I hate to go here in today’s article… I really do. I prefer to keep things positive, and I always like to talk about upside potential and possibility. But I’m also committed to keeping it real. And perhaps my straight talk will free some of you.
2014 was tough for me. I expanded in many ways, and I failed more than I’ve ever failed before.
It’s easy to focus on what worked because many things did work, but I want to let you in on a little secret about my own personal failure this week.
This year I learned firsthand that the more you expand the more you fail. This makes numerical sense, right? Even if your success rate goes up, the more people you reach, the more people that you work with will ‘fail.’
I was talking with a dear friend of mine who I hadn’t talked with in awhile. She’s a new entrepreneur, and we were exchanging stories. She was asking me about my latest business experiences, and I confided how much challenge I faced last year. And that the challenge was mostly on the inside.
She is a great coach, and together we explored why, even though I’m on the other side of the ‘tough stuff’ for the time being, it was still bothering me. And here’s what I came up with. Even though I know better and even though I teach other people to let go of this, I was afraid that people would find out about my ‘failures.’
Now I have to preface this with a statement that I don’t actually believe in failures. Everything is for the highest good. Everything. But it sure felt like I failed.
So how did I fail?
I served more clients in my business in 2014 than ever before. I created a new program that allowed me to reach more people. I hosted a larger event, and people at that event decided they wanted to coach with me. They got to know me, but I didn’t get to intimately know them before we started our work together. Some were amazingly committed. Some have grown and shifted by leaps and bounds and their life will never be the same.
And some weren’t and didn’t.
Some lacked integrity around money and didn’t take their commitment seriously. Some were afraid to have the real conversations they needed to have with themselves or the people in their lives, making it impossible for them to step into their aligned business. Some refused to ask for and receive help, or take the action they needed to take to become visible.
And it broke… my… heart…
I am someone who sees the full potential of someone unfold before me intuitively almost immediately when I meet them. And I’ve learned that the art of guiding people as a coach is to really understand which pieces of their greatness they are willing and able to see and receive, and help them to discover their Truth. We can’t make someone see what they aren’t ready for. No one can. You can lead a horse to water as they say…
I share this with you because here’s what I want you to know. You will work with people that you love, respect, and admire, and you will watch them make the baffling decision not to use you to your fullest and not to get the result that you can so easily see they could get if they were willing.
That’s not about you, that’s about them. And you can’t focus on them. You’ve got to focus on the EVEN GREATER percent that win. I had more awesome stories of victory last year than ever before as well. And you do too.
Here are a few ‘failure’ tips for you:
- Keep your focus on those who are winning. We get what we look for – watch the ones who are winning. Speak to, teach to, and develop offerings for those people.
- Give people back their power. If you feel you can make someone succeed, you’re taking their power away – give it back to them and allow them to choose freely whether to win or lose.
- Screen high-level clients for ideal fit. Ideally you’ve got your business set up such that you have different levels offerings at different commitment levels, and as someone works their way up with you, you have a chance to screen them. If not, be sure you have a checklist or guidelines for how to recognize an ideal client and how to identify one that is not likely completely value your guidance.
- Accept your limitations. This is one area where I say embrace your limits. If you had super-human vision you may be able to see that someone is not as committed as they proclaim to be, but there will always be people who are highly skilled at ‘presenting well.’ They will sound exactly like your ideal client, but they don’t have the real experience or desire to back it up. Cut yourself some slack. You probably see the good in people, and I know you weren’t trying to sell someone something they didn’t need. Sometimes it’s just tricky.
- Have good contracts. Hold people to what they said they would do. I have to believe that reason people don’t take their word seriously is that too many people have let them off the hook in the past. Be crystal clear in your contracts about how you work, and what is your client’s responsibility.
- Trust all that unfolded is for good. Just because someone may not have stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park when they worked with you, it doesn’t mean you didn’t serve your divine purpose in their life. Maybe they needed someone to hold them accountable to their word. Maybe they needed the experience of being “fired” by you as a client to help them wake up. Maybe they will come back around to get it complete. I once had a client who wanted to shrink back and disappear, and not honor her payment. I held her to it. It took her some time to complete it. Later she came back to me and let me know that my holding her to that agreement forever changed her business. All is unfolding perfectly, including the ‘failures.’
- Celebrate failure because it means you took action. Enough said.
I’ve never taken a program that ‘didn’t work for me.’ EVER. I always get the juice out of everything I do. There is always learning and growth, and I always play full out as if all of my skin is in the game. And that is why I am successful. That is the type of client YOU want to look for.
One of the greatest benefits of last year for me has been recognizing exactly which clients I don’t want in my programs, and looking at the clients I do have and knowing that their level of integrity will absolutely ensure their ultimate success.
The bigger you play, the more you’ll encounter people who are playing small. And you’ll want to try to help them, but really you want to let them go, and trust that your big players are right around the corner and waiting for you.
And I GUARANTEE that the people in your industry with tons of success stories are no different than me, or you. They’ve got as many ‘failures’ and more. I know because I’m friends with them and I hear their stories too! And I know because sadly I’ve learned the hard way about people. They aren’t all like us. They don’t all walk in truth, and they don’t all always have the courage to step through fear to become who they could be.
Go ahead and let your heart break just a little. And then go ahead and let yourself off the hook. Focus on those that win, and design your next campaign to speak right to the heart of that person.
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