There is no failure. Only redirection.
Even the lack of feedback *is* feedback. You’re getting the instruction from the Audience/Market/Life to try something else.
Next time you earnestly pursue a project, and still “fail”, I hope you remember this:
There is no failure, only redirection.
Life is redirecting you towards another idea, another method, another experiment.
A higher purpose than “getting results” is your own learning and experience, your own growth in wisdom, lightheartedness, courage.
One person that “failed” many times was Thomas Edison. He said this in one of his interviews:
“I speak without exaggeration when I say that I have constructed 3,000 different theories in connection with the electric light, each one of them reasonable and apparently to be true. Yet only in two cases did my experiments prove the truth of my theory.”
And when he was working diligently on creating a new storage battery (which ultimately created more of his wealth than the light bulb) his colleague recounted this:
“I learned that Edison had thus made over 9,000 experiments in trying to devise this new type of storage battery, but had not produced a single thing that promised to solve the question. In view of this immense amount of thought and labor, my sympathy got the better of my judgment, and I said: ‘Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’ Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work.’”
Remember Edison’s curiosity and persistence.
Work diligently and see no failure at all, but only redirection.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let’s apply this to entrepreneurship.
One of the painful aspects of marketing something is when you get zero feedback from your audience. You put something out there and… silence. You don’t receive praise about what went well, nor suggestions about how you should improve.
Here’s the truth: Lack of feedback *is* feedback. You are subtly being asked by the market to try something different… To make another experiment.
When you finally do offer something they want, they will certainly respond!
Therefore, stay in the experimentation mindset.
Things to test in your business/marketing:
It may well be that your offering would be very welcome during certain times of the year, while in other times, your audience is thinking about other areas of life and your offering will fall flat. For example, when I was launching big business programs a few years ago, I discovered — the hard way — that July/August were the worst months for me to make such an offer. Many in my audience are on vacation or otherwise not thinking about building their business at that time.
What format (1–1, group, event, subscription, book, product, software, etc.) is your offering, and at what price? Your audience may be habituated to buying certain formats at certain prices, and will hesitate when they see a format or price they’re not used to. Talk with your fans about what they have recently bought, what they considered buying but didn’t (and why), and use that learning to modify your offerings. I have an online training about doing these “Fan Interviews” — how to reach out, how to conduct, how to analyze. If interested, take my Resonant Marketing Training.
Improve the following, and your experiments will get better:
I’ve written about The 3 Stages of Content: (1) casual/exploratory, (2) repurposing what is working, (3) integrate and monetize. As you keep working through these stages, you will get clearer and clearer about what kinds of problems your audience wants you to solve, or goals they’d love your help to reach, or experiences they prefer you to provide. This makes a huge difference in knowing what offering you should be creating, and how to message that offering. Clarity comes through content.
Keep growing your audience of true fans, over time, by using authentic content marketing (being yourself, being relevant, being consistent.) The more you grow the quantity of your audience, as well as the quality of their relationship with you, the easier it will be to ask them for feedback, and to experiment with different offerings. When something works, you’ll have more ambassadors who are eager to spread the word!
What makes you credible to provide your service/product? The more you do your work and gather client case studies, and then talk about them in your content, the more credibility you have with your audience… and the more confidence you have in your marketing.
Remember that Edison had to try thousands of times to find the solution that really worked — and he has positively impacted billions of lives. Look at all of your content, campaigns, launches, all of your marketing as little experiments. Keep working on these factors I’ve listed above.
Learn a little something from each experiment, to make the next one better, or at least different.
Ultimately what is more important than the “results” in your business is your own learning, experience, and personal growth.
Persist in your experimentations.