Mistakes versus carelessness

Mickey Mellen
2 min readJan 30, 2023

Many times when reading books, little things pop out at me that simply help me clarify how two words relate to one another. I’ve talked about a complaint versus a problem, social networking versus social media, interpersonal empathy versus social empathy, routines versus practices, attunement versus empathy, precision versus intent, knowing versus understanding, and dozens of others — more than I thought I had done, for sure! 🙂

This one today comes from the excellent book “ Small Giants “, where Jay Goltz shared:

“I had to learn the difference between a mistake, which I can live with, and haphazard conduct. Backing into a pole is a mistake. A crooked label is a sign of carelessness.”

I like that take on it. If one of our staff makes a mistake due to being careless or lazy, I have little patience for it. However, honest mistakes happen, and I encourage those.

For example, we’ve given our staff the ability to price smaller projects themselves, and they do a fantastic job at it. Undoubtedly, something will be priced incorrectly and cause a small problem at some point, but that’s absolutely fine if it was done with the correct intent. We’ll learn from it and do it better the next time.

Mistakes will happen in every business, but carelessness can be avoided and should be a red flag if it shows up.

Originally published at https://www.mickmel.com on January 30, 2023.



Mickey Mellen

I’m a cofounder of @GreenMellen, and I’m into WordPress, blogging and seo. Love my two girls, gadgets, Google Earth, and I try to run when I can.