Failures are Fantastic
Welcome my darling Pretties to our Beyond to the Dawn of Business podcast for pretty empowered female entrepreneurs.
It’s time to step into your power Pretties! Lift each other, support the squad and choose a life filled with the autonomy and freedom to live your dreams.
I’m your host Dawn Beth, the Owner and Founder of Beyond the Dawn digital business brand and agency. My coffee is hot and my eyelashes are on, so we are ready to go!
I want all female entrepreneurs to feel empowered, supported and loved, and given the opportunity to really connect with other female powerhouses in the industry, in a way in which we lift each other up and inspire each other, and take care of each other in ways that we have previously not seen in business, possibly, listen to us waffling on about business and life our families, and our mindset, our financial goals and our freedoms and our autonomy. And what we hope for the world and what we hope for you, what we hope for ourselves, and all of the things that we’ve experienced through this very colorful journey of becoming successful female entrepreneurs and digital business owners.
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Hey Pretties, and welcome to this episode.
Today, I want to talk to you about fantastic failure, and what it can teach you. So I think it is quite a universal feeling that when we go into business, or when we start a new adventure, we invest in something whether that be in time or money, that we want it to be a success. And that’s, you know, me preaching to the converted, I know that we all have a success framework that we hold within ourselves that we really want to hold on to because it gives us a feeling of accomplishment, it gives us that feeling like things are on the right track. And essentially it brings joy into our lives.
But you know, life is not all cupcakes and rainbows and sunshine and there are the other things that happen. And sometimes it can take a little bit of understanding that everything isn’t going to always be plain sailing, to really give you the unshakable, unwavering confidence to truly explore opportunities as they arise. And one of the things that can help you in creating that feeling and self-belief in yourself is actually experiencing the silver linings and the learnings that come with things that you may have previously considered to be failures. Failure is a word, it’s such a trigger word, it sounds so final, like oh you’ve failed, like that’s it, it’s done. But ultimately, you know, failures and things that go wrong, mishaps. They’re just experiences and they’re experiences that you can learn from.
So it’s really important for you to recognise that occasionally they’ll happen. And sometimes they will have nothing to do with you. And sometimes they will, sometimes there is an area of accountability that you didn’t see before the situation or experience happened that you can learn from the situation and experience in order for you to move forward. Now in my previous career there used to be a lot of open feedback and feedback was always something that was relied upon as a learning experience for a constructive experience. And it’s a situation where people were kind of encouraged to give you feedback all of the time. And I really want to kind of explore this area of you deciding where your data comes from, you deciding where your important information comes from, okay? Because when you have a ‘failure’, and I’m using air quotes, you can’t see me but I’m using air quotes right now, when you have a ‘failure’, you are in charge of that information. Okay? So if something falls down, or something isn’t quite right, or if something is missing hindsight’s a wonderful thing, you can review that and you can look at that and you can look at it, you must try to look at it objectively as much as you possibly can, try not to get too triggered, look at it from a bird’s eye view, take the emotion out of it and just look at the actual raw data and see what can be learned from that and what can be changed, introduced, tweaked or any of those things.
Feedback is slightly different feedback is something where somebody else is offering you an opinion based on their perspective. Now everybody’s perspectives on everything is slightly different. Like obviously, we will have commonalities, we’ll have things that we agree on. But our perspective is actually one of those things that is created through our own lens. It’s created through our own filter. And we have to remember that everything we see, we do, we consume and all of our thoughts and feelings around that and our opinions are going through that filter right? We’re going through our own little perception that may not be and often is not of the same perception as somebody else. So, I’m not suggesting the feedback is never valuable, because sometimes it can be incredibly valuable. And we welcome feedback all of the time.
However, feedback and failure data are two completely different areas of information. When you do something, and it doesn’t quite work, you learn something about that by reviewing that situation, and you can review it at whatever level it requires. So let’s use a common example. And one of the things that I’ve worked with my clients with before, so let’s say you have posted every day on social media, you have a big launch coming up, you have an important product that you want to sell, and you’re very excited, and you go through all the launch process. And when it comes to the actual process, you figured out that nobody is buying, nobody is interested, and the launch doesn’t go, as you expected.
Now you can totally give yourself this space, especially when there’s been a massive energy spend in an effort to get to that point, you can give yourself the space to mourn that situation. So I just want to put that out there I’m not trying to suggest that you don’t honour your emotions and your feelings around things that you had put your hopes on that didn’t quite go as expected. This isn’t about denying those feelings, absolutely honour them, have that moment where you let yourself embrace them. And then allow yourself when you’re ready don’t stay too long in that camp. When you’re ready, do allow yourself to then look at the data objectively, do a sweep from start to finish? What did you do? What could you have done differently? What are the areas in gaps and spaces that could have been filled that were not filled? I know that when you have a situation like that it’s easy to internalise that situation and go, oh, I’m rubbish, my product is rubbish. my people aren’t interested, nobody wants it, I’m not an expert, I have nothing to give, this is all pants, I’m going to stop.
And that is a really, really destructive thought process for you to go in. Because essentially, you might have got that launch 85%, right. And you might have had a really successful first go at introducing something to your audience. And there might have just been a few little bits and pieces that are off that are very easily solved, that can then make the next time you do it a success. Now those things will be different for everybody. And I’m not going to do a step by step on how to launch because depending on your launch model, depending on your product, depending on your audience, depending on you and your branding, and your alignment and your personality and your energy. You know, launches are inherently different for everybody, there is some key things that are really important for everyone. And then ultimately, they become your own kind of process and ritual. But don’t throw it away. Don’t look at 75 or 85 or 95per cent there and think oh, because the end result wasn’t there and wasn’t available to me. It’s all pants, it’s all rubbish. It’s going in the bin. It’s not happening. That’s it, I’m never doing it again.
Because what you are in danger of doing is actually not recognising how far you’ve come. This is a journey, business is a journey. And you know, failures come in all shapes and sizes, you might have a client come to you for a discovery call who manages to extract answers from you that you really should have kept for a one to one session. You know, you might have a client that signs with you, who then doesn’t pay their invoices and ghosts you, or you may accidentally overlook somebody in your audience or in your client listings, who really needed you and felt like you weren’t there for them. You know, there’s so many different things that can happen. So many different experiences that happen in business. And the people who are really successful are the ones that recognise that these things do happen. And they happen to every single business owner every single product business every single service based business, bricks and mortar businesses, hospitality, entertainment, you know, every single area of the beautiful spectrum that is business.
It happens to, it happens to every single person and when you think about like I have had many, many learning opportunities within business and one of the one of the ones that I speak of quite regularly and I love this as an example, is right at the very, very beginning of my journey wasn’t the beginning of my business. We had our agency, and we were white label for a time and we’d been working with people, and we’ve been doing social strategy. And we’d been building up accounts and clients and things, but we had never done it publicly and we weren’t kind of open about it. We were a secret sauce at the time. And I started to become more public, and I started to take on clients, and I started to be open about our agency. And we started to advertise and we got some more people working with us, our team grew. And I really wanted to take on some more clients myself, I’d gotten to that stage where I wanted to take on more, I wanted to earn more money, I wanted to do more in terms of actual rolling my sleeves up and creating strategy and posts and graphics and things. And it was a few years ago, it was it was a lovely, exciting time. And because our clients had previously kind of come from referral, almost like we were a secret whisper amongst amongst certain industries. I hadn’t kind of gone down that route before where I’d taken on private clients, where I taken on people who would want to have a discovery call or would want to have a meeting. And I arranged a meeting with somebody who again was a referral, but we were being more open about the agency. And first and foremost I really genuinely ignored red flags. But I didn’t realise I’d ignore those red flags until after.
So this is why the failure is so good. It’s a fantastic failure, because the data and the information and the changes I made to my business after this experience, were so priceless and have served me well forevermore. So one of the things that I really did wrong with this particular client was I allowed my own boundaries to be completely removed, I didn’t want to work over Christmas time I’d given myself two weeks off over Christmas, this person wasn’t available and was very eager to meet with me. And so I decided that I would have a meeting with this person during the Christmas period when I was meant to be on holiday. So if any of you have read my blogs on thrive global about burnout, and about the things that we can sometimes make bad choices over. This is one of the things that is one of my triggers, where if you ever see me stealing time from family time to give to business time, that’s a red flag for me, it means that my mindset is not in the right place, it means I need a break. And obviously I was very, very new in my kind of visible business journey at this point. And so this would never have been a red flag for me for myself at that time, invaluable learning from the data you see. So I went to this meeting, the meeting went well, the lady had some very clear ideas of what she wanted, she seemed very happy with all the work that I was able to do for her, she did extract a lot of information from me in that session. And I realised somewhat closely after that, that there was a lot of information that shouldn’t have been in a discovery session or shouldn’t have been in an initial meeting. So that was another great learning. So ding learning one red flag allowing my boundaries to slip ding learning two extracted a lot of information out of me because if my good nature asked me a lot of questions that really should have been in a one to one scenario. But she decided that she was going to work with me.
So it was all good, sent the information, sent the invoice sent, the contract, contracts were signed, invoice wasn’t paid, but the contract was signed, so I felt comfortable starting doing the work. And I did an awful lot of work. Now this particular client, who we shall not name, we would never name. But this particular client allowed me to do a lot of work long story short and allowed me to put a lot of my energy into trying to please them, in trying to do the right thing for them. But ultimately, some of the things that were requested of me were not in alignment with my integrity, such as copying other people’s styling in terms of graphics and things like that. So it wasn’t fun to have those conversations. It was definitely a learning moment having those conversations but ultimately this person had got a lot of work from me, a lot of market research in the background and then essentially decided not to pay me.
Now they wanted all of the work that I had done, they wanted all of my data files, they wanted to know what market research I’d done, they wanted to know what I’d found in terms of what was trending, what was working. And I had a lot of work, I’d put a lot of hours into it. And I didn’t disclose any of it, because I realised, obviously, that this wasn’t the greatest relationship. And I fired that client. And that’s a term that I think actually is relatively new. But I did, I let that client go and said, no, this isn’t working. If you would like the work have already previously done, obviously, you can pay your invoice, and I will pass over what I’ve done so you can still use it and it’s still beneficial to you, but I won’t be actively managing your account. So basically, you can have what I’ve done already and find somebody else, but we’re not a great fit.
This person took all of the work that they already had access to and didn’t pay for anything, and I never heard from them again. And that was, that for me felt like a massive, massive failure. But it wasn’t a failure. I mean, it was it was a total flop, right? Like I can’t sit here now, five years later and say, oh, yes and we’re still managing that account. And that client is a multimillionaire. Like I can say that about our other clients who were our ideal clients who we actually do still have on our roster, but that person taught me so much, she taught she taught me about my boundaries. She taught me about how my processes work, like how do you get to work with me? How is that contract? Like? Is that contract in clouds? And if somebody signs a contract, does that mean we can start work? Or do we require a deposit or an upfront payment to get started on work? Do I, you know, did I express at the beginning of that relationship and make that discovery call really clear what was going to happen in that discovery call and set my boundaries? Definitely not. Do I do that now? Absolutely. You know, do I discuss our ethos as a company? Do I discuss our integrity, what we’re willing to do, what we’re not willing to do, what we believe to be shady marketing practices, and what we will not engage in. And again, I didn’t do that, like I didn’t, I didn’t speak to her about that.
Now, I want to give a shout out to a beautiful woman who is a Pretty pro member and is just an amazing woman in our community. Joanne Rowban, because she said to me once after another incident that we’ve been discussing in our membership, she said to me, I love the idea of an expectations document. And as soon as I read her comment, I was like, oh, yes, an expectations document. How wonderful is that in terms of something that can be really helpful for you, in learning, and setting up your stall. I don’t know if you’ve heard that phrase, I love that phrase. But just setting up your stall and just setting up the process, the customer journey, what’s going happen and making sure that everybody is super clear on what is meant to happen. Because a lot of the times when it comes to clients and relationships and collaborations, if things fall down, it’s often due to communication and nothing more.
Obviously, occasionally, it’s not, sometimes you just get a dodgy situation but there are lots of ways that you can learn from those situations, there’s lots of ways that you can find the amazing changes that you need to make in your business and in your life, even potentially, from these situations. So I invite you to think about something that you consider to be a failure, something that you have in your life or that you’ve had in your past that you consider to be a failure. And I want you to consider that when that situation happened to you. What did you learn from it? What have you changed in your life because of it? And what would you never do again, because of that situation, because fantastical, fabulous failures are nothing more than information, data driven experiences. And if you’re willing to give yourself the grace to look back over the situation, you will be able to find something to learn from and you will be able to implement changes that ultimately propel you into a better version of yourself or of your business depending of course the situation.
Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in that situation. Sometimes success comes from standing up and dusting yourself back off and never giving up. It’s just that grit, that resilience, that learning and giving yourself the grace to really, truly find out. What can I take from this? And what can I change to make this better either, so that I don’t do that thing again or so that next time I do it, I do it better or so that I can save myself the pain of this experience, whatever that might be for you.
Okay, Pretties. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. This is a super, super area for you to remember. And actually, I’ve said this the last couple of times, but this might be a good one to save and listen back to another time, if you feel like you’re going through a moment of failure, and just know that you have everything that you need to make the changes that you want to make, to make this life and this business exactly what you want to be. So go forth and be fabulous. I know you will. And I’m sending you lots of love, and I’ll see you on our next episode.
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