Have you ever put a new idea out there — a new class, blog post, product, or coaching package — and not gotten the instant, positive response you expected?
(No need to be embarrassed. It’s happened to everyone.)
I’m curious: what happened next?
Did you burst into tears, have a little freak out, and declare that you’re quitting your business for good?
(Don’t worry if you did. We’ve all been there.)
Or, did you cock your head like my dog does at strange noises, curious as to why you didn’t get the results you hoped for, then set out to investigate with enlightened non-attachment?
If the first sounds familiar and the second sounds foreign, it’s time to learn a new approach. I have a game-changing technique I guarantee will help you see any unexpected, less-than-fabulous results in a stress-free, drama-free new way.
(Unless, of course, you prefer frustration, big upsets, and tantrums… It’s your choice.)
My First Big Failure
Back when I was starting out, I poured hundreds of hours into creating my first product. It was painstaking work, and I did everything I could to make it absolutely perfect.
Launch day arrived. I emailed my list, posted it on Facebook, and kept a close eye on my email, ready for the first purchase confirmations to roll in. Guess how many sales closed?
Day two? Zilch.
Day three? One!
Then every day after that? Nada.
Considering that I was trying to make a living with my business, this situation left me full of doubt and fearful of my ability to pay the mortgage!
If people weren’t buying this labor of love, what the heck did they want from me?
But for all my self-criticism, I missed the most important step: troubleshooting the problem.
The only thing stronger than my doubt should have been my curiosity. I should have asked, “Why did no one click ‘Buy Now’?”
There are dozens of possible reasons why my product didn’t sell, but I jumped hastily to a conclusion that I created the wrong thing. Maybe it was true, but maybe it wasn’t. I’ll never know because I didn’t get curious enough.
The Game-Changing Reset Button
When it comes to trying new things in our businesses, entrepreneurs can learn a lot from another sphere of professionals: scientists.
A scientist views her work objectively, with an “I’ll give it my best shot and see what happens” attitude. If she mixes two chemicals and the solution turns an unexpected color, she doesn’t take it personally.
Instead, she investigates what happened and determines her next steps.
It’s exactly this approach that will save you from freak-outs in your business. Because when you stop taking every result personally, you open yourself up to new possibilities, ideas, and opportunities. It’s the reset button your brain needs when dealing with failures.
Unfortunately, I missed this whole concept when I was first starting as an entrepreneur, even though I used to run scientific experiments for a living!
Working Like a Scientist
With my first product launch, if I had put on my scientist’s hat, I could have seen this so-called failure from an entirely different angle. An angle that would have been far more useful than worry and panic. One that would have helped me learn from my mistakes and improve things in the future.
You see, a scientist knows better than to let her experimental results mean anything about her as a professional or a person. She makes notes about the outcome and how it was different from her hypothesis. After all, it’s an experiment. She knows she may not hit it on the first try.
In fact, she must experiment in order to figure out what works and what doesn’t. It’s an essential part of learning.
Many entrepreneurs, on the other hand, don’t see failures as an essential part of learning. With their first product launch, their first time offering their services, or practically anything they do for the first time, they expect big things to happen right out the gate. Then, if and when failure hits, they make two very big mis-steps.
First, they take it personally, making it mean they are failures as people.
When we look at everything we do in our business as a reflection of who we are as people, we’re relying on our business to validate our emotional well-being. That’s just asking for a bruised ego!! After all, expectations without experimentation is a recipe for disappointment.
Your confidence and motivation cannot ride on whether or not something works out. Succeeding at anything new requires experimentation and reassessment. Tweet that!
Second, they jump to quick conclusions, such as “the pricing is wrong,” “I’m in the wrong niche,” or “I’m offering the wrong thing.”
Although some of those conclusions may be true, your first assumption about your lack of sales isn’t often the right one. As with my first failed launch, there are many things that could be causing your lack of sales. Hint: These usually have to do with not-so-stellar marketing, a skill that most newbies sorely lack, myself included! The remedy? Experimentation!
The reason you think you failed may not be the actual reason for the failure. Investigate, investigate, investigate, and avoid jumping to quick conclusions. Tweet that!
Failure may be inevitable, but it’s also a useful learning tool. Don’t waste time beating yourself up and spiraling into a pile of freak-out. And don’t jump to hasty conclusions and change your niche overnight. Instead, learn a new way: experimentation.
Experiment Without the Freakout
By now you’re on board with hitting the reset button that will trade out failure thinking for a scientist’s mindset, and you may be wondering how you actually put this into practice. (I’m so glad you asked!)
I have TONS to share on this topic. After all, I spent a previous professional career running experiments for a high-tech company.
For the next several posts, I’m going to show you how to become a scientist in your business, so you can build your business without letting failures kill your ego and your motivation.
Not only does calculated experimentation eliminate trucks full of drama, stress, and worry, it also helps you reach success faster in your business – because you can trade out dart-throwing for planned moves.
Stay tuned for several weeks of experimental how-to’s and tips for honing this winning approach to business (freakouts optional).
Here’s what I’ll be covering:
- Exactly how to experiment in your business, in my famous step-by-step fashion
- How to evaluate and learn from failures (and wins) to create more success in your business
- The difference between a tough challenge and a clear sign you should call it quits
- How to profit from your mistakes
- Desperation versus determination — and why one will kill your biz and the other will catapult it
- The entrepreneur’s go-to solution for dealing with the inevitable stressors and failures in business
What you’re going to learn in these forthcoming posts will change your business forever, so stay tuned!
In the mean time, as always, I want to hear from you
Have you experienced your first failure in your business yet? (This is cause to celebrate, my friend, because we all have to fail before we can succeed!) If so, how did you react?
With the mindset shift I shared today, how do you think you’ll handle your next failure?
What experience and advice do you have to share with others about dealing with failures in business?
I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got in the comments below!