Don’t’ forget the “r”…

Details are extremely important as well as editing and reviewing your work. Let me explain a situation that happened to me several years ago that I can now chuckle about.  But at the time it was mortifying and almost career impacting.

In my previous 9 to 5 job position (which was more like 6am to 7pm) I was an HR Director for a very large and truly wonderful company. Part of my job at the company was to influence and often create policy to help eliminate distractions in the workplace. For example, a distraction can be employees violating a dress code and not wearing appropriate attire. In a recent blog post I discussed some of the reasons it is important to dress the part. Don’t worry, this will not be a post about what is and what is not appropriate attire in the workplace. 🙂

It became very clear that many people at our facility at were out of dress code. This is not necessarily a major infraction unless it becomes a distraction to others and work performance is affected. So, I was tasked to send an email out to the entire facility reminding everyone of the importance and reasons for a dress code. I was asked to copy several high-level executives within the company so that they knew the matter was being addressed. I had put off completing this task until the very last minute as I had other high priority items to complete. When I realized I had not sent the email, I quickly typed out a short note and without proofreading, I hit the big SEND button. Within about 15 seconds an employee ran into my office and said “Ernie, hit retract, hit retract!” I said what are you talking about? She repeated “hit retract!” Well, unfortunately I did not take her advice and decided to simply reread the email and see what all the excitement was about. Upon closer examination of the email, I realized that I had forgotten to place one letter in a word…one very important letter…and that I forgot the letter throughout the email. Part of the email sent out was to remind everybody about the appropriateness of wearing T-shirts in the workplace – when all were allowed to wear them, when not to wear them and guidance on any messages on them so as not to be inappropriate. For some reason, multiple times, I forgot to put the letter “r” in the word shirt. Gosh, do I wish I would have listened to that employee who implored me to retract the message. I simply froze and waited. Within a few minutes I got a lot of emails, a lot of chuckles, a lot of phone calls, a lot of texts, etc.  What made matters worse was that I was scheduled to deliver training on a completely different topic immediately after I sent the email. So, before I could acknowledge my error, I had to go into this training class hoping that the team had not read that email. I walked in the room to a standing ovation. Here the leader of HR said something pretty inappropriate in an email for all to read. Now, I had the reputation of being very appropriate in all situations so this was an unusual event and I believe everybody knew that it was an unintended and accidental error. But it happened. After my training class ended, I sent out a note to all profoundly apologizing for my error, asking for forgiveness and reminding everyone that not only is appropriate attire required in the workplace but also appropriate language. Everybody got a big kick out of it including my family. In fact, it was recommended by a member of my family to create a T-shirt with the message “Shirt Happens.” It all ended fine, I was forgiven and I never ever, ever, ever, made that mistake again. Now I realize as you’re reading this it would just figure if I’ve made several typographical errors, huh?

Why do I tell you this embarrassing story and what does it have to do with my online business? Well, I’m glad you asked! Details matter! I have always known that is so important not only to check your work but to make sure that you have covered every detail so that you don’t forget anything. Whether you are choosing a domain name, crafting an email, creating an email sequence, writing a blog, marketing your niche, completing all the back-office system tasks that are needed to make sure an online system is running smoothly, and so many other things. There are so many details and if one is missed it could cause a disruption in the rest of the process. Details matter! It is so easy to get caught up into doing something quickly and doing it in a way where an important item can be missed.  Last week, I blogged about multitasking and sometimes how that practice can get in the way and cause us to miss important steps in whatever we are trying to accomplish. My advice to you is to pay attention to the details even if they seem mundane or unimportant. I’ll say it again, details matter! No, that’s not to say that we’re not going to miss items from time to time but the important thing is to learn from those mistakes and try not to repeat them, as I learned the hard way writing emails at my former workplace. And, even now, every time I write the word shirt, I quiver a little bit and make sure that R is there because details matter!

How do you make sure that you don’t miss the details? For me, I run things by people that I’m close to or experts in an area and ask for advice and ask for those people to check my work. For me it’s difficult to ask for help but it’s something that I must do, especially as a new marketer I do this to make sure that I am doing things correctly and that I’m doing it in the most efficient, effective and appropriate way.

Below are a few ideas on how you can pay attention to the details to make sure things do not get missed:

Make a Checklist – Write down everything you need to remember or do. Check off items as you complete them.

Prioritize Tasks – Identify what needs immediate attention and what can wait. Focus on the most critical details first.

Break Tasks into Steps – Divide larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps to ensure nothing is overlooked.

Set Reminders – Use alarms, calendar alerts, or sticky notes to remind yourself of important details and deadlines.

Double-Check Your Work – Review your work to catch any mistakes or missing details.

Ask for Feedback – Have someone else review your work or provide input. A fresh perspective can help identify overlooked details.

Stay Organized – Keep your workspace tidy and use folders (physical or digital) to keep materials together.

Focus on One Thing at a Time – Multitasking can lead to missed details. Concentrate on one task, complete it, and then move on to the next.

Take Breaks – Resting helps maintain your focus and attention to detail. Short breaks can prevent burnout and keep your mind sharp.

Reflect and Learn – After completing a task, think about what worked well and what didn’t. Use this reflection to improve your attention to detail in the future.

“Detail is the key to perfection, and perfection is no small detail.”  – Leonardo da Vinci

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

 “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin

And of course, a few VERY BAD Dad jokes

Why did the T-shirt go to school? Because it wanted to improve its “collar-ship.”

Why don’t T-shirts ever get lost? Because they always find their way back to the “fold.”


Until next time, STAY FRESH, Friends!




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26 thoughts on “Don’t’ forget the “r”…”

  1. I swear your jokes are getting worse. LOL. (Please don’t stop, though.)
    That was a great story, it literally made me laugh out loud. What a classic; the head of HR making such a blunder. I think the T-shirt idea was a great way of concluding the episode. I love it -Shirt Happens. Priceless!
    Personally, I always read through what I’ve written two or three times before I publish, to be sure, to be sure.

    1. Hi Andy – Yep, the jokes are getting worse but they’re not going to stop. This is much to the dismay of the people around me. 🙂 Yes, it is so smart to double check and sometimes triple check your work. I usually do this to the point of obsession at times, but it just figures it would be that one time that I miss. Oh well we can all learn from our mistakes. Thank you so much for your visit and have a great week.

  2. Ernie… thank you for being so humble to share your embarrassing story so that I could have a laugh this morning! I had a good laugh… thank you… namely because of course I can definitely relate! I have a great attention to detail, however, like you, I have made ginormous errors, simply by not checking my work. Details are so important, and I’ve always said that “the small things really are what makes the difference… and the small things really aren’t necessarily so small.” I really appreciate your insight, particularly from the vantage point of that of an HR Director 😂
    Each and every week I thoroughly enjoy your words of wisdom. Thank you for yet another impactful message!

      1. Yep, shirt happens! I find that if I don’t laugh at myself, I can get pretty bottled up and uptight. I also find that others like laughing at me as well. 🙂 Unfortunately, I have many embarrassing stories and this was pretty far down on the list. Maybe I’ll share some of the others one day. I’m glad you got a chuckle! Yeah, checking work is so important. Right now, I’m finding that through this venture, I don’t really know what to check sometimes. I’m so glad I have a supportive mastermind group that I can learn from and that I can bounce things off of when needed and not feel judged or made to feel inadequate. Thank you for your visit and for your very kind words. Have a great day and week!

        1. Sarah goulding

          This is brilliant and it brought a huge smile to my face. Thank you so much for sharing. I too had a similar experience when I was a teacher. I sent a message to all the parents reminding them to bring their wellies into school apart from the computer sent an ‘I’ where the ‘e’ should have been. I was the laughing stock for weeks….,
          The small details are essential and always make the difference, and normally what everyone remembers. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it made me laugh so much. The list is really helpful to ensure it all runs smoothly! Hopefully!

          1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your visit! I have to admit I felt very bad for you as I read your comment and had a cringe moment. While I can relate, it is still rather awkward, isn’t it? Details do matter and I hope I always remember that. Have a fantastic week, my friend!

  3. Regina Burton

    Ernie thanks for sharing one of your most embarrassing moments. I was laughing so much the tears were running down my face! It sounded like your business colleagues were very supportive of you.
    Thanks for the list of ideas about what to pay attention to in our business.

    1. Hey Regina – I’m so glad I made you laugh today. Every time I think about this event, I laugh as well. Yes, details are so very important and I’m glad we have reminders, even embarrassing ones, to highlight the importance of being thorough. Have a great day and week!

  4. What a fantastic story! Thank you so much for sharing; you started my day off with a smile and a big laugh!!!
    I completely agree with the importance of details and thorough editing. Your experience serves as a vivid reminder that small mistakes can have a big impact, but they also provide valuable learning opportunities. Another thing I would love to share is that sometimes mistakes turn into gold… This happened with the Jenny stamp. A small printing error made this stamp go from 24 cents to 184,000 in 2009!

    1. Alison – I am so glad I gave you a laugh this week. Also got a good laugh remembering and writing about it for my blog. Unfortunately, I have a lot more embarrassing moments that I could write about. It’s not that I’m a klutz or clumsy it’s just that I do a lot of silly things and then for some reason, I’m willing to talk about it. The Jenny Stamp, I had not heard about that and I am very curious now. That’s a really good way to look at things in that you never know how something is going to turn out. Thanks for your visit and have a great week!

    1. Thanks, Kate! You got it. If I ever decide to print out a shirt you were on the list. I’m glad you are enjoying the weather and I wish you a fantastic week!

  5. Well Shirt! That was a mighty fine post.

    I can totally relate to your faux pas. Back in early 2021 I found myself looking for work. But I was finding that getting beyond the wall of HR bots was insurmountable. Therefore I started looking outside the box and I found a position that I truly had passion for.

    The position called for great attention to detail and I knew I was the man for the job. I prided myself on my organizational skills and I used methods in my every day work where I could draw on me being very detail-oriented.

    I crafted up a compelling cover letter and given the position was in an industry that was quite different to my actual experience – I altered my resume that included a change of address as I had just moved six months prior.

    I was ecstatic at receiving an email directly from the company owner the very next day and his email started out great in identifying my enthusiasm for the position.

    Then the disgust in myself was immediate – when the owner stated that great attention to detail is required for the position and he found myself to be ineligible as he pointed out that the address on my resume was incorrect. My address was something like 123 Main Street NW. And I missed the NW part. We had a short email volley after that but the owner was firm on his stance.

    You pointed out a multitude of online business tasks that require great attention to detail. And the take-away for me is to continue to be viligant in checking over my work and ensuring all the details are covered.

    The details do matter and your readers best be heeding your advice on the matter!

    1. Uggghhh, I am so sorry that you had that experience with that HR Guy. HR as my former profession and there were quite a few characters in that field. Attention to detail is important but at the same time it is also important to no intent and to know when to give some leeway. Thanks for your visit and have a great week!

  6. Been there, done that…. many times. My arch enemy is auto-correct while texting. I have to triple check everything I write or I’ll send messages which could easily be misinterpreted. Without my glasses I still text things that result in lots of apologies. Thanks for the laughs.

    1. Hi Michael, yes – auto correct can sometimes drive me nuts. I’m glad you actually brought this up because sometimes auto correct makes things worse, huh? But, it’s always good to check again just in case. Thanks for your visit and have a great week!

  7. Ernie,
    What a funny but relatable story. Yes details DO matter. I like to keep a list of tasks I want to complete. Regarding multitasking, I attempt to complete one task before moving on to the next. I double check and triple check my emails or correspondence. Sometimes it is that nasty autocorrect that gets me in trouble.

    1. Hi Sherri – I rely on myth on lists more and more. They only help me keep organized. I am also finding I’m forgetting more as I age a little bit. 🙂 But that’s just me. Double checking and triple checking are a part of my life now and that’s OK. And I can relate to your auto correct comment. Sometimes it tries to read your mind unsuccessfully. For the visit and have a great week!

  8. Hi Ernie,

    What a great read! Thank you for sharing this humorous yet insightful story. It’s a fantastic reminder of how important attention to detail is in any line of work, especially in online marketing. Your tips on staying organized and ensuring accuracy are incredibly valuable. The checklist and double-checking methods have been particularly helpful for me in avoiding similar mishaps. I appreciate the practical advice and the laughs from your dad jokes! Keep up the excellent work and thanks again for the great post!


    1. Hi Meredith – Thanks for your visit! Yes, it was rather funny at the time and continues to be great material for my family to tease me about when they wish. Staying organized is key especially when you get lost and you’re new at something. I’m still rather new in affiliate marketing and as long as I’m organized at least I have that to rely on so I don’t get confused. Have a great week!

  9. Ernie, Thank you for sharing this story! It’s a great reminder of how important it is to pay attention to the details, no matter how small they may seem. Your experience highlights that even seasoned professionals can make mistakes, but what matters is how we handle them and learn from them. I appreciate your practical tips on staying organized and avoiding errors. I’ll definitely keep these in mind as I work on my own projects. the joke need work lol.. thanks, Atif

    1. Hi Atif – Thank you for your visit to my blog post! Your support and encouragement is always appreciated. While I was highlighting the importance of details and why they matter, I like how you also bring up the point that it’s how you respond to your mistakes. Thanks for catching this very important point. Great day, my friend!

  10. Wow, Ernie, that is one hell of a story. I can only imagine how embarrassing you must have felt. It is a little funny, though. When you think about an HR director, you don’t see that kind of thing very often, but it sounds like you handled it well, and everyone had a good chuckle over it. We’re all human, and it happens to the best of us. Shirt definitely happens. Lol. I have Grammarly as an extension on all my web browsers, so no matter what program I’m using, Grammarly is there to point out my mistakes. I purchased a yearly package and can’t live without it. It’s been my lifesaver. It’s even helping me with this comment as I type… As always, I look forward to your content, Ernie. Great post!

    1. Hi Vanessa – Yeah, that was one interesting day! I’m so glad it turned out the way that it turned out and many still, from time to time, remind me of that mistake. Actually, I’m glad it happened if you can believe it. You see, it really humanized the position and showed that anybody can make a mistake regardless of position. I forgot about Grammarly! I need to check it out again and see if it’s something that might be useful to me. Thanks so much for the reminder! And thank you so much for your visit to my blog!

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