I’ve always heard this notion that failure is a part of business. That you can’t succeed without failing. I always found it unsettling to read and, having had plenty of successes without failures, hoped it was meant for OTHER people in OTHER industries.
I saw these Pinterest pins about it and read these quotes and decided they were there to normalize it for those who struggled rather than take it like a harbinger of future failure for those who were succeeding.
Until last week.
I talk to my therapy clients about “slowing down time” in moments where they want to react impulsively. Today I want to teach you how to slow down time in your own business so you can catch failures before they negatively impact your business and I’m going to use my own failure as a case study.
Here’s what happened: I worked for months on this three video series where I teach you guys some of what we talk about in the Abundance Practice-Building Groups. The script was solid, the content was valuable and I was excited but daunted to try a new format.
I figured out the tech end, I had a video editor lined up. I got my lights set up, took a few deep breaths, and hit record. It took five hours to record the first 10 minute video.
Film, not edit. I tried using a teleprompter for the script: too scripted. I tried putting key words in the teleprompter: I forgot important content. Somewhere in hour four, I had it down and recorded a few takes.
Videos 2 and 3 went faster, but I never felt alive doing it. In the nine hours of filming, I never felt connected to what I was teaching. It was more about hitting the points of the script. I’d tried the techniques of pretending my best friend or ideal clients were sitting with me. I tried pretending one of my groups was in the room. I tried, but I kept forgetting to maintain it in my effort to hit points A, B, & C.
Then I pretended the videos didn’t exist for a little while. My video editor didn’t need them yet so I didn’t rush into the process where I needed to watch the videos and say what time each slide needed to be put in. Honestly, I was avoiding it. I’m not usually big on avoidance but deep down I knew I was going to be displeased and I guess I wanted to hang out in denial for a while longer.
When it came time to get the editing info to the video editor, I was a week from launch. I sat at my favorite coffee shop with my ear buds, gritted my teeth and made it happen.
It was bad. Not train wreck bad but definitely not something I wanted to represent how I normally work with people. I happened to have my Mastermind Group the next day and played them a clip. I was met with initial silence and then, these wonderful women said what they knew I didn’t want to hear— I wasn’t me on video, I was totally wooden, it wasn’t usable. Honest entrepreneurial friends are such lifesavers.
Let me back up and talk about launches and time lines and why this was a big deal.
The type of launch sequence I’m using is a series of free offerings that are intended to help build my audience by providing information that is going to help move them towards their goals. Ideally it’s a win/win: it helps you build your practice while also building your trust in me.
The day after the third video, people are able to sign up for the Abundance Practice-Building Group. Sign up lasts about a week from August 14-20th and the first groups starts September 1st. Normally it would be an option to just push everything back a week or a month, but because I’m pregnant, I have to have the groups end when they’re slated to in February and don’t have that flexibility.
So after another great conversation with Joe Sanok from The Practice of the Practice and further processing and planning with my brilliant husband, Joel, I came up with a new plan to pivot and make something new work
. I’m clear that I am a people-person. Trying to connect with a red camera light isn’t going to work. So I sent an email to the local folks who have been in my group, therapists who plan to be in the next round of groups, and a few friends in private practice. I told them what happened and invited them to come to my office so I could teach this to them while recording it all.
Within a few hours, I had an office-full lined up for each of the three video recordings.
So, I filmed the videos which then got cleaned up and plopped into my website by Wednesday morning and though I “um’ed and “like”d and stumbled, I was talking like I normally do when you add a dose of nervousness to my teaching.
It’s a thousand times better than the one I toiled over for months. Each recording had a different group of practice-builders in the room, which was so awesome and for which I’m so grateful. Last minute is so not my style but all those years of working on flexibility is finally impacting something other than my relationships.
So, what can you learn from this?