3 Mistakes I made last year, and lessons learned

  • Mistakes are a part of life.
  • To err is human, to forgive divine.
  • We learn from our mistakes.

Boy, do I cringe when I read things like that. It’s only after time has passed (like a year) that I can bear to examine my mistakes. I reflect and say, “OK, I see where she’s coming from,” or “yeah, I could’ve handled that differently.”

Here are three of many mistakes I made last year! And, with hindsight and a teensy bit more maturity, what I plan to do about them.

Mistake #1 – acting before thinking

I have a big mouth and a sharp tongue. They’ve served me well in the past, when I owned a cafe, or played in music groups with all guys. But now that I work in publishing, in my first corporate setting, I have to tone it down.

My first manager gave me a ton of grace, and taught me everything he knew. He was retiring soon and had no ego in the way of being a great teacher. Relating to subsequent managers was more complex. I’m so embarrassed to admit that I hung up on my current manager (more than once) because of issues I can’t even remember now.

My manager Angela has taught me to sleep overnight on a difficult e-mail or situation, and reply the next day with a fresh heart. She’s probably told me a half-dozen times to do this. It’s only now beginning to sink in. Waiting overnight seems impossibly long in our fast-paced, go-getter world! Aren’t we supposed to be nimble and responsive and agile? Yet, she’s right. I don’t comprehend things instantaneously (my manager will agree) so why should I expect anyone else to?

Mistake #2 – Expecting Way Too Much of myself

I hired a lovely friend of mine, Tammy, to do market research about knitting kits. When we met to discuss her research, Tammy mentioned something I hadn’t considered. She said that some of the Big Names are corporate-backed. They have their own yarn lines, and distribution channels, and marketing teams.

This shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, and intellectually I knew this already. But I was still comparing myself to Purl Soho, for example, or a well-established subscription service, and of course I fall way short!

The wonderful Besties who follow Renae Christine have a saying: “Don’t compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle.” When I start to play the comparison game, I forbid myself from continuing unless I know exactly when the other person started her business. If I don’t have the energy to research it properly, then I have no right to worry about it.

Mistake #3 – Not being completely honest

This shows up in several areas of my life, but the most important one in 2017 was in DATING.

If I meet a guy and I just KNOW it’s not going to go anywhere, I need to say so – gently, firmly – so there is no confusion. I’d expect this from a guy who didn’t like me “that way”. Yet we all know grown men who can’t bear to tell the truth about their feelings to a woman. #canigetanamen

In 2018 I’m going to be HONEST. Not brutally honest – but truthful. I’m going to slow down (see mistake #1) and ask myself, “how do I truly feel?”


I’d love to hear about one mistake you’ve made in 2017, and most importantly, what you’ve learned!

Many thanks to Marie Forleo for inspiring this post.



3 thoughts on “3 Mistakes I made last year, and lessons learned

  1. I learned to ask myself, “is this going to matter this time next year?” Before getting angry or upset. If the answer is “no”, then just let it go. Use my energy to be positive, not waste it on negative emotion. Let it go!

  2. I encourage beginners to start with wash cloths. They can be knitted in any weight yarn, and size needles, useful, portable and great for practising new stitches and techniques. If one ends up with a lot of them, sew them together and make an Afghan. 😊

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