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One of the benefits of being in business so long is that you learn to take the so-called “failures” as part of the process.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t get disappointed.
That feeling you get when you’ve worked hard and something doesn’t go as planned or the way you hoped it would. This is when the little kid in you who didn’t get picked for the team or get invited somewhere shows up again.
The difference now is that you’re not that child… you’re the adult who chose to be an entrepreneur.
Knowing full well that things not going as planned is simply part of the process.
It’s what you do with those feelings and results (because no matter how something turned out, you’ve got some data to work with. That’s the beauty of an online business).
I’m going to share a bit of what I’ve been through this past week, how I’ve handled it and am still handling it, and how it’s leading to the birth of something new.
When Disappointment Leads to Clarity
I’m pretty transparent about most things in my life and business.
The more I share, the more people connect with me.
I also don’t have the energy to be something I’m not or pretend for the sake of appearances or feeding my ego.
I recently launched something that didn’t go as I hoped.
My initial feeling was a massive disappointment because I’d worked super hard to get to that point (this was a completely revamped version of Email Insiders, which went from a two-month cohort to a 6-month group coaching program).
A few months back I shared that I had made a significant investment in my business by signing up for a program and said I’d share more about that later.
Well, it’s later. 😉
The program was called “Fearless CEO” with Mariah Coz. I say was because they’ve had a pivot and gone back to the name they were recognized for (High Ticket Hybrid) because there was a disconnect with their audience.
I won’t go into a bunch of specifics on that because it’s not my business or place to share what they’ve shared with paying clients, but even know they were successful in terms of sales (high 6 figures in two months), they realized they needed to make some adjustments.
I’ve invested a little over 13k in this program (yes, seeing that and saying it out loud makes me cringe a little, but fortunately, the content, training, structure, and program are amazing. No regrets).
I changed the name to “Email Insiders Accelerator”, and went about doing exactly what I was supposed to (which was a LOT of work). The launch for this is through a live private training (they call it an LPT). To give you an idea, the Google doc to write out that training ended up being 35 pages long (there was a base template and I wrote out my content).
I followed the launch plan (they suggest not doing any paid traffic the first time), which meant I was emailing to about 10k people and posting to social.
I don’t have any final numbers yet (the cart isn’t closed), but the numbers have been disappointing.
I reminded myself that this is a big investment for people (6k) and when I invested in the Fearless CEO program it took me a few days to make that decision.
I held my live private training when I still had friends in town.
I could have put it off, but I knew I needed to get it done – because it’s WAY too easy to continually put things off or push the date out further. For myself, I needed to pull the trigger.
So naturally, my first thought was that I did this too soon (gotta love the ego and all the BS it throws at us, right?).
In many ways, I was massively grateful that I had friends in town because I made a very conscious decision to stay present and NOT feed the stories in my head and ruin the few days I had left (we also rented my therapist’s house on the beach and I wanted to soak up every minute of this location).
Let me clarify one thing for you… this was NOT easy.
I’ve got a lifetime of practice when it comes to telling myself stories that don’t serve me.
I’d already spent almost 9k on this program (I took the payment plan) and wanted to recoup my investment. In fact, I’d say that having that mindset going into my launch was part of the reason for the disappointment.
ANY time I do something with an expectation of a specific financial outcome, it bites me in the ass. Clearly, this is simply a belief. But keep in mind there is a HUGE difference between an expectation and a goal. I had an expectation and was a little willy-nilly about the goal.
My daughter, who works with me, nailed the social media (and quite frankly restored my faith that social media works 😜). We had ALL the pieces in place… except for one thing.
I don’t think my message was right.
Meaning, that I don’t think the results that I was selling matched the pain point of my audience.
Here’s the other thing…
I think I have more opportunities to talk to people about why they’re not doing email marketing, what is holding them back, and where they’re stuck.
I completely mapped out a solid program (some of the content is done and ready), but my gut tells me that something is off. And instead of guessing or trying to figure out what that something is, I’m going to offer a quick call to everyone who didn’t purchase (I’m also offering new email marketing strategy sessions – which are paid one-off sessions).
I’m on a mission.
I want to see people find an email marketing strategy that works for THEM. Their audience, their voice, and create a consistent strategy that drives traffic and sales.
It’s not rocket science, but I’ve definitely got some deeper digging to do.
And I’m O.K. with that.
How I Pivoted My Mood & Energy
This is probably not the first answer most people want to hear, but here we go…
I decided to.
It was as if I was observing myself and the thoughts that were going through my mind. I was very conscious of what was happening (side note: this is something I’ve been working on for a while and continue to work on… DAILY).
Thought management is EVERYTHING.
Nothing will impact you more than choosing to manage your thoughts (I talked about this in this issue of #FtheHUSTLE).
I brought myself back to the fundamentals:
- I have enough money
- I know how to sell
- I have other things to sell
- I LIVE IN FREAKING COSTA RICA... yes, I had to get a little obnoxious with myself
- Like everything else, this too shall pass
I do a weekly call with my therapist, so instead of waiting to talk to her the Monday after my friends left (we usually talk Monday mornings – it’s a great way to start my week and she’s more or less the only call I do on Monday), I texted her asking if we could talk on Friday morning.
I was dropping my friends off at the airport early Thursday morning and knew I’d have a lot to do that day (double-checking the house before returning the keys, unpacking at home, taking a NAP…).
I had intentionally left the weekend wide open to rest and get back into the groove of things (i.e., no social plans outside of taking my friend to brunch for her birthday on Sunday).
Even though I was feeling better, I wasn’t totally sure I trusted myself with my thoughts so figured the best way to anchor in and pivot was a call with her.
I was right.
It was during our call that I realized I had a strong belief going into the launch that it wasn’t going to do well. I had a preconceived idea that I needed to “do more work” (I know I’m not the only one with the belief that we’re supposed to “work hard” – mind you, I’ve been working hard all of my life. If sticking with this business for 14 years isn’t working hard I’m not sure I know what is).
She made me do something ridiculous…
I’m playing when I say she “made” me do something because she’s not like that. I was frustrated when I realized I had more or less set myself up for disappointment and didn’t feel like I knew how to change that belief.
She had me get up and do a dance like a little kid who was excited! I channeled that energy and danced around as if things had gone amazingly well.
I got so into it that I knocked over a glass of colored pens that sit on my desk. We were on Facetime and I didn’t do it in front of her. I could have just stood behind the camera and not done anything… but this was for me.
So I did it.
And my mood instantly shifted.
Later that day I wrote out two visualizations, then on Saturday I recorded them, put them to music, and have been listening to them a couple of times a day (one is specific about business, one is more general about my life).
That energy kept me on a high all weekend long.
The last thing I did (and continue to do), is to be gentle with myself. To honor what I did, and what I’ve created, acknowledge it was a learning experience, and recommit to the next time. I enjoyed the rest of my weekend taking it easy and was happy to get back to work on Monday.
How this Leads to Freedom and Something New
You would think by now that I wouldn’t doubt myself when it comes to self-responsibility.
But I still do… it almost seems too easy (see what I mean? There’s that working hard thing again).
Taking stock of things, looking at how you created a circumstance or how your response to a circumstance created something less-than-desirable, is really and truly ultimate freedom.
If you created it, that means that you can also create something else.
Here’s the “something new” that was birthed this morning (literally).
And this isn’t really sussed out in my head, but I’m going to share a bit about it here anyway (and hey, maybe you have some insights or thoughts? Feel free to share them).
The deeper I got into email marketing and newsletters the more evidence I got that most people simply won’t do it. This comes down to three things:
- They’ve decided they can’t so they don’t even try
- They literally don’t know where to start (blank page & blinking cursor anyone?)
- They don’t need it (i.e., they have plenty of leads and money to buy traffic)
I can come up with a counterpoint to each of these points, and honestly, who doesn’t need a subscriber list? (which is an ASSET)
But we’ll leave that alone for now.
My daughter and I had talked about doing a newsletter agency, where we created newsletters for clients. I don’t advertise it, but I do writing for clients (email sequences, copy, newsletters). It’s not a regular offer I put out because for years I was adamant that I was done with client work.
I still am.
Kinda. It really depends on the client.
That being said, I think I need to differentiate the email marketing & newsletters from my personal brand. Keep KimDoyal as a personal brand, with FtheHUSTLE being the primary message. I may or may not have the same offers on both sites (rebranded of course), but I haven’t decided.
A lot of people on my list or who have stuck with me all these years have gone through each of my rebrands. The WPChick, to KimDoyal (with a focus on content marketing), to launching the planner brand (more news on that later), to pivoting to FtheHUSTLE and email marketing.
I have a new free email course (Easy Email Marketing) that is doing well and attracts the right people for my email marketing and newsletter offers.
Obviously, there are plenty of people on my list that is interested in email marketing and newsletters (and the digital marketing space in general), but it’s certainly a broader audience.
I know in order to scale the email marketing & newsletter offers I need to tighten things up.
This also gives me the option to not have to be the ‘face’ if I position it as an agency (or productized service… in fact, we may target some verticals. More on that later).
I can use what I know to get it up and running, be involved, use my personal brand to drive people to the new business, and hire people to do the implementation.
This is all still swirling through my head and I really don’t know what this is going to look like, but I feel like it’s the right direction.
Wrapping things up
The purpose of this episode is two-fold: to remind you that you always have a choice in how you handle things and to continue my own process of reframing everything.
Disappointments, challenges, failures… whatever you want to call them… are invaluable. They always provide us with information, what we do with that information is completely on us.
Here’s to trusting the process.