Failure. It’s a fear many of us in this industry know all too well.
And it’s a fear that can get in your way from time to time, especially when you’re just starting out.
Failure is actually one of my biggest fears in life.
Yet ironically, when it comes to marketing, it doesn’t faze me one bit.
Let me explain …
Early on in my career, I was told that if I wasn’t failing, I wasn’t marketing enough. The key was to uncover why I failed, and then turn it into an opportunity to learn and become a better marketer.
Well, yesterday I was re-reading AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting for a presentation I was giving that night, and I came across a short section called The Theory of Accelerated Failures.
I thought of you right away, so I decided I would share it with you today …
“The road to success is paved with accelerated failures.” – Michael Masterson
According to Michael’s theory, the way to become truly successful is twofold:
- You must be willing to make mistakes.
- You need to make most of your mistakes in the beginning of your career, and then immediately correct them.
It goes like this …
Let’s say you’ve just written your first autoresponder series. You’ve gone through Jay White’s Autoresponder Apprentice program, followed his instructions, put a lot of good work into writing the series, and you’re pleased with what you’ve done.
You send it off to the client, feeling proud and full of confidence.
But when you ask the client for the results (and you better be doing this!), you find out that the response was mediocre.
What went wrong?!
After the initial disappointment subsides, you sit down and review the entire series more thoroughly. And right then, you see the mistake …
Your copy wasn’t really directed towards the reader! You talk way too much about your own experience, and never really show your reader how your experience would help them.
So, what do you do next?
Apply the theory of accelerated failures …
First, you need to realize that you, like everyone else in the world, make mistakes.
Remember, too, that since this was your first autoresponder series, it would be unrealistic to expect gangbuster results.
So, after you’ve accepted the fact that you made a mistake, you must then address the second half of the theory …
You must correct the mistake immediately.
In this example, you realized you focused far too much on yourself, and not enough on the reader. So, you go and learn how to better establish intimacy with your reader by practicing several different techniques (tip: if you have the Six-Figure Program, you have all the techniques you need!).
You then practice these techniques again … and again … until you have them down cold.
And then finally, you resolve to remember to never make that mistake again.
See how that works?
You make a mistake. Then you immediately correct it the first time around so it doesn’t happen a second time.
When you get to your second assignment, you follow the same process. You correct the mistakes, learn from them, and make sure they don’t happen your third time around. And so on.
What this means is that in each effort you make, you’ll be making “smarter” and “smarter” mistakes. That’s the power that comes from accelerated failures!
When you start looking at failures this way, you start to see them as gifts, and instead of trying to ignore them, will actually seek them out. Failures force you to look in new directions, approach different angles, and continuously learn.
And that’s what will make you a stronger and more successful web writer.
Of course, it’s actually true outside of the web-writing world, too …
Most extremely successful people reached that status because they weren’t afraid to make mistakes … and because they quickly learned from them.
Think about it …
- Babe Ruth would never have gotten a home run if he wasn’t willing to get struck out first …
- Henry Ford would never have created the Model T if he gave up after his first try …
- And Walt Disney would never have created Mickey Mouse if he wasn’t willing to give animation one more shot after losing everything in a bad business deal …
Perhaps the most noteworthy example is Thomas Edison …
According to historical accounts, Edison failed 10,000 times in his storage battery experiments. When asked about these failures, Edison replied,
“Why, I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Edison went on to win 141 patents for storage batteries as well as 389 for electric light and power, 195 for the phonograph, 150 for the telegraph, and 34 for the telephone.
1,093 patents in all!
How’s that for learning from your mistakes?
So, when you sit down to write your next (or first) email, article, home page, etc., think about Thomas Edison.
Remember that true success can come only through failures.
And from this day forward, resolve to never be afraid of making a mistake.
Empowering, right? Now go out there and make some mistakes!