In part 1 of this series, we talked about competition. In part 2, we talked about eliminating busy work from your to-do list. Now we are going to talk about one of my favorite topics: feel of failure and criticism.
It’s true that there are a lot of real obstacles to starting a business. Almost every business owner has to jump over legitimate barriers before they see success. But what about the obstacles we create for ourselves? Those can seem just as real, but are they?
The truth is, we usually make failure seem so much bigger than it actually is. The first time I was invited to a webinar, I was sure I was going to make a fool out of myself. But after it was done, I was mad at myself for ever feeling that way.
Failure is inevitable, and most times it’s necessary to learn valuable lessons. The other inevitable part of success is criticism. The bigger you become, the more eyes you will have on you and that means more criticism. Find a celebrity that doesn’t have haters, or a famous athlete who isn’t constantly being criticized. They don’t exist. Criticism is a part of success for everyone.
Listen to this week’s episode to hear my thoughts on failure and criticism. I’m sharing some personal experiences and giving insight on times that fear of failure or criticism almost kept me from doing important things for my business. Let’s wrap up this series together.
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The failure is actually where the growth comes, where the true knowledge or wisdom actually comes from, because now you can actually speak from a place of experience.
So, part number three. Uh, hopefully you’ve listened to the last couple podcasts on, uh, the top three things you should not be worrying about. Hopefully things that in 2019, uh, you will never worry about again. Number one was all about competitors, number two was all about LLCs, trademarks, offices, uh, having a business address, business cards, logos, websites, all those things that in the end don’t make money. And today is probably one of my favorites, um, and the last thing that you should be worried about when it comes to r- really anything in life, but obviously this bus- … this podcast is all about business, entrepreneurship, uh, starting a business online, uh, or offline. It really doesn’t matter, because in the end most of us fear failure. Um, the … Uh, I know I still do, it’s just on a different level.
Um, you know, a perfect example: we, uh … I forget when this was, it was a couple of months ago, I’d never done a Facebook Live before and part of the biggest reasons why, um, I’d talked to a bunch of people, I knew they- they worked really well, that Facebook was giving a lot of, um, exposure to these things, that you could rack up a lot of views and get in front of a lot of people. Which are all good things when you’re, you know, trying to build a brand. And I just never did it and part of it was fear of failure. That we’d get on there and look dumb, or that we’d screw up the technology, ’cause I’d never done it before.
And like everything, over and over and over again I had to relearn the same lesson. That once we did it, I got done and I immediately was upset with myself that we hadn’t done it earlier, because I made it out to be a lot more complicated, a lot more scary than it actually is in real life. In real life it’s not scary, in real life it’s pretty easy. And in real life, if I failed it wouldn’t matter anyway, ’cause no one would see it.
Uh, I think one of the biggest things we do, especially as entrepreneurs, is we make failure seem so much bigger than it actually is and we make ourselves think, if I fail everything’s gonna come crashing down. And the truth is, especially online, if you fail no one knows because failures don’t get seen by anyone. If you run a Facebook ad that- that fails, no one sees it. Um, it’s not like you’re singing and putting on a concert in front of 100 000 people at some huge stadium and if you’re off key the entire time you’re embarrassed, uh, and 100 000 people are laughing at you. That’s not how it works.
Um, a- so tha- I think that’s the first lesson, is number one, failure is never, ever as big as we think it is. There- The consequences, the repercussions, are never as severe as we imagine that they’re actually going to be. Um, i- and usually the thing that we fear is so much easier than we … than we make it out to be. You know, whether it’s, you know, a new strategy, or- or actually for the first time getting behind a microphone, or getting behind the camera, or asking someone to buy from you, uh, or publishing your first blog post, your first, uh, podcast or Facebook Live, or getting your- on your first webinar.
I remember the same thing is- was 2010, um, did a webinar from my apartment. Ha, me and my wife had just gotten married, we’re in this little 900 square foot apartment, um, in not the best area. And I remember getting an invite to a webinar with a guy I’m good buddies with now, [Louis House 00:03:30], and was absolutely terrified. This guy was, you know, this clean cut guy that had been online forever, he’s a pro at this thing, and I’m this amateur, 23 year old kid and I’m gonna look like an idiot next to this guy. And in the end, you know, I don’t know how I mustered up the courage to do it, I guess it just kinda happened. And in the end I was frustrated that I had ever been scared of it, because it just wasn’t as scary as I thought. Um, and realizing, the way it all shook out, that even if it was a failure it wouldn’t have been that big a deal anyway.
Um, so th- those are the couple big lessons. Um, you know, uh, uh, I think another thing a lot of us fear, especially when we’re trying to sell online or build an audience or a following online and putting ourselves out there or our product out there, is we fear criticism. And let me just put something to bed for you, um, the bigger you get the more criticizm- cri- … more criticism you will experience. I mean, look at the biggest athletes out there. I mean, look at the most polarizing figures in pop culture today. And I- it doesn’t matter what side of the debate you’re on for any of them. I mean, even people like LeBron James gets criticized relentlessly every day. There’s people that love him, there’s people that hate him. You know, Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump, a- any politician, e- most athletes that are outspoken, any, uh, figure from Hollywood, a- anyone who has a voice, who’s on TV, radio, or anywhere. There’s people who just use Twitter or social media to absolutely bash these people and it’s relentless. If those people read those comments and took them personally, they wouldn’t be able to live with themselves. I mean, the- the- the things that people say on the internet are just absolutely crazy. Everybody thinks they have a voice, everyone can hide, no one has to look anyone in the eye and say anything.
The truth is, one of the things I’ve found to be true over and over and over again … and, you know, I- I go in and I look at the thousand plus email replies and all the comments on our Facebook ads and the responses to our podcast. I mean, we have content all over the place. I probably get 1000 people commenting or liking or unliking something that we put out there every single day. And you go and you look at these people that just sound like, you know … every once in a while you’ll find someone who’s so upset and they’re so offended by something. And in the end it usually has nothing to do with you. And I’ve run into a couple of these people at events ane when they look you in they eye, they … it’s like you’re friends. Like, people just get this- this rush of courage to be A-holes on the internet and I don’t know what it is about it. But just get used to it, expect it.
If you’re expecting it, it’s not gonna faze you. But if you’re not expecting it and you put out your first email, you put out your first video on Facebook and you get someone commenting saying they didn’t like the shirt you were wearing, or your voice is annoying, or your product sounds like it’s garbage, or you sound like you’re garbage, you- you’re gonna be shattered. And it’s gonna terrify you and you’re never gonna do it again. Just expect it.
You’re talking about putting something on the internet. There’s billions of people on the internet. When you’re dealing with that many people there are bound to be A-holes. There’s bound to be people who had nothing better to do but troll people online and talk crap about them. There’s people who are gonna be jealous that you’re the one on the screen that they found, and not the other way around. Does that make sense? You cannot let these people dictate what- the dream that you’re chasing after in the end.
We all struggle with this. This isn’t something that I have figured out entirely. I don’t like reading those things either, I just choose to ignore them and I choose to expect them. Every time we put something out I gotta tell my team, “Look, there’s gonna be unsubscribes every time we send an email. There’s gonna be people who bash us every time we run an ad. Every time we post a blog post there’s gonna be a comment that says it’s the worst blog post they’ve ever read.” There’s just people like that out there. But look, when there’s 80, 90, 95% of the feedback is positive, then it’s positive. You just gotta take the other stuff and throw it in the garbage. Expect criticism, expect failure. In the end failure is not as big as you think it’s gonna be.
And here’s the biggest kicker, this is the number one lesson, um, at least that I’ve gotten and that guys that are far wiser, more experienced than me, mentors of mine, have relentlessly bashed into my head. Failure is where the wisdom comes from. Every time you actually take action, whether it works or not, you’re gonna be pumped. You put out your first product and you’re terrified, don’t think anyone’s gonna buy it, and you launch it out there and it bombs and no one buys it, there’s something in your brain that you will realize that is actually excited because you just physically learned something. Something true, something you cannot argue with, something that you learned from experience, actual hands on experience. You didn’t read it in a blog post and someone told you this type of product just never will sell, you know, in this niche. And you half believe it, you think, “Oh that,” you know, “That makes sense,” but you don’t really know. You don’t know until you do. And if you’re too scared to do you nevel- never will truly know anything.
So, in the end, like … I’ve said this before on this podcast, some of the smartest people I know are the ones that fail the most. Like, there’s friends of mine that, yeah, everything they try just seems to bomb, but they’re some of the smartest people we know. And o- obviously if everything you does … if everything you do bombs, you’re- nothing’s ever gonna succeed, but I don’t know anyone like that. Everyone wins. Everyone that takes massive action, that fails a ton, wins. Everybody. Everyone.
I mean, just look at any major sport. Most of the best players, you know, most sports out there, the best players are … they’re not succeeding all the time. Again, I’m a baseball player. The best hitters ever to play this game failed 65% of the time, 70% of the time. E- Like, e- … But if you never pick up the bat and never swing the bat, y- y- you’re not in … you’re not on the field. If you’re too afraid to fail, number one, you’re scared of something that is not as scary as you think; and number two, the failure is actually where the growth comes, where the true knowledge or wisdom actually comes from, because now you can actually speak from a place of experience. When someone’s asking you for your advice, you’re not just gonna be the guy who read a blog post about it and can provide feedback. No. You’re now someone who- who tried that, who did blog, who did create a podcast, who did launch a new product, who did write their first webinar video sales letter, who has run a Facebook ad before. And it didn’t work and here’s kind of why.
That is someone that can give value to someone out there and not someone who’s just read every damn book on the planet about Facebook ads or podcasts and you’re doing business online. That person’s no- not valuable to anybody. There’s no experience there.
Do not be afraid of failure, that’s where the actual growth comes from.
So, like I said, this is the part three, the finale of things you should stop worried about … worrying about. Hopefully all of these things are things that you will not think about, worry about, or dread as much in 2019. And so, now it’s time to pivot. And tomorrow morning I’m gonna release a new podcast, that’s gonna be part one of the things you should be worrying about. Things that, if you want 2019 to be the year that you go from zero to making your first sale, or from making 1000 bucks a month to five or 10 000 bucks a month or beyond, you wanna reach the six or seven figure level or beyond. Whatever that next step is for you, this little mini series that we’re gonna start tomorrow that will carry through the new year, these are gonna be the things that are on my to do list for 2019, that have been on my to do list since I learned these things the hard way in 20 … or 2009, 2010, and 2011.
And when I made this pivot and started worrying about these couple things that I’m gonna reveal in the next, uh, little mini series, that’s when things started to take off. That’s when we went from zero to a million in 12 months after 14 or 15 months of absolute abysmal result, pure failure, day after day after day. Um, you get these things right and your business will turn into what you want it to turn into.
So, that’s it for, uh, this series, and, uh, keep an eye out for, uh, tomorrow’s podcast starting the next little mini series of the top things you should be worried about, um, and should be focusing on in 2019.
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