Everyone has good days and bad days. As a consultant, it’s par for the course. Sometimes on a project you swing for the fences and knock it out of the park. There is the odd time you can’t even buy a hit. I had one of those swing for the fences and get a big K moments recently, and I can tell you it is not fun. I’m someone who prides himself on delivering top notch work, and it seems like what I did missed the mark on a few counts. Thankfully I’ll get a chance to correct it, but even those of us who know what we’re doing and have been around the block are not infallible. The thing is, I’m my own worst critic. No one is more disappointed than me when stuff like this happens. I will beat myself up way more than anyone else could ever try to tear me down.
There’s a lot of “woulda”, “shoulda”, “coulda” when this happens. Playing 20 questions with yourself isn’t going to get you anywhere except more frustrated, disappointed, or annoyed. I’m not one to stand on ceremony. I’ll be the first to admit if I screwed up. That’s one of the ways you can tell the good eggs from the bad ones for the most part – they own up to it, take their lumps, learn from it, and move on. I’ve got a pretty darn good track record when it comes to my work history, so this particular scenario is abnormal. It doesn’t sting any less, though.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a consultant or working for someone: learning how to deal with bumps in the road is something we all have to do. Brent Ozar just wrote a piece “Consulting Lines: “Yes, that used to be a best practice, and…”” which plays into this. How? Check out “The Conversation” section. I’m sure at one point or another we’re all guilty of digging in our heels, pounding our fists, and insisting we’re always right. If you’re that kind of person more often than not, and you are wrong, you’re in for a world of pain long term in the business world no matter what field you are in. You have to be open to suggestions and criticism. Hopefully they are presented as constructive.
On the flip side, I’m jazzed about the clustering session I’ll be doing today for the PASS DBA virtual chapter. The deck is done, I’ve run through it, my demos are tested (fingers crossed, of course). I also just finished writing a whitepaper that I’ve been trying to write since last June or so. I just have a bit more testing to do for it to verify a few things before I can put it to bed.
So even if one thing knocks you down for a moment, you just need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. Enjoy Mrs. Elvis Costello (aka Diana Krall) singing this: