Last day of the month and I’m thinking about, thanks to a call I just hung up from, how we sometimes think we’re failing when we’re not. When we’re actually succeeding but not in the way we expected or planned to. When we’re actually succeeding but we just can’t see it yet.
File under: things take time.
We think if we just plan, execute step-by-step, that things will come to pass exactly as we laid them out. Like everything’s just linear, effect will follow cause in a predictable manner.
But so often, that just ain’t so.
We do all this work – you know, we set up the opt-ins, we create the Facebook ads, we build the shiny new product that we think everybody wants (or that everybody told us they want), we write the blog posts, we deliver the webinar, we launch that sucker – and yet. Crickets. We go from excited to dismayed.
Because our success didn’t come in 5 minutes just because we summoned it.
And it didn’t come the way we wanted. Or planned.
I know this one from personal experience, believe you me. There’s stuff I wrote or developed or planned two years ago that didn’t move, that didn’t go the way I wanted it to. But now, two years later, um, yeah, guess what? It’s happening, but in a completely different way. It's as if now, when I need a particular tool, when the occasion suddenly arises, I put my hand down and there, right under it, is that sword I made way back when, like I was planning for a time I didn't even know was coming.
For example. At the end of 2015, start of 2016, fired up by a certification I was completing, I re-did my whole business plan, created new offerings, had cute graphics designed and loaded up onto my website. I was all fired up. This was The Next Big Thing For Me that was going to rock my revenue goals, get me the reach I dreamed of so I could help more people.
And then, you guessed it:
More than once. And not just me. I also hear this story all the time from other people, from clients and colleagues. In this very mysterious way that we can’t control [wait, fuck, sorry: did you say we can’t control everything?], things go their own way sometimes. Lotsa times.
So today the story was from a prospective client whose website features a whole bunch of offerings that she doesn’t even sell. Offerings that she loaded up on there – guess when? – after she created a whole new business model in an incubator. And here she is now, feeling like a failure, because nobody is buying that pretty stuff on her website. They’re not just clicking through and paying electronically even though she set it up to work that way, like magic. Instead her people are actually scheduling time to talk, and end up buying something altogether different, a thing they want that she is uniquely positioned to deliver.
Because she's not selling that stuff she put on her website, she’s feeling like a failure even though she’s actually succeeding.
She just can’t see it yet.
That thing that IS selling, that is her business. All that other pretty shizz on the website can come down for the moment, should come down, and she should double-down on that thing that clearly her people want, since she’s selling it all while feeling like a failure.
Look at what's actually happening. Double down on what IS, instead of being sad about what AIN'T.
If your thing, that pretty thing you slaved over, that pretty thing you love so much, is sitting idle, don’t despair. It may seem to be coming to nothing right now, but in the future it may surprise you. Don’t throw it out, keep it by and you will very likely have need of it in time, maybe not the way you intended, but still, you’ll need it. When you put your hand down, you may find it there, just in reach, the right tool at the right time.
No effort you make is wasted. Sure, it can feel that way, when you spent time on something that's not delivering Right This Second. Trust it: what feels like a failure to you right now, is a success you just can't see yet. Keep working. Wait for it. In the meantime, you’re selling SOMETHING, right? What is that thing? Why you walking around feeling like a failure when you’re already succeeding?