It’s not always easy running our own business.
We have some good days when all seems to be in flow.
And then we have days when it seems we are pushing a ten tonne weight up a hill.
Last week was one of those ten tonne weight weeks for me.
I made an offer that I thought was compelling.
I had run the programme a number of times before and it has always received amazing feedback.
I thought I had presented the benefits well, the price was, in my mind, a no brainer – and yet no one, yes I mean NO ONE took me up on the offer.
When we are running our own expert businesses and put so much of “us” into the offer, it really can affect us if we don’t get the responses that we had hoped for.
It’s completely different from selling when we are employed – yes we might not get the sales bonus we were hoping for, but we don’t take lack of sales as a personal affront.
With selling our own expert products and services, it is very easy to take rejection of our offers very personally.
We start to think ‘nobody wants my help”, “maybe it’s all rubbish”, “I’m no good” and other demoralising and disempowering thoughts of not being good enough.
So what to do, sit back and lick our wounds and wallow in self-pity or take all the steps we can to learn from the failure and move on past it.
After a few hours of wallowing in self-pity, I chose the latter smile emoticon
If you are having a ‘pushing a ten tonne weight up a hill week’, here’s some simple steps that really helped me that I hope will also be helpful for you if and when you need them:
1. REFLECT ON WHY YOU ARE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE OUTCOME
I realised I was so disappointed with the outcome because I feel incredibly strongly about helping people in this area.
I know the hugely positive difference becoming the Go To Expert has made in my life and I feel called to help others do the same.
The easy thing would have been for me to give up on my Expert Authority work and continue with the legal side, as there is always big demand there.
But I realised that when challenges like this arise, ‘easy’ is not what is important. Being true to ourselves is what is important.
Tapping into my disappointment and how much I cared about this made me determined to persist, to up my game and to deliver even more value.
2. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER
I thought about what I could have done better.
In retrospect, my email announcing the offer was weak, it had no urgency in it, I sent it on a Friday (the poorest converting day for offers), the energy was all wrong and I could and should have done a lot more in terms of adding value before making the offer.
The webinars leading up the offer were based on another persons’ style of webinar and not my own – there was too hard a sell for my target audience and I don’t feel my personality came across – how could it when I was following someone else’s style…
I focused too much on selling “Expert Authority” and talking about helping people with the “authority journey”, but actually what I do is help experts to make more money and work less by increasing their leads, increasing their prices and helping to set up passive income streams, and I could have brought this out a lot more in the webinar.
There are no doubt many more things I could and should have done better and I will continue to reflect on this.
The important thing is to view any setbacks as a learning point. As Thomas Edison said – “I haven’t failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked over; what matters is how many times you get back up.
PS if you are struggling to think what you could have done better, seek feedback from your prospects – I did this and people were refreshingly honest with me (I asked them to be honest) and I gained valuable insights from this.
PPS trying to blame others, criticising, making excuses, complaining etc is not a good way to move forwards – take responsibility for the outcome and see what you could have done better
3. GET SOME PERSPECTIVE ABOUT THE EXTENT OF YOUR FAILURE AND HOW GOOD YOUR LIFE IS
It occurred to me as I was in my first few hours of self-pity that I had a roof over my head, some tasty food in the fridge and family and friends that love me. Plus a whole lot more to be utterly grateful for.
I thought of the plight of the Syrian refugees and of all of the people in the world who were not as fortunate as me and suddenly my doubts and concerns seemed completely irrelevant, insignificant and petty.
I thought about how big my ‘failure’ was in the grand scheme of things and realised that I had experienced many bigger ‘failures’ that I had picked myself up from (such as getting sacked from Andy’s Records when I was 17… devastating at the time…). Yes, perspective and more importantly gratitude is a great thing when you are down in the dumps and doubting yourself.
4. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES FROM THE FAILURE
The quote “when God wants to send you a gift, he wraps it up in a problem, the bigger the gift the bigger the problem” came to mind.
And as Napoleon Hill said “with every problem or setback lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity or benefit; your job is to find it”.
So I thought about what I had learned from this setback and how it had made me grow.
I learned that sharing my experience and support in this area is not something that I ever want to give up.
I learned that I am not invincible and that setbacks can and do happen and that it is how we deal with them that is what is important.
I learned to deal with my fear of sharing my setbacks with other people (HUGE for me…! I like to present myself as invincible…) in the hope that what I share might help someone doubting themselves or their offers.
I learned that I want to give more freely of my knowledge and experience, without any expectation of reward and am excited about launching my Expert Authority podcast and regular periscopes. I’m going to be planning a 2 day conference for next year and also looking forward to expanding my audience to the US and other countries.
In short, I am more excited than I have ever been about how I can help people with my Authority training and mentoring!
5. SHARE YOUR SETBACKS WITH LIKE MINDED PEOPLE
I also shared my concerns and doubts with people in my Mastermind group, people who I have massive respect for, who shared their own stories about offers that had bombed and how they had turned it into a positive.
Not only did this remind me that many (in fact probably ALL) successful business owners have had many setbacks and failures, but it also gave me some good, practical ideas as to how to move forwards.
If you’re not in a Mastermind group or have people you can share similar stories with, just think about JK Rowling and Thomas Edison and how many times they failed, before you even consider giving up.
6. ASK WHAT IS THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU PERSIST?
When you are having doubts about picking yourself up and getting back on the horse, ask yourself what is the worst that can happen?
For me, I thought, well the worst that can happen is that no one wants to take part in my Authority training and mentoring ever again and I won’t be able to share what I know is my true calling.
If I do nothing and give up my work in this area, then that outcome will be a certainty.
But if I keep going, chances are this will not happen. I will learn more, be more valuable, refine my offer, make more relationships and try bigger and bolder things.
7. ASK WHAT IS THE BEST THAT CAN HAPPEN?
When you have asked what is the worst that can happen, it’s time to look at the upside and ask what is the best that can happen – and then how can you improve your chances of that best case scenario actually happening.
For me, the best that can happen is that I help as many peopIe as need it with their Expert Authority journey and becoming the go to expert.
If I learn more, be more, share more, give more, then chances are that this best case scenario will become reality.
8. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, SPRING CLEAN YOUR OFFICE!
My home office had become a bit of a dumping ground and I had been meaning for ages to clear it out and move furniture about to make it more practical and more aesthetically pleasing.
I spent a day clearing it out and moving furniture and now it is an absolute pleasure to work in – in fact, I keep popping my head round the corner when I am passing to have a quick look at it as it makes me feel so good and ready for action!
I have that feeling that we all had when we started a new exercise book at school and wanted to do our best writing in it. I can’t wait to get started and do my best work in my new tidy, practical office!
So there you have it – my 8 step “Moving Past Failure Plan” – I hope that in some small way it helps you if you are struggling with the same issues.
If anyone has any other advice about how to move on past setbacks, please share! And any personal stories about setbacks will be very inspiring to read if you are brave enough to share them… (gulp!)
It’s not always easy running our own business.