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I’m an international marketing coach, top-ranking podcast host, speaker, interiors lover and black coffee drinker.
I believe one of the biggest traps for new business owners is the idea that failure is a sign of not being good enough and that it must never happen.
And so the fear of things going wrong stop you from taking that leap to do the things you really want to do, just because you’re scared that they won’t work out.
When in reality? Failure is inevitable. It is going to happen. And you’ll experience it time and time again.
The aim isn’t to avoid failure – it’s to speed up your failures and your bounce-backs.
In fact, I don’t tend to use the word “fail” myself, because it has such a negative connotation, when really it is an inevitable and even healthy part of business.
It’s shooting for something big and not quite making it, it’s an outcome that we didn’t expect or an idea not working as we hoped it might.
But there are honestly so many more learning in what goes wrong than what goes right. Trust me, I’ve experienced this enough times!
When I started my business, I was living in Ballarat. In my first year in business, I decided to host some workshops teaching Instagram for local small businesses. I put the posts out on my Instagram promoting the workshop, and without fail, my workshops would sell out.
When I moved to Melbourne, I thought, more people meant more demand and more workshop bookings. So I organised a venue and started promoting my first workshop in Melbourne, waiting for that quick influx of ticket sales.
And as much as I tried all the marketing that normally worked so well in Ballarat, after several weeks and the workshop date fast approaching, I had received a grand total of, wait for it, one booking.
And the funny thing is, sometimes one booking is worse than none because you then have someone accountable to!
So I contacted this lovely person, and offered a one on one session with her instead.
Funnily enough, I went on to run some private consulting sessions with this business owner, and when I launched my online program The Modern Marketing Collective, she was one of the first people to enrol.
But also during this private one on one session, I also learnt a lot about what this business owner’s challenges were marketing herself, some of them that I didn’t really realise people were struggling with, and what her desires were for her business.
This is invaluable for being able to really dial into powerful messaging in your business.
So what did this experience teach me? First of all how lucky I was to have a great supportive community around my business in Ballarat!
But also, how you must lead with value first, build your credibility, build connection with your audience before you can expect to ask for their money in exchange for what you have to offer.
It was a really good lesson to me to take my own marketing up a notch; to make my content better and to push myself out of my comfort zone more. I was a little fish in a big sea! No-one knew me and I had a lot of other brilliant businesses speaking to the same audience as me.
What I could have done after this so-called failure in successfully hosting a workshop is to stop marketing myself all together, to tell myself I can’t make my business work in Melbourne, and to go onto Seek.com… I think we have all been through stages of that haven’t we?
So while this experience could certainly be considered a fail, you can see how it really helped make my business better.
Failures are what we make them. I’ll say that again: failures are only what we choose to allow them to be. Don’t give them more energy than they need and instead have the humility and self-awareness to take what your failures are highlighting to you to adjust your direction and keep moving forward. Failure is going to happen, use it as a positive, fail fast and bounce back better.
I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as the traditional and ongoing custodians of the Kulin Nation - the place I call home, and I pay my deepest respects to their Elders past and present.