We’ve all done it: invest in a product or program that left us disappointed, angry, or down right pissed off.
We feel let down, frustrated, and resentful. And we don’t like to be let down and certainly don’t like to feel angry.
What if I told you that terrible investments were great for your business and for yourself?
You’d probably think I was crazy. We think terrible products, programs, and coaching mean wasted time, money, and energy. You’re probably wondering how there can be an upside to this.
There is, and I’ll show you how to find the gold in your disappointments. Because there’s lots there waiting for you.
Your Terrible Investments
First, think about an investment you made that left you feeling disappointed, let down, frustrated, angry, or resentful.
If several come to mind, pick one for now.
Next, grab pen and paper and list all of the ways that investment failed to meet your expectations. Invite your petty self to come forward and say what you’re really thinking – even if you’ve been a little afraid to admit it. Don’t try to be enlightened or high-minded. Be truthful no matter how ugly it is. You don’t have to share the list with anyone.
Are you in the mix of ugly emotions? Perfect! That’s exactly where I want you to be. I promise, though, that you won’t stay there for long.
Stick with me. The gold mine is right below the surface.
Why This Is Great for Your Business
Now, look at your list of ways the investment failed to meet your expectations.
Start with the first item on the list. Ask yourself, “How can I make sure this never happens in my business?”
One by one, you’re going to work through the entire list and transform your business. I want you to make sure that failure point that left you angry never happens to your clients or customers.
For example, I was frustrated by a past investment because I expected it was going to be very intimate, but it turned out to be rather impersonal. I asked myself how I could take the personal element up a notch with my one-on-one clients. I came up with two very specific action steps that I immediately implemented. That was great for my business.
In another case, I invested in a coach who I expected to over-deliver (because that was how she advertised her work). Instead, I felt like she barely met minimum expectations, let alone over-deliver. I was very disappointed and at the end, resentful. I took this as a lesson for my own business and started asking myself how I could up the ante with my clients and really deliver for them. I strategized some very specific ideas to implement. This, too, was great for my business.
In essence, I used my bad investments to show me exactly how I could do better in my own business. I loved that this exercise challenged me to up my game. Tweet that!!
(I’m purposefully not sharing the specifics of how I have made coaching more personal or how I upped the ante, because it would eliminate the surprise factor for my clients, and surprises are fun! Also, most of what makes this exercise so powerful is determining what would best suit your clients and customers, as opposed to simply implementing what I decided to use for my business.)
Step through each frustration point for every terrible investment you’ve made, and see how you can use them to transform your business. That’s where the gold is!
Why This Is Great for Yourself
I’m thrilled that you’re on board with the idea that bad investments can be great for your business. Things are now going to get even better as I show you how bad investments can also be great for yourself.
Return to your list of the failed expectations from one of your terrible investments. You’re now going to ask yourself how you contributed to that failed expectation and what you can do to avoid it in the future.
Yes, this is about turning the table and looking at yourself. It’s not easy work, but I know you have personal development chops to do it, so stick with me!
For example, I invested in a program that I felt didn’t live up to the price tag. After I took action from a “great for my business” perspective and saw how I could improve things for my customers, I looked at how this was great for myself. More specifically, I looked at how I contributed to my own disappointment. Here’s what I found.
This program offered a live Q&A component and an online private forum, but I never participated in either. I was afraid that my questions would sound stupid, so I stayed quiet, missing out on the personal help I could have received had I asked for it. If I had taken full advantage of the program and attended the live calls and joined discussions in the online forum, I bet that the cost of the program would have felt like a bargain. Instead, I felt like it was a ripoff… and it was my fault. Ouch!
Turning the tables and seeing your own contribution to the frustration isn’t fun, but it can totally transform your perspective. And as the self-aware, go-getter, world-changer you are, this kind of work is essential.
Your willingness to be honest with yourself will help you move out of the disappointment, frustration, resentment spiral and into a more productive arena.
Where to Go from Here
You’re now equipped with the steps you must take to make even the most terrible investment a great one for your business and yourself.
As always, I want to hear from you. Tell me…
Have you invested in something that turned out to be a disappointment? Looking at that investment through this new lens, why was it great for you or your business?
What did you learn and how did you or will you use it to transform your business and yourself? Use this opportunity for some good ‘ol self-reflection and share your insights and a-ha’s below.
To be clear, this isn’t a place for complaining, victim-thinking, or talking smack about someone’s program, product, or coaching. Please don’t list the specific names of coaches or programs here, because that’s not what this is about. This is about self-growth and learning, and I can’t wait to hear what you’ve discovered.
I’m excited to read about your a-ha’s in the comments below, because we all grow when we share and learn from one another.