- Sales Video
- How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
- Pam Brossman
- VAVirtuosos with Tawnya Sutherland
Approach everything you do with your business knowing both success and failure are needed. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
You’ve got to be willing to fail at stuff. #vatipGotta Tweet!
You never know what’s on the other side of what we think is a failure. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi virtual assistants. Thanks so much for listening. You’re listening to episode number 33, and we’re going to talk about failure being a part of success.
Let’s imagine that we were successful at every single thing that we did for our business. We got every client that came through our doors. Every social media link we sent out, people read it. They re-tweeted it. They responded. They commented. Oh, just responses everywhere. Email is full, phone ringing off the hook, I mean, you are busy because you haven’t failed at anything. It is just amazing and it’s not stopping. It’s just going on and on and on and on and on and on and on…on and on and on and on and on and on and on.
How does that feel? What does that feel like to you? Think about that. Everything you touched turned to gold. You’ve got the Midas touch. Time to hire you some people, right? Yeah. Time to hire some people. Time to get help.
If you’re not structured, if there aren’t any systems in place, if you don’t have any type of harmony between work and home and your personal self, your family, everything, guess what? Failure is a part of success. Something is going to crash. Every hill, every mountain, there is an up; there is a down. That’s life, right?
So why are we so afraid to fail?
I’m pausing, giving you a chance to really think about that, because if we already know that there are ups and downs built in, why aren’t we ready to handle the down? Who says the down is bad or negative? Failure is a part of success.
We have to have highs. We have to have lows. If all we had was highs – high, high, high, high, high, high, high, if I spoke on this podcast in a really high voice the whole time and I talked really fast and I never stopped, you’d turn me off.
My voice has to have highs and lows, highs and lows, highs and lows, or if I’m low all the time. Hi virtual assistants. Thanks so much for listening. Thanks so much for tuning in. I’m really glad you’re here. You’d be like what? Okay, I can’t listen to her. Why? We need that up and down, up and down, even in our voice, even in our expressions. If you’re around someone that’s excited all the time, they may make you tired, or someone that’s sad all the time, they may make you tired.
Going forward, approach everything you do with your business knowing it’s needed. The success is needed. The failure is needed. They work together.
Have you seen that movie Inside Out? My husband and I, we went to see it twice. Loved that movie, and if you saw it you learned at the end that in order to have joy, we need sadness. They work together. In order to have our successes and appreciate them, to even know that it’s a success, you have to have experienced a failure.
Again, if everything is high, high, high high, high, high, it’s no big deal because it’s always like this. It’s always up like this. It’s always high. But if there’s a low, you recognize the difference. Failure is a part of success.
There’s a sales video. I don’t even know how I stumbled upon it. I might have just Googled it. I’m not sure. We’re going to include that in the show notes so that you can watch the video. It’s related to sales leaders, but I think it’ll help you as well in how you’re approaching prospective clients, writing proposals, different things like that, putting yourself out there, getting involved on social media, commenting in groups, and sending newsletters out. It’ll help you just put yourself out there.
Know that you’re detaching yourself from the outcome. We’ve talked about that in a past podcast about detaching ourselves from the outcome. Be excited that the action happened. Expect to take action, not knowing what the result is going to be, right. So we’ll post the link to that sales video so that you can see it.
Then there’s a book I want you to check out. It’s called How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, and it’s by the guy who created Dilbert, created and writes Dilbert. I want to say his name is Scott Adams. But you all know me; I’m a stickler with names. I hate messing up people’s names. I have the link to the book looking right at me, but it does not have his name. I’m pretty sure that it’s Scott Adams. Yes, it is. So there’ll be a link to that book as well. Check that out.
Check that out because, you know, you think Dilbert, everybody knows what Dilbert is, but this guy, his book is called How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. In the book he talks about how he’s an okay writer. His talents are okay, nothing big. But yet, he’s successful at what he does.
You’ve got to be willing to fail at stuff.
For us, what does failure look like? This is how we put it in a box, a little bucket, a failure bucket:
- A declined proposal.
- Client chooses someone else.
- A prospective doesn’t return our call or respond to email after we’ve talked to them.
- We send out an email or a promotion of something and no one responds or one person responds
IT’S OKAY! Our responsibility is to continue taking action and not to give up.
Believe me, I wanted to throw in the towel, give up, many a times, many a times. Like forget it, you know, nobody’s responding, nothing’s happening. I don’t know, and then a little glimmer of hope just to remind you you’re making a difference. You’re making an impact. Somebody’s listening, and it doesn’t matter the number. It doesn’t matter how many. Is it one? I’m cool with one. You know what I’m saying?
When your sending out your proposals, all it really takes is one “yes” from a client.
That one “yes” from a client could turn into additional projects, ongoing work, referrals, referrals from referrals, referrals from referrals from referrals, and from all over the world. It only takes one. It only takes one. But if we stand on the sidelines because we don’t want to fail, we’ve already failed because we didn’t move.
Failure is a part of success.
Let’s think about this. As a kid, I grew up in the 80s and I loved to skate, loved to skate. We would go to Kate’s Skating Rink. I can remember having birthday parties at Kate’s, going to birthday parties at Kate’s, and I can remember trying to teach myself how to skate backwards. I can skate backwards with one leg, like one leg will move. One foot moves when I’m skating backwards, the other one kind of coasts along. But you see those guys, I guess they were like roller derby guys, and both of their legs would be moving. I’m like, oh man, I got one, but it’s okay. I’m skating. I’m moving.
When you first learned how to skate, if you know how to skate, how many times did you fall? Forwards, backwards, sideways, on somebody, just falling all over the place. Coming off the skating floor, trying to sit down, falling, tripping, right? But did that stop you from skating? No. You got back out there. All of it was fun, right? The skating was fun and the falling was fun.
What if we thought like that for our business? Sending out the proposals is fun. Talking to prospective clients is fun. Even when they say “no” it’s fun. Why? Because we learn something, maybe in that conversation we learn something. Maybe in what we wrote we learn something, or realize we need to tweak this for the next time. The only way you know is to go…get a response.
When you learn how to cook. How many times have you burned stuff up? How many times are you still burning stuff up? I’m still burning stuff up because I forget. I can’t boil eggs anymore because I forget. I get wrapped up into other things and totally forget that I’m cooking. I can cook something in the oven, but if it’s eggs, forget it. I forget them. Even with a timer, you know, you’re not sure. Once you’ve had a soft, runny egg, you don’t want to mess it up. [Laughs] So if I turn on the eggs, there’s a timer. But it didn’t totally stop me from cooking, right. I have to boil eggs with supervision, make sure somebody else is here.
But it hasn’t stopped me from trying or experimenting or looking at recipes or enjoying them on Pinterest and different videos and on TV, just because I’ve burned something or caused the fire alarm to go off, right. How many times has the fire alarm gone off when you’re trying to cook something? You finished cooking dinner, didn’t you? I bet you did. It did not stop you, absolutely not.
It can’t stop us in our virtual assistant business. It can’t. Failure, overwhelm, burnout, don’t let it stop you. You can shift gears. You can change things. Don’t let it stop you. Somebody needs what you have.
This was heavily on me this week about failure being a part of success. I was watching a blabinar. I wasn’t watching a blabinar. I was watching a Blab replay. They weren’t calling it a blabinar. Blabinar is a phrase I started saying. I’m sure somebody else is saying it, but I started saying it for what I’m going to be doing with some events on Blab, so stayed tuned. You’ll hear about those.
But anyway, so I’m watching a replay and it’s about writing a book and having it on Amazon. A couple of years back I was really working on creating a book geared towards virtual assistants. I had the book cover designed. I had the whole thing. It’s somewhere either on this laptop or another one, but I was afraid. I was afraid no one would respond. I was afraid that it sucked, basically.
So it’s sitting on the computer, has a cover on it. I even had it Kindle ready. I had an editor look at it, and so there were some changes that I needed to make once I got it back from the editor. I had hired somebody on Elance and she did an awesome job. Brittney, she did a great job for me. I needed to go back and add some things, but I got afraid that it wouldn’t work.
Fast-forward to the other night on Blab, watching a replay with Pam Brossman and she’s talking about being a best seller on Amazon. Now, that was a couple of years ago I talked about the book. There’s even probably a blog post out there about a book coming. It wasn’t just a made up idea. It’s something that’s really inside of me to write, and it won’t let me go. Two years later, I still want to write books for virtual assistants.
So watching the Blab, and she says that there’s a contest, to enter to win this contest, and the contest, you would get her courses and a chance to mentor with her and be coached by her if you wanted. That was like the grand prize. I looked at that page, and I looked at that page, and there’s a video on and I watched it. I read over the prizes, what you would win, and I talked myself down. I was like, oh, no. Because it looked like an easy form at first – name, email, phone number, you know, easy stuff. Okay, cool.
Then you get down to the question, “Why do you want to write a book?” Now, I’ve got to tell somebody I don’t know why I want to write a book. So that means I have to go inside of myself and share why do I want to write a book? So I put my answer in there, and when I tell you I started typing, words just started flowing, flowing, flowing, and it was unbelievable and I thought, hmm, I don’t know.
I’ll read you what I wrote. This is what I said:
I’m going to write an educational book to show others it’s possible to start a virtual assistant business using the skills one already has. While it’s educational, I’ll also share my story and experience. This book will help get my message out and help other women who are busy asking tons of questions instead of getting started.
I have to write this book. It’s been on me way too long. I’ve put it off. Started it, changed it. I know it’s meant for one reader out there, but in order to get to that one it will reach many. If I don’t share it, I know it won’t leave me alone. I also know it’s the catalyst for future writing as I’m also to write other business related books using fiction to tell the story to educate and keep the reader engaged with the information. There’s a selfish reason as well. It’s for me. A reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to.
It will also be therapeutic. I have so many things in my head I must put it down on paper. Every time I go to write something, like the answer to this question. Words flow like water and I don’t want to stop. The writer in me is crying to come out. I thought blogging would do it, you know satisfy the desire, but it didn’t. I love a good story and I don’t always hear or read good stories.
That was my entry to this contest, and this lady, her name is familiar, but I was really drawn to her. I think she’s from New Zealand, lives in Australia, something like that, and I was just drawn to her. I don’t, you know, just seeing her on Blab, and I think she’s a multimillionaire and she’s done training with…gosh, my mind just went blank y’all. Richard, who’s the Virgin guy. I think I got nervous all over again. Richard Branson. Thank you. Richard Branson and Chevron and some other names that are familiar to me.
So I entered this contest and I just let it go, you know, this was last week, over the weekend, maybe it was Friday, you know, new things get of interest on the weekend, on Friday. It might have even been Saturday. But I sent it and they’re going to announce the winner on the 31st. So on the 31st, you know, there’s one main winner and 20 winners for 2nd prize. Both prizes are really good. You get training from her. You get, you know, some coaching from her either way.
The video comes out for the grand prize. I didn’t win the grand prize y’all, but it was cool, you know, it was like, oh, okay. It’s funny how I was holding my breath. Okay, I didn’t win. All right. Cool, I didn’t win. Crazy response. I don’t know.
So then late Monday, I think Monday, I got this email from Pam Brossman and the subject says, “A personal congratulations, Tiffany.” I didn’t get excited or nervous or anything. I thought, oh, okay, you know, email goes out to the list. I got it y’all. I got it. I’m just going to read you the first part. I won’t read the whole thing.
Good afternoon Tiffany, I wanted to quickly reach out to congratulate you personally. And acknowledge you for taking the opportunity and entering to win one of the exciting prizes in our competition. I’ve got some pretty exciting news for you…You see, your application has been nominated for the 2nd prize, a $6000 cash award towards a package I’ve never put together like this before.
Then she goes into detail about what the prize is and I told you that money goes towards training with her so that she can mentor you and show you how to get your Amazon books a number one best seller.
For me, it’s not about the fact that I got awarded this prize. That out of however hundreds of people, thousands of people, I don’t know how many people entered an application, that I am one of the 20 that got selected for the 2nd prize. It’s not the fact that I won. I’m excited that I won, but it’s not even the fact that I won. Do you know when I really won? I won when I entered the competition. I won because I took action, and even if I didn’t get second prize, let’s say that’s considered a failure, it was a success because I completed the application. I opened myself up.
Even now to share this with you guys, it kind of gets me a little emotional because writing is vulnerable when you do it right and you just let yourself kind of hang out there. It’s one thing to do a research paper or write a thesis or give statistics and all that, but when it’s personal, when it’s emotional and you’re sharing your story or someone else’s story, somebody in that case is being vulnerable.
I guess the risk of failure puts us in the position of being vulnerable, and maybe that’s what we don’t want. We don’t want to be vulnerable. We don’t want people to see that side of us unless we know for sure we’re guaranteed to win or stand up on the other side, and that’s not how it should be. How are we going to win if we don’t enter the competition?
I did that and I was on a roll, so the next thing I did, guys, is I submitted an application to speak at the VAVirtuosos with Tawnya Sutherland. I was one of the speakers in I think it was August 2014. I was a speaker for that and I shared about getting started on Elance, and that was really good. Some of you may be listening and heard about me from that event. I’m not sure. But I have put in an application to be a speaker this year. She does it twice a year, so I didn’t submit an application last November or even this April, or it might have been last November that I did my presentation and I skipped April, whatever it was.
So I submitted that and applications are still going in for that. I will keep you posted as to whether or not I got selected for that, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because submitted my application. I had to come up with a topic and what it would be about, and because I did it at the same time that I had finished entering the competition for being an author on Amazon, I was already in writing mode. So when I tell you more ideas flowed for what’s to come for the books that I have, it’s just amazing.
You never know what’s on the other side of what we think is a failure.
This book that’s been sitting on my computer for two years, It’s been sitting there, but now it’s time to break it out. I’m just like you. Failure can suck, but we’re not going to look at it like that anymore. It is a lesson.
If we can learn to skate or learn to ride a bike, all of that requires we fall. All of that requires we fall. You can even go so far back as to being a baby, but I don’t know how many people remember learning how to walk and falling. But as preteen or in elementary school, you remember riding your bike and skating, and when the training wheels first got taken off your bike. You remember all of that and what it was like and what it felt and how many tries.
Let’s do the same for our virtual assistant business. You’ve got this, you know this, and you can do it. Embrace the ups and downs. Failure is a part of success.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time.