My Latest Failure

April 29, 2013

photo by Zach Klein

Recently, I gave a free class at one of our local libraries. My purpose was to build the student base at our music school. I have done these classes in the past and they have been extremely valuable for us. We have actually gotten more than half of our students this way!

The classes have worked out so well because they are a win-win all the way around, for the students, the library, and our music school.

For this particular class I had been preparing for a couple of weeks. I was planning on doing something a little different and had thought through how to add more value for the students and parents. I was excited to see how it would work out.

I had also thought long and hard on how to best present our lesson service to the parents so they would clearly understand what we do and how we could help them.

I got up at 4 AM the morning of the class and was confident of the great presentation I had prepared. I believed parents were going to sign up for lessons in droves at the end of the class!

It didn’t quite go that way. We did have a great presentation prepared, but never had a chance to actually present it. No one showed up! Not one single person. It was a huge disappointment. I had put a lot of work into preparing for this class and had high expectations for it!

As I left the library, I remembered the quote,”If you haven’t failed, you’re not trying hard enough.” Gradually it dawned on me that it was actually a good thing the class was a flop. This failure was proof that I’m trying things. It’s proof that I’m not just sticking to the safe and secure. I’m taking risks in an effort to grow, both in our business and personally.

After giving myself a couple of hours to be down about it I decided to get over it. I let it go.

Today I want to encourage you to take risks. I want to encourage you to try hard, and yes, perhaps fail.

We’ll never know the capacity of the gifts we’ve been given until we boldly reach out to those outer limits.

Your playing small does not serve the world… We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. – Marianne Williamson

Question: Have you failed recently? 

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  • Reply Ann Musico April 29, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Michael as always your transparency is a blessing. Your question was have I failed recently? Absolutely. I love that you didn’t try to sugar coat it or pretend it was not bad – you allowed yourself to feel and experience it and then let it go! I’m sure you took valuable information from this and will use it to succeed in the future – the whole point of stepping out and doing things!

    • Reply Michael Good April 29, 2013 at 11:08 am

      It was interesting, Ann. It wasn’t a huge failure, but I had high hopes for it so it was a big disappointment. Actually surprisingly so.
      I have a few more scheduled over the next few months so I’m going to see what I can do to make them work out!

      • Reply Ann Musico April 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

        I’m sure you will, Michael. And it could just have been that particular date. I bet the upcoming ones will be huge successes.

  • Reply Donna Yates April 29, 2013 at 7:56 am

    If we are all honest with ourselves, I’d say we all have failed recently at something. I continue to strive to increase my sales in my etsy store and of course some seem to work and some fail. I too ask myself why then I try try try to just let it go and start again with a new idea. Letting go isn’t always easy but always for the best. Great post Michael. I’m always in awe of you and Claudia and how you’re living your dream. Congrats.

    • Reply Michael Good April 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks, Donna. I appreciate that. It’s when we keep putting things out there that we find what works. And I agree, letting go is not always easy. But very important!

  • Reply Jenny Everett April 29, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Thanks for a good outlook on the lows. My life isn’t always about my success.

    • Reply Michael Good April 29, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Your welcome, Jenny. And neither is mine. 🙂 Hope you guys are well.

  • Reply Tom Dixon April 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I think it is awesome you are willing to be vulnerable about this. I have been wanting to do a webinar on maximizing your career – a topic I’ve presented live a few times – but have held off for fear of…will anyone show up? I may have to go for it after seeing your example, because the answer may be SO WHAT!

    • Reply Michael Good April 30, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      Go for it, Tom! I’ll help you promote it in any way I can. Could you piggyback on anyone else’s audience by having a mutual benefit – for you and that other person?

      • Reply Tom Dixon April 30, 2013 at 10:11 pm

        That’s actually a great idea Michael – hadn’t thought of it. There are probably a couple of people I could reach out to.

        • Reply Michael Good May 1, 2013 at 6:33 am

          Let me know if I can help in any way. I love brainstorming ideas like that.

  • Reply Chris Peek April 29, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Michael, excellent post! Thanks for sharing your story and being transparent. I saw a lot of myself in your story, so I can only imagine the initial frustration you experienced. But you’ve got a great approach here. We’ve failed in some recent speaking events; I’ve failed in some posts I’ve written. But I also see the growth I’ve experienced over the long-term, and I recognize that my goals are quite a bit higher than they were three years ago. Failure is going to happen, but it’s our response that matters.

    • Reply Michael Good April 30, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      That’s a great approach, Chris. It’s our response that matters. Well said! I like how you pointed out how you saw growth over the long term. That kind of stuff is always easier to see down the road.

      Sometime you’ll have to fill me in on how things have been going. Perhaps on a hike or something. 🙂

      • Reply Chris Peek May 1, 2013 at 7:23 am

        Yes, I definitely need to get up there and hike! That would be great. I will be in touch about finding a time.

  • Reply crystalmgood May 2, 2013 at 10:16 am

    This post is awesome! Reminds me so much of Andrew. Slowly, I am learning to embrace this way of thinking. Have you ever read The Danger Habit? It’s one of Andrew’s favorite books! I haven’t read the full thing – just pieces of it. But this post reminds me of some of the things he writes about in the book.

    • Reply Michael Good May 2, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks, Crystal! I checked that book out on Amazon, looks great! One I haven’t read it, but definitely want to. The book description sounds like Andrew. It sounds like the author is doing some really great things; he’s also a surfer. 🙂

  • Reply Jerel Frey May 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    A few years ago I made 10 individual personal appointments to show a house I was renting, each one about 15 minutes apart. Not a single person out of the 10 confirmed appointments showed up. Very demoralizing.

    • Reply Michael Good May 9, 2013 at 7:15 am

      Ouch! 0 for 10, that’s rough. That’s amazing that no one showed even after the appointments were confirmed.

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