When I was first married, my Father-in-law wanted to make sure that I knew how to maintain and/or rehab a home. He was a wise man because as a General Contractor, he always had my wife growing up in ‘projects.’ He taught me everything he knew and had a pithy statement to remember everything. Including “measure twice and cut once.”

Now I got really good at doing home projects as well as DIY rehabs so I never forgot the adages…until recently. I was invited to join a referral site which I will not name.  I thought this might be a good way to expand my potential customer base so I decided to “give ‘er a go.”

I asked a few questions from the inviter to ensure that it was not a phishing or some other nefarious site.  That checked out. Tick the box.

Build a profile.  Having done this many times, “okay.”  One of the first steps is to build your contacts by importing your LinkedIn contacts.  Hmmm, better ask a few more questions.  I thought I had it figured out so I followed the steps. What I didn’t realize was that I needed to control the import by clicking OFF people before proceeding to the next step.  Right after I hit the next step button, emails starting pouring in.

“What is this?”  “Is it spam?”  Why?  Who?  And of course the ever popular WTF???  Oops.  I had just measured once and now was having to cut twice.  Apology and explanation emails had to be written.  I had to think about the consequences of my actions – did I just blow an opportunity?  Did I just soil myself and my brand.

Now apart from the obvious lesson about be careful with your contacts lists, I also had time to think about how often I am asked to fix a situation that was “fire, ready, aim” or “measure once and cut twice.  It always starts with some impatience or hubris.  It always ends with having to do two or three times as much work as necessary.

Sometimes the best life lessons are ones that someone else had to live through (me).  My life lesson to you: Remember to measure twice and cut once

…and my Father-in-law was a genius!

P.S.  To all my LinkedIn contacts, my sincere apologies for you having to tolerate my mistake.