content marketing strategy

Falling and Failing: My Simple Guide to Succeeding in Business


Have you ever had a really klutzy friend? You know, the one who falls for no apparent reason or is the first to spill stuff on their new white shirt?

I’m that friend. I fall for no apparent reason, to the point where it doesn’t alarm my closest friends anymore. Last year, I attended the New Media Expo in Vegas, where I met up with a bunch of my online peeps for the first time.  As we headed towards our table in the lovely Bellagio restaurant, I tripped and hit the deck, drink in hand. I quickly jumped back up, and being that I was at the back of the line, no one was the wiser.

When you fall, spill things and have very little grace, you quickly learn how to get over yourself. How to recover, make a joke and move on.

I consider that an apt metaphor for being in business, especially with everything I’ve been through running multiple businesses over the past 10 years. To succeed, you need to be willing to fall down and fail all the time.

Over the years, personally and professional, I’ve learned to become spectacularly good at failing. I’m really good with scraping my sorry ass off the floor hundreds of times until I nail it.

The way I see it, we have a choice. We can fail, or we can play it safe and blindly follow the experts and gurus and all their so-called wisdom. Or take another course. Or hire another coach.

It’s so much easier to be told what to do, keep learning or seek more opinions than be willing to jump out of the damn plane and see what the hell happens. Currently, I’m living this approach as I get ready to try out some new things in a very public way.

Jumping is damn scary. Which is why I’m going to be the one to put on my parachute and hope to hell that the rip cord works. I’m going to do it for you, so you don’t have to fail or fall quite as hard.

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Putting My Numbers Where My Mouth Is

It’s no secret that I’m tired of BS advice and people talking complete shit about how they built their business, with no context or frame of reference. Experts that pop up overnight and claim to have all the answers, but have zero proven track record doing it for anyone but themselves.

Or naive newbies thinking they can have a $100K launch with a 100 person email list, just because. Big dreams and heaps of false hope drive too many new online businesses.

While success can happen very quickly for some and will take years for others, a little practical, grounded perspective from the trenches is so needed. Plus, in good faith, I can’t talk about the problems I see out there, unless I’m willing to be part of the solution.

Starting in April here on the blog, I’m going to share a monthly “lab” report of what’s working and what’s not with my marketing. It may be painful some months, but I’m ready to put it out there to show what it really and truly takes to build a business in a sustainable, ethical way.

As a marketing pro, I know this opens me up to judgements of my skills and talents, and if that’s how people choose to take this, they aren’t people that should be working with me, ever. My approach is always based on testing and correcting (because none of this stuff is off-the-shelf) and by the idea that true creativity and connection only happen when you take some risks.

A big part of the lab report is going to be numbers, because while I’m definitely a creative type and I nearly failed 9th grade math (52% woot!), I simply adore what I call marketing math. This is not talking about my income and how much I spent; rather, it’s about the numbers behind marketing and building a business.

Things like conversion rates. List growth. Cost per lead. Results of A/B tests. Stuff that if you’re more creative may make you want to duck and cover. But these are the things that happen behind the scenes, and I wish someone had shared with me in detail about succeeding in business.

Are you ready to succeed? Then come fail with me, or at least laugh along when I fall on my face and try not to spill my fancy $15 mojito.

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