did an interview with Mike Thomas (http://mikefrommaine.com/) today which was great fun!
One of the ‘themes’ of the interview was how I went from affiliate marketer to product creator (and these days coach & consultant) – and whilst we’re talking there was an interesting underlying theme:
there were far more complete ‘f***-ups’ than successes – and yet, each one led to something bigger and better.
So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few of the foulups, some more epic than others, feel free to use them purely for entertainment, or maybe see how they’ve helped me move to ‘bigger and better’.
Epic f***-up #1
Time/star-date: around 2008.
online income: pathetic. Done a few affiliate promotions (my first ever was a sale for Stompernet/Paul Lemberg’s Formula 5, on which I made around $650 – using nothing but free resources – I think it was a squidoo-lens I’d ranked in the search-engines that made me my first sale) – but started to figure out that product creation is where it’s at.
My first product was going to be a ‘classic’ “put together a 12 expert panel, interview them on their individual field of expertise, sell the recordings & transcripts to the attendees”.
Of course I checked that they all had a list, and that they were all going to mail.
Even got a top copywriter on board to help with the “go check out this awesome panel of experts – they’re giving you free advice” email-template that I provided to all 12 experts.
And, because the 12 had a combined list-size of 150.000 and because this was me being rather new to the whole get others to mail for you game, I ended up setting up 2 hardened servers, spending countless hours setting up (manually) individual landing pages for each expert, so I wouldn’t end up crashing the servers when those 150.000 hit the servers.
Launch of course coincides with me being at a conference (oh yeah baby, why not go to a seminar in the middle of your first ever launch…), so when I rushed home after the conference to quickly check if they servers had managed to withstand the onslaught …
… well, it’s hard to put that moment into words.
Despite all the checking and double-checking and checking again, it really was only 612 people who had signed up for this revolutionary, and world-changing and surely setting the foundations for my IM-retirement fund series of teleseminars.
612 out of 150.000
Now I can laugh about it, but back then, like I said, it’s a feeling for which I’m struggling to find words
Did I make money with this exercise?
Nope, didn’t sell a single copy … we never even finished the series of interviews.
Do I regret doing it?
Nope, there were so many lessons in there for me, it’s almost like I’m looking back at it fondly and thinking “ahh, that’s when I went from ‘thinking about it’ to actually doing it.”
What’s even better: I made some pretty terrific connections through that activity and even now, whenever I launch a new product or service, the learnings from that experience help me make each new one better.
Key message – and I’m trying to do this without the raised finger and the “and the moral of the story is…”-sledgehammer that’s no bloomin’ common with children’s books these days (whatever happened to good ol’ story telling – these days even the freaking little ghosts, once they’re done with scaring the livin’ daylight out of the baddies have to agree that it’s a good thing to brush your teeth – but only with an electric toothbrush, otherwise you might damage your enamel… you’re a freakin’ ghost fer crying out loud…)
… anyway, back to the key message sans wagging moral sledgehammer (WMS):
if you’re looking to get started with pretty much whatever, let’s just assume ‘online marketing’, then here’s a slightly uncomfortable truth:
the stuff that really matters, they can’t teach you. You have to experience it first hand. There simply isn’t a step-by-step blueprint that’ll get you past those ‘awww, I don’t know what the word is for this feeling’ moments – and there isn’t one either for “how you take the learnings and simply make the next one better”.
PS: I might of course be completely wrong;-) What do you think?