Do you have an expensive MBA?

business failure perseverance Sep 13, 2021

Do you have an expensive MBA? We talked a little bit this week about some of our most costly mistakes while building The Bradford. We didn’t always make the best decisions when it came with the design and the budget. But we both agree our biggest and most costly mistake (that we call our expensive MBA) is when we hired a person and fit the job around their skills and needs and not the other way around. 

You are probably thinking- that is a no brainer Dana! Now, looking back - yes it is - but in the middle of it - it was really hard to see how this could blow up in our face. We liked this person! They had strong skills that we thought we could mold into what we wanted. We knew they weren’t 100% perfect- but who is? 

Now - don’t get me wrong, all of my employees, and Courtney and I all make mistakes - we are not 100% perfect. But we all are 100% perfect FOR our job roles. This is the critical difference. We should never expect perfection from our employees, and we ourselves should never expect perfection. But we should expect their personalities, drive, work ethic, and motivation to be perfect for the job they are in. 

Where it went all wrong is we refused to see it. We didn’t want to think we made a wrong move. I kept saying “but we have invested so much in this person!” The idea of seeing all that hard work trying to mold her into what we needed her to be go down the drain was upsetting. At the time - I would have told you it was because of the financial toll it took. But now, looking back, it was pride. I was ashamed it didn’t work out. I was ashamed we made a bad choice. I had way too much pride to admit that we made a bad investment. 

This extremely expensive MBA made us realize that finding the right person for the job we NEED is so critical in the success of any company. But it also taught me to be ok with the mistakes we make. I am sure in the next few years we will have another expensive MBA that is agonizing. That is business. There is no fail safe and no one patting your back along the way to tell you that you are doing a good job. There is no manual for being a boss and navigating all the obstacles you will encounter. What got us through that time is our community, admitting our mistakes out loud, understanding our role in the failure, and then picking the pieces back up and trying again. 

I don’t wish for anyone to have an expensive MBA - but I do wish and hope for all you business bad asses out there to know that you are not alone - we have all been there. 



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