There’s a great article in this month’s Plane and Pilot Magazine by Patty Wagstaff.

That’s not a surprise, there usually is a great article in Plane and Pilot by Patty Wagstaff.

What IS a surprise is that this article applies equally to flight safety and marketing.  Seriously.

The article describes an incident at an airshow where Patty’s Extra 230 suddenly developed a lot of extra drag during a knife-edged spin.

What could have been a life-ending event was handled with a safe landing and refastening of the cowling, because Patty immediately recognized and responded to the problem.

In the article, she describes how she had been distracted from her usual procedure.   A local TV station asked for an interview for the event (the Dayton Airshow, with an audience of 100,000 people)  and the Patty genially obliged.

At the reporter’s suggestion, she unbuttoned the cowl for a better photo opportunity, and forgot to completely fasten the cowling.

We all get distracted. We forget things. In fact, distractions happen so often that we probably need to practice for them. When I’m instructing, I purposely distract my students and do things like chatter away on short final, much to their annoyance, for this very reason.

-Patty Wagstaff

It happens to us in marketing as well.  We think, “This client is so sophisticated we don’t need to walk through the basics with them.” or “This company has already had their site optimized, we don’t need to go through all that again – we can just dive right into the work they need done right away.”

Every time we shortcut our procedures, we end up regretting it, chalking up another go-around, and starting again.

Good procedures are there for a reason – they’re developed over time by developing a set of best practices. They’re a kind of shorthand that help us avoid mistakes and rework.

Over time, we’ve developed a complete set of procedures for evaluating a new client’s marketing situation, objectives, and competition.  We don’t skip this procedure.  At least not anymore.  🙂

One more great quote from the article –

Mistakes  . . . are a creative way to explore potential or “propel” you forward into a new direction.

I have a lot of gratitude for mistakes . . . When I screw up, it’s just one more thing I don’t have to repeat.

– Patty Wagstaff

Isn’t it great that flying keeps us humble?

Read Patty’s article in Plane & Pilot.