4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Handle Disaster and Screw Ups - Lessons from Boeing

Boeing is having some major problems. It's new jet is SUSPECTED of killing hundreds of people in two recent crashes. This is a DISASTER.

Although MOST business owners don't have problems to that scale, we do go through problems, sometimes even DISASTERS, what can you do about it?

I've have my fair share of problems.

Once I organized an event in San Francisco (I live in New York) and it was a disaster. Hardly anyone came, I lost about $50,000 and sponsors were not happy.

What to do? Here's a few things I've learned.

  1. If you've done GREAT work before the disaster that goes a LONG way to receiving forgiveness or at least a good measure of understanding.
  2. Own it. As soon as you can, immediately take ownership. Don't pass the blame but apologize, own the fault.
  3. Fix it. Think what can you do to remedy the situation. Some things you can't "redo", you might have to refund money. You might have to redeliver a new product at your own expense.
  4. Understand what happened. After solving the situation with your client (or your team), take some time to think about what happened and how not to let it happen again.

These four little steps are NOT going to solve all your problems, but hopefully these things will help.