Are you failing to fail?

Are you failing to fail?

I want to talk to you about a something a client of mine did recently, because I’m wondering if you’re doing enough of this yourself?

The thing she did was to fail spectacularly at something.

We’ve only recently started working together and one of the first things I advised her to do, and that she was willing to go out and try (despite some discomfort) failed spectacularly.  I’m so proud of her for this and believe there’s a lot to celebrate from this failure, so let me tell you why.

Watch the video below or scroll down to read more.

What does failure look like?

We are often so scared to fail or get something wrong that we don’t get out there and try things, which means we never know if something will work or not.

Let me illustrate this by telling you what happened with my client Mary (*not her real name). She’s been running workshops for a while and has been having no problem filling them – and even better they are profitable in their own right.  However, one of the big focuses for Mary at the moment is to do more of the thing that will make the biggest impact to her actual revenue.

I always encourage my clients to go for the “low hanging fruit”, in other words the easiest and quickest thing to bring in more money. In Mary’s case it was enrolling more one-to-one clients and of course her low hanging fruit for this are the people who attend her workshops – there will be no group of people more willing and ready to work with her than the  people who have just spent two-and-a-half days with her, living and breathing her work and getting to know her.   So my advice was to make an offer at her next workshop so that her participants could take the next step into buying a one-to-one programme or package.

Now, Mary was not at all comfortable with this idea to begin with but she decided to give it a go. And I helped her to present that next step in a way that was as clear, compelling and “non-salesy” as possible.

But it didn’t work.

In fact in Mary’s words, “it went down like a lead balloon” – but here’s why I’m proud of her and why I believe this “failure” is actually something to celebrate.

1. She stepped up.

She went outside her comfort zone to stretch herself and try something she hadn’t done before. There was no way of knowing what the outcome was going to be without giving it a go.  She certainly wasn’t going to make sales at her workshop by just talking and thinking about it – she had to take action.

2. She’s learned a lot.

Through the process of giving it a go, my client has had insights into – the structure of the workshop itself so that she can better serve her audience and so that it can better support her in making her offer.the participants themselves, which has given her new clarity about a slightly different offering that would have been more suitable for them.

  • she was also able to speak to those clients afterwards to get their feedback on the workshop, the offer and their response to the offer.
  • she developed an awareness of how she behaved while making the offer – in terms of confidence and eye contact – that she knows she can improve on the next time.

So with all this learning, she’s certain to do a much better (and much more confident) job of making the offer next time – and as a result, there is a very good chance she’ll get a much better outcome too!

3. She’s created awareness.

Now every single participant at that workshop knows there is a next step, what that looks like, and what the investment is. It’s very probable that some of those participants just weren’t ready to say yes on the day, but they will be later on. And in fact some of them did express an interest when followed up with after the workshop – and two of them are in conversation with Mary about possibly joining the 121 programme. This simply wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t offered it to them in the first place.

Woman looking out the window

How can you “fail forward”?

If Mary hadn’t been willing to give it a go, she would never have learned these lessons so that she can go on to do a better job next time.   It means she’s “failing forward”, learning as she goes.  And the next time she makes that offer she can only get bigger and better results.

And I’m proud of her because she was willing to step outside her comfort zone and try something new, even without any guarantee of the outcome.

So I have one question for you…

What can you fail at in order to take your business forward?

  • What are you not doing that you know would help your business?
  • What are you currently putting off because you’re scared of failing?

And most importantly:

What are you prepared to fail at in the next couple of weeks in order that you can learn from it and, improve and move forward?

Over to you…

I’d love to know what you’re willing to fail at in the next couple of weeks?  Please do share what you’re going to do in the comments below!  I’d love to know!

Ready to go deeper?

I’ll be going deeper into the topic of “failing forward”, including sharing some personal stories, in the FREE Selling from the Heart Community Facebook Group, going live on Wednesday 14th March 2018 at 5.30pm (UK). If you’d like to be able to give more things a try and learn the lessons needed so you can move forward in your business. I can’t wait to see you there! Click here to join us live.

With Love & Gratitude,

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2 Comments

  1. Deborah Taylor on March 13, 2018 at 11:26 am

    The thing I’m willing to fail at in my business is the launch of my 1-year business book-writing and publishing programme (I still need a good name for it). Just to be clear, I’m willing to fail at the launch, not the programme itself 😉 This is important to me because I have launched programmes before and not got the result I wanted. The last time I launched, I didn’t give myself enough time and I hadn’t done enough preparation. That’s a learning I’ll take with me into the launch of my VIP 1-year programme, However, I won’t wait until I’m completely ready either because I’ve learnt that imperfect action outweighs perfect inaction many times over.

    • Catherine on March 19, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Hi Deborah
      Thanks for sharing and I love that you are willing to fail at your launch – because of course if you are not then you are also not available for the (also highly possible) success that will come from taking action. And I love your “imperfect action outweighs perfect action” mantra too – it’s the same one I’ve used over and over, even though I’m never 100% comfortable with the imperfection, I know that being willing to go with it means I keep on moving forward.

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