[Failure Series] Part 1: Understanding Failure and Why We Need It

Failure. 

So often we’re terrified of this one little word. It paralyzes us. Keeps us fearful and holds us back from attempting a deeply ingrained dream. It scares us so bad, often we think it’s better not to try than fail altogether. Who knew one little word held so much power?

In this series on failure, our hope is that our readers will learn not to fear failure but embrace it as a step in their journey to success.

What Is Failure?

The best way to start understanding something is to become familiar with what it is.

According to Dictionary.com, failure is defined as:

  1. A lack of success
  2. nonperformance
  3. or an insufficiency

You’ll notice, nowhere in those definitions are the words “impossible”, “Non-attainable” or “unreachable.” The common themes are “a lack” of something. When looked at by entrepreneurs, the art of failing is when one stops (nonperformance) trying to attain their goals (a lack of success). dont-fear-failure-fear-the-absence-of-progress-motivational-gym-quotes

Why Does It Terrify Us?

Good question. What exactly is it about failure that terrifies someone enough to keep them from even trying? Is it a damaging view of others? Maybe we’re afraid to give our last dimes to obtain something only to have it backfire. Perhaps it’s the idea of wasting time over something which seems silly.  Truth is, why failure paralyzes differs from person to person. It often depends on the individual.

History Is Made on Failure

No matter how terrifying, failure is one of the most beautiful things in the history of creation. Every living and non-living thing has experienced a form of failure. The next time you sit down at your laptop, your phone, your game system, the airport, etc, take a solid look. Every inventor of these great technological advances suffered failure! You have your phone because of ridicule and failure! Airplanes are flying on the backs of multiple failures! The books we read were printed on failure. The list goes on! What makes this different is these failures didn’t stop until they made the plane fly. Made the internet work. Made a website where most of the world’s online commerce occurs. History, great and small was built on the backs of failures. 

Why It Is More Valuable Than Success

db12c93a5358756069a09d2cacd08033This is most likely going to sound like the most absurd of ideas but it holds true. Bishop T.D. Jakes states, “we learn more from our failures, than our successes.” Why does he say this? Because once you’ve reached your success, whatever it may be, you are beginning something anew. You reach failure again and again when you work to brand and market that success. Failures are teachers. They beat us down, they hurt, they ache but in the end, we can choose to get up or we can stay down. Failure is the best learning tool. When Charles Darwin wrote his Origin of Species, he witnessed one the most elaborate examples of failure. Nature. 

Why We Need Failure

We wouldn’t grow without it. Our characters wouldn’t build to become something stronger. Our intellects wouldn’t be pushed to solve the problems caused by failure to become success. Bishop Jakes offers a story about his father, who began a business with only a mop and a bucket in a difficult time in history. However, he persevered and built a truly flourishing enterprise. 

The Truth Is, Your Dream Has to Sound Insane

Going back to Bishop Jakes. In his most recent appearance at the Global Leadership Summit, he states “your dream has to sound unattainable for it to be worth it.” It has to sound like it’ll hurt or is it worth your failure? For avid viewers of the popular Food Network show, Chopped, one cannot watch an episode without hearing stories of people who gave everything to obtain their culinary dreams. Did they think they’d get as much back as they did? No! Not at all but they took a risk and landed in one of the most viewed shows on television. 

“Your dream has to sound unattainable for it to be worth it.” — T.D Jakes, Founder of the Potter’s House

Ultimately, failure is terrifying. There’s no escaping the fact. The trick is to look it in the eyes and push through to make your dream a reality. Ask yourself, what have I really got to lose? Then ask – What have I honestly got to gain?

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Some great resources for when you need some reassurance:

Soar by T.D Jakes, Potter’s House

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull, Pixar

Power of Your Potential by John Maxwell, author, pastor

 

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[Marketing 101] Your Website is Your Hub

How many times has this happened to you? A customer or potential customer walks up to you in something as large as ReaperCon to something as small as the grocery store line, the two of you strike up a conversation and it leads to what it is you do. This could be an author, an artist, maybe an Avon agent, whatever your specialty.

Anyway, they ask you, “Do you have a website I can go to?” You happen to respond with anything from an “I’m working on one” or “I use Facebook” and all of a sudden you find yourself locked in this awkward silent moment.

Believe me dear readers, it does happen. More often than you may expect. 

The moral is, you must have a website. Nowadays, a website is a company’s first go to in order to find out just how serious you are about your craft.

Now, this also happens. You may have a website that has the domain name in it and to many this is perfectly fine as far as hubs like WordPress and Weebly but trust me, nothing bothers a potential client more than not have the old .com, .org, etc.

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Why? You might ask. 

Because a personal domain symbolizes professionalism. The next time you’re on a major site, how often do you see http://www.site.reallylongdomainname.sitehost… you most likely get the point. You don’t. Not ever. Please don’t do this.

As hard as it is to accept, if you wish to define yourself as a professional, you must invest in your website.

Think of it as your central hub. Your social media can be seen as spider threads. They branch out and reach potential customers and contacts but ultimately lead them back to your website.

 

Forbes magazine offers three powerful reasons as to why your website is vital to growing your small business.

  1. Your website is important in building first impressions
  2. Your website is your “shopping window”
  3. If your website is “sloppy” or “missing”, then you are losing business

 

To quote them:

“They’re likely to dismiss you entirely, as well, should they believe your website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience your business – or a business like yours – should offer.” — Forbes Magazine

 

The truth is, with sites offering low rates on hosting such as godaddy.com, hostgator.com, and bluehost.com, just to name a few, there really isn’t much of an excuse to not have a professional website. Even WordPress has two different venues you may use to construct your professionally designed website.

A question you may ask then is, “what if I don’t know how to set a site up?” 

website-builders-comparisonTo this, the reply would be to invest the money to have it made the best it can be or to utilize sites with pre-made templates like weebly.com, squarespace.com, tyepad.com or wix.com. You may also use blogger which may be easier for those just beginning to get their feet wet in site design.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to cover all of your options in this blog post but that’s where search engines like google are your best friend. Do some research to find which is best for you. Check their pros and cons, maybe try them since sites like Squarespace and Typead often offer trial periods.

Some closing thoughts…

Whichever you choose and however you choose to go about it, make sure it’s the best you can make it, shows off your brand and highlights the products or services you plan to promote the most.

Remember! People are more likely to purchase from a brand they learn to trust and see as professional. Your website should tell your story, have a product/service page, etc. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at fyresydepublishing.com and subscribe to learn what’s coming down the pike!

 

 

[Marketing101] The 80/20 Rule

Marketing-Quotes-8If you’ve been on social media, and I know you have, for any amount of time, you have probably come across the 80/20 Rule at some point.

This little rule can change so many things if applied correctly.

Now, I think anyone who sells anything can agree that getting posts bashing a reader over the brain with “Buy my…” can not only result in massive brain hemorrhaging but also send people running as fast as they can to the “unfollow”, “unlike”, etc button.

Why is this?

Because in marketing, people want to be seen as valuable. They want to feel like the services they’re being offered fills a need that they have. Truth is, they may not even know they have it. They want to feel like they’re being invested in and appreciated.

We need to focus not on what people are giving us but what we are giving to them. We need to focus on how they feel when they’ve invested their time and money into a dream they know little about.

“If I know how to make you feel good, then odds are, you will keep coming back.” Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Founder of Shake Shack

So what is the 80/20 Rule?

Put simply, in terms of posting on social media, it’s focusing 20% of the content on one’s own product, service, etc while focusing 80% on your readers. Whoever they may be.764348-Gary-Vaynerchuk-Quote-The-best-marketing-strategy-ever-CARE

You can do this by sharing articles about topics close to your heart, adventures in starting up your business, inspirational quotes and retweeting and commenting on their content.

Social media has made it so easy for us to just spam our streams with me, me, me. The truth is it’s not a “me” market, especially as an author, artist, etc. Getting in the mindset of a market of “we” can make a world of difference.

“One of the best ways to let people know about your book is to not talk about it yourself, but to let readers know about it in other ways, and get them talking.”

Rachel Thompson, Founder of BadRedHeadMedia

Rachel Thompson is one of the leading ladies in the world of book marketing. She has written some of the most amazing books titled The 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge and How to Best Optimize Blog Posts for SEO: 25 Tested Tips Writers Need to Know Now.She is also the founder and organizer of NaNoProMo featuring some of the leading names and their advice on how to market social media among other valuable subjects.

In her blog, titled How To Develop and Perfect Your Book Marketing, she offers some helpful resources and advice on how to enhance your marketing and turn you “me” view into a “we” view. I would recommend reading her blog for any a

The truth is, in the end we’re all living beings with jobs, struggles and times when funds are tight.

As a bonus, check out this article about the 80/20 Rule in regards to time management!