Regret is only painful if you do not act on it.


Before Covid, my business coach had a consistent response to my frequent tales of business dilemmas,

“Relax & don’t sweat the small stuff.”


I am not one to dwell on the past and I feel I do not carry around too many regrets. But writing last week’s upbeat email about my best decisions, left me thinking about the things I regret the most, or mistakes I have made.


For me, the whole objective of running my own business is to enable the lifestyle I want for myself and my family. I have always had moderate and achievable expectations for my desired lifestyle, which I feel I have largely achieved.


I am a big believer in Seth Godin’s business philosophy of “the smallest viable audience,” which is based on “the smallest number of clients & projects that allow the business to be profitable and able to continually improve its products and services.” This allows the business to focus on getting better rather than getting bigger (see my Email # 225 “Bigger is Not Always Better”)


I have always run my building business as a “word of mouth business” where customers find DDB because of its reputation rather than flashy branding and marketing. So DDB was able to remain at a size and format that stays true to this better not bigger philosophy.


Do I regret not growing the business and not having a nicer office or not building bigger more prestigious houses: not really. I do not regret what is not in my personality or is outside my business and lifestyle expectations.


“I’m trying to get better at not kicking cans down the road” Unknown.


I really only have a few “soft regrets “regarding some of my life decisions.


  • I regret not taking on a business partner.


  • I regret not investing in superannuation earlier.


  • I regret spending so much money on life insurance.


  • I regret not learning how to type properly.


  • I regret not recognising the power of writing earlier.


  • I regret not being better with technology.


  • I regret actively avoiding difficult conversations and conflicts.


  • I regret not learning another language.


“Regret is only painful if you do not act on it. Active regret spurs us into action, so you learn from the past to create a better future.” Daniel Pink


Regret is just another human emotion that is there to help us learn and grow.


Most regrets are reversible and the cost of not acting on the regret is always greater than acting on it. So, I am actively working on several of my regrets above as we speak.


Thanks for reading,

Stay safe and no more kicking cans down the road!


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