You made a plan.
You mapped it all out.
You found the right help.
You paid through the nose for rock-star graphic designer and genius copy.
Your auto-responders are all set.
Videos look fucking awesome.
Guest posts are ready and waiting.
Affiliates are ready.
You tease it out to your clients.
A bunch of people express interest your cool-whatever-ness.
You’re all a-flutter with anticipation…
Bamo! Launch day.
First thirty seconds pass… no buyers.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Fuck. Refresh. Fuck Fuck Fuck.
Paypal shut down your account.
You forgot to upgrade to merchant status.
Website crashes for half your visitors due to traffic spike.
Fancy video fails to load.
Sales page has big grey box instead.
Buy Now button doesn’t work…
…your assistant forgot to connect the purchase link.
Annoyed potential buyers take to Twitter…
“Wish I could buy… oh well, guess @Yourname’s Cool-Whatever-Ness. Oh well, probably wasn’t worth it anyway.”
Email box reaches capacity… you recall your web guy saying something about increasing storage a while back. It was on your list… somewhere.
Breathe. You can do this. One thing at a time….
Connect Buy Now Button.
Tweet apologies. Assure world that Cool-Whatever-Ness is ready and waiting for them to get all excited again and buy! Buy! Buy!
Fingers are blue from all the crossing.
Moment has passed.
You sold two.
Let the tears commence.
Hope is dead.
Replaced by self-pity.
I have had some WHOPPER failures. My first [as a business owner] was when worked on a course for three months solid. Selling it would pay my rent and bills for the next several months. On launch day, I was down to $11 in my bank account. It HAD to work. There was no Plan B.
I had several hundred people on the pre-launch interest list, and a lot of buzz. I did all the right stuff… creative launch, lots of build-up. My business coach was on-board. I wasn’t even a little bit worried.
I sold none.
And nothing actually even went wrong… I just totally misjudged the whole tamale. Most likely it was too expensive, too heady, too confusing… too something. The point is, we ALL get it wrong sometimes. I got cocky. I thought that I had hit the point where at least some people would buy whatever I’m selling. It took this experience to realize what a fucking pile of poo THAT is. It’s not real.
If you don’t put out the right stuff for the right people at the right time, it will fail. Period. It doesn’t matter how big or small your list is.
So what did I do next?
I ran away like my hair was on fire. I hid under a rock for a while. I cried. Like stupid, irrational, self-pitying ugly crying. And I whined – A LOT. Not my proudest moments.
But, these ARE the moments that separate people who were made for entrepreneurship from those who aren’t.
A lot of people quit when they have their first epic fail. The crying/depression and self-pity only ends when they submit to the Craigslist Gods to help deliver them back to the safety of a cubicle.
Instead, I reminded myself that I swore when I started that it was WORTH THE RISK.
FAILURE IS THE RISK.
No one, and I mean NO ONE who has reached a point of success has gotten there without at least one catastrophic failure.
So I decided, I’m either a hypocrite or I’m in business.
I chose business.
I embraced my meltdown as the keys to Entrepreneur’s Castle. I had earned my stripes. I was part of the club. I tried, failed, dusted myself off and started again.
So tell me… how did you earn YOUR stripes? What was your first epic fail?