Wednesday I sat down to read one of my recent newsletters from an objective point of view, you know, to see it from the readers’ perspective.
Even though I write my newsletters, I don’t have an editor who does the proofreading. I am my own editor–which, honestly is not a great idea. It’s kinda like being your own defense attorney.
So I sit back and get comfortable as the smell of coffee puts me in the mood to enjoy my morning read.
Then, I see it.
To my horror the third sentence in the “from the editor” section contained a major spelling error. I misspelled the word political and to make it worse it was in bold typeface.
My letter goes out to 160 people every month so I am thinking, great, my goal is to show people that I can be trusted, but I don’t even take the time to make sure the spelling is correct.
What does this say to the reader? Is this the work of a professional? They must be thinking “if someone doesn’t take the time to check his work in his newsletter, surely he won’t be thorough when he’s helping me negotiate a real estate deal.”
So, I finish reading the letter from the editor and continue my morning read. My articles recapping recent podcast guests were both flawless. (And well written I must say.) My movie review from the date night with my wife was funny and spot on.
Continuing to page 4, I start to read another excellent article called Finding Your Passion.
This time, I didn’t make a spelling error, but instead, I typed the same paragraph twice! Back to back!
You see, I write my articles on my laptop each morning at Starbucks and put them on my Google drive. When I am ready to publish the newsletter I copy paste the work from the Google drive to my publishing software. I must have copy pasted the same paragraph twice.
I work very hard every month to publish this newsletter so my readers will get to know me, get to like me, and get to trust me. Yet here I am putting out a publication full of errors. How in the world can someone trust me if I continually make mistakes?
After cooling down a bit, I decided I would apologize to my readers in the next newsletter and vow to improve the quality going forward.
Reflecting on this experience I realized that all people are imperfect, consequently, all businesses are imperfect.
With this in mind, we recently made some changes in our real estate practice. We instituted meetings where we continually improve our “client experience”.
Continuous improvement is the admission that we are all human and prone to mistakes and that our products and services can always improve.
When we make mistakes the important thing is to acknowledge them, accept responsibility for them, and vow to improve moving forward.
Yes, last months newsletter was mistake laden, but I’ll bet you next month will be flawless!