  
Yeah, and I mean, maybe even the advanced level of this is when it's not a mistake, but Something you actually thought was gonna go really well, like a failed product launch or a hire that didn't work out something where you actually had really positive, hopeful energy around that turned out to suck. It can feel a little bit like Pollyanna to say, Okay, everybody, this was a total disaster, but let's find the $10,000 learning. So I get that at first, it might feel like a little cheesy and a little bit silly. I have to tell you, though, over time, it gets so much easier when something doesn't work out. You know, we've talked on the podcast a few episodes ago about delaying disappointment and ripple results. This is actually a really key ingredient to both of those things. Just because a product launch that you hoped was going to make your quarter didn't go the way you wanted it to? Well, we don't know yet what the ripple result of all of those connections you made, will be next quarter. So if we were to see it, as there is something rippling through, how can we identify that? How can we move towards that? How can we find the thing that, you know, did go really well, and amplify that towards the result we really want? It actually makes it more of a creative space or a puzzle. So if you like, puzzles and board games like we do, this is one way to think about it. What did we learn today that's making us stronger, that's putting us in a better position that we know never to do. Again, it can be, you know, sometimes the lesson is, we're just never going to do that, again, that can be a $10,000 learning, like, we've tried this three times, and maybe let's stop trying this. These are all really important and helpful things. And maybe it's not true for everybody. But in my experience, this just gets easier with time. You know, I can have things that would have devastated me, in my early days as an entrepreneur happened now. And I'm like, Okay, we're gonna, or we're gonna have a reflection session this week, we'll talk about it, then, if anything comes to me, I'll take a note. But like, it doesn't ruin my sleep, or my dinner. It's such

Steve Haase  12:36  
a great point that this is something that you can develop. We're not born with the ability to face our mistakes or face our failures. And to invite people into that it's something that we can actually develop for ourselves. And for our whole team, you can create a culture of that. It's almost like weightlifting, for your, for your mind for your leadership skills, almost even for your character, right, the willingness to face ways that you've come up short, and not beat yourself up over it, but actually see the opportunity there. And it's one of the things that we're talking about, actually, as part of the non boring leadership book club that we're hosting. It's a lot of fun. And you can join it for free at the Superabound Collective head over to besuperabound.com/collective to get all the details on the book club, to join in on these conversations. And to do some reps, right, do some weightlifting, for your leadership skills, for your character skills. And really just to make the process of owning a business of leading a team, a little bit more fun, little more creative and more effective. Thanks so much for listening today. And we will see you again next time.