What’s Working NOW: FB Pages and Groups
Everybody fears failure, because whenever we fail, the temptation is to use it as proof that one of our deepest, most profound fears is real– the fear that we’re not good enough.
I feel like this is particularly dangerous among entrepreneurs, because so many of us get into doing what we do because we feel called to, because we feel like whatever it is we sell is bigger than just a paycheck, it’s a MISSION. It’s who we ARE.
And when WHO YOU ARE doesn’t make money, it’s hard not to feel like…
“WHYYYYYYYY!?!?!?! What’s WRONG with meeeeee?!?!?!”
I totally get that. I have SO been there.
But here’s the problem with that line of thinking. You make bad business decisions when you’re thinking that way. You skimp out on stuff you need to spend money on, or you go the opposite direction and make rash decisions and spend too much too fast– because you’re not thinking strategically, you’re thinking emotionally.
And of course, thinking emotionally about business isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly can be if you’re not being emotional and SMART at the same time.
Which is why SO MANY successful business owners talk about how important mindset is. Because the “Maybe I’m not good enough” decision is rarely also the smart decision. The smart decision is almost always going to be based on something a whole lot more concrete than that.
So here’s the distinction that’s going to help you snap out of insecurity mode and get back into strategy mode a whole lot more quickly.
From now on, henceforth and forever, I want you to think of yourself as a scientist.
A mad scientist!
Just a regular scientist.
Or a mad one.
I don’t judge.
The idea is the same either way.
I want you to think about each new business decision as an experiment– the purpose of the experiment being to test a hypothesis and gather data.
So many of us waste so much mental energy waiting for a plan that’s guaranteed to work.
Guys, there’s no such thing.
I can teach you what’s working for me, other people can teach you what’s working for them, and that can help, but only if you do the work and test variations of principles you learn until you get it just right.
It takes time.
I’ve heard it said that our perception of failure is merely an underestimation of the time and effort required to achieve a desired outcome.
That means that if you think you’ve failed, all you’ve really done is made the mistake of thinking that this one experiment was meant to be your last experiment.
The truth is, even when things are working in your business, there’s no such thing as having “arrived.” There are always new theories to test, new ad campaigns to launch, new products to validate, new challenges that come up, new obstacles to overcome…
It’s an adventure! It can be really fun! But it can also be really stressful– IF you take it personally when things go wrong.
Experiments are temporary. Sometimes your assumptions are right and sometimes they’re not. When they’re not, that’s great because you now know more than you did before you started. You can learn from the results you got and improve things a little bit each time. That’s how success happens. It’s in these little course corrections and improvements. Maybe it takes 2 tries, maybe it takes 200, but persistence is the key.
Listen closely now, guys. If you interpret every failed experiment as some sort of statement about what you’re capable of, entrepreneurship will DESTROY you. It’ll destroy your self-esteem!
Do not let that happen!
Expect that sometimes your experiments will fail. Get okay with that right now. Plan for it. Budget for it if you want to. Because if you really expect to make a bajillion dollars on the first try… well, as much as we marketers love to tell you it’s possible, it’s just highly unlikely. Because we don’t know what we don’t know… until we do.
It’s only when you don’t know how to interpret your data that this whole process ends up being unhelpful to you. And I cannot tell you how big that discovery has been for me– because, see, I was so convinced of my own inadequacy that I tried to build my funnels as cheaply as I possibly could.
And don’t get me wrong, guys, I’m all for being thrifty. But here’s the problem with building a DIY funnel as opposed to using a platform like ClickFunnels, which is what I use now– the problem is, unless you’re super tech-savvy and can build in this functionality from scratch, if you’re piecing together a DIY funnel, you can’t easily measure your data. You might have some data from your ads, but beyond that, you have no idea. You can’t test one landing page versus another landing page. You can’t test out different variations on your order forms.
So you don’t know. If stuff’s not selling, all you know is how your ads are performing, which is really just the tip of the iceberg. And really, you would be SO surprised to find out the impact that these tiny little changes really can have on your results.
There’s a bit BUT on this. DO NOT mistake what I’m saying right now for me telling you that the money is in the conversion optimization– the process you go through when you’re split testing pages, like changing out the colors of buttons and the punctuation of headlines and the micro stuff like that. That stuff is important, definitely, but it’s never going to be as important as your message.
You have GOT to get your message right first. The real money will ALWAYS be in your message– saying the thing that makes people want to buy the thing. Period.
How do you know if your message is right?
That’s right, young Padowan.
If I were starting all over right now and I were broke as a joke, you know what I would do? I would start making videos like a beast. I would make a BUNCH of videos that represented my best guesses at what my content should be about or what my message should be, and I would put my last dimes behind them. I would split test them all with a super-simple ad campaign and see which ones people responded to the most.
Because you know what? After all of my experiments and all my guessing, you know what I discovered?
My audience told me who they wanted me to be. My audience told me what they wanted to buy from me. But it wasn’t until I put every last variation of every last idea I had in front of every last audience I could test that I found the right combination of things.
And they didn’t come right out and say it, either. The data was what said it. So let me bring it home for you here.
Get your message right, or at least as close to “right” as you can muster. If you have no idea how to make it right, work with someone like me who knows how.
Then test your message, make sure you have the tools and the pixels and the split tests set up so you can measure the effectiveness of your message, so you can tell what’s happening.
If you don’t know how to set that up, or what to test, or how to interpret the data you’re getting, I’ll say it again, work with someone like me who knows how.
But if you’re determined to do this on your own, then by all means, do it– just remember this: the success or failure of your experiments has nothing to do with the success or failure of who you are as a human being.
You are so much bigger than your business. You are so much bigger than your marketing. You can do this. I believe in you.
And if ever the time comes when you need a friend in this mad scientific journey, please know that I will always be here obsessively learning how to help you sell more stuff.
Want to Listen to the Podcast Version? Find That Here (or on iTunes, of course…)
QUICK NOTE: If you don’t have time to watch this or aren’t in a good spot to watch a video right now, make sure to pin it for later!