You may have noticed that, for the past few weeks, I have been awfully quiet. I took on a new project, and failed miserably. And looking back, I can see that it was a good thing…
Despite the fact that I failed so miserably that I had to scrap the project altogether.
At first it sucked…
This failure reminded me of all of the many projects I took on – which failed – in the past. It brought back waves of unpleasant memories. But what hurt the most wasn’t the fact that I failed – it was the time I wasted, which I could have applied better.
And of course that, for the second time in two years, I spent a LOT of time creating something of value to others – which nobody wanted.
(value + nobody wants it… doesn’t make sense, does it?)
But over the course of the following two days, everything slowly came back into focus – and my mindset was restored.
What did I do – or should I say “try” to do?
(Listened to Yoda, I should have. But do that, I did not…:)
I wanted to create a “written-for-you” resource service for internet marketers (packages containing a short 5,000 word ebook, graphics and some marketing materials). The idea has been around for some time, and some people do well with it.
Since I used to be a full time ghostwriter, I figured I could provide value. Combining that with a degree of exclusivity (limiting sales to 25 copies per title), would allow me to raise the price point to the level where creating one package per week would eventually support the lifestyle I aim for (with only 3 working days per week).
I created the website, sales pitch and graphics, started putting out content (while creating the first three products in the meantime). I started sharing the informational content and launch info on social media. Not having enough of an advertising budget to make a splash, and not having any joint venture partners, I tried every trick in the book I could think of…
But nothing seemed to work (or work quickly enough, anyway).
Note: At the start of this year, I deliberately started reducing my income (I was trading time for money at the time) to free up time to focus on other things (including this blog). It was a calculated risk – I needed the time to grow an audience, grow social followings, and create products. Not to mention I wanted to learn more. It worked well, but it also meant that there were no reserves to invest in things like advertising.
Eventually I postponed the launch by two weeks – but even that didn’t help. I soon realized that I simply wasn’t even going to be able to make a few sales at the launch…
And that would mean that I would have to continue working crazy hours to promote it whilst creating new products – which meant that the effort versus reward ratio wouldn’t be worthwhile. Not to mention that it was unsustainable (I already neglected this blog and its promotion during the launch preparation – and I’m not ready to sacrifice this blog for another project).
So – what could I learn from this failure?
Besides being a blissfully ignorant optimistic, I did everything the wrong way round. I should have gathered the audience first – and then made the offer. Alternatively, I could have saved up enough money to launch a solid advertising campaign first – if I wanted to have everything happen in a flash.
In short – my expectations were unrealistic.
What I created was good – but that wasn’t enough. Lesson learned.
Are YOU willing to learn from failure, or will you just “see the failure”?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to attitude. It comes down to mindset. It comes down to being willing to accept you made mistakes, and/or made poor choices.
Fair enough, there are exceptions. A farmer who runs into an unexpected drought may not have made any mistakes. But in most cases, we cause, or at least contribute to our own failure.
And if we fail to acknowledge that, we can’t learn anything.
And if you fail, and fail to learn anything from it…
You will probably fail again – and again, until you are willing to learn the lesson.
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