Every one of us fails at some point or another. Failure is an inevitable and necessary part of life. Unless and until you experience the misery of failure, you cannot and will not enjoy the rewards of success. Pretty much all of us fear failure at some level. The sting of it is painful and humiliating, especially when that failure involves missing one’s own expectations or goals by a wide margin. However, the fact that you failed is not what matters. The manner in which you handle your failure is what matters. If you have failed in some significant way in your life recently, here is how to recover from your failures in life, and how to reorient yourself towards success.
Admit and Own Up
The first step to handling any failure is to admit to it, openly and immediately. Since I believe in leading by example, and since this article is of course part of the Didactic Agoge, honesty and consistency dictate that I own up to a major recent failure of my own. After all, I’ve been telling you guys for some time now that when you screw up, you ought to admit it like a man.
Those of you who are subscribed to my email list are aware that for the past few days, my friend Kyle Trouble and I have been pushing a product that we jointly created called Limitless Living. Both of us firmly believe that this product is perfect for those men who want to move out of the decadent and dying Western world to greener pastures. The full curriculum for the course is extensive and very detailed. It’s simply the best product out there for the price.
The First Presale: Fizzle, Not Sizzle
We went into that product with very high hopes. We wanted it to succeed, especially given all the work that we put into it. But, when the original presale went live earlier this year, we sold significantly less than we expected. Out of a total of 100 presale slots, we filled a little over 50. I believe two of them were my own readers, and the rest were Kyle’s.
Those weren’t the kinds of numbers that we expected, given everything that was going on at the time. We thought that we’d get a lot more in terms of both customers and revenues.
We then decided to have another sale later in the year, after the election in the USA. Our reasoning was that, no matter HOW things turned out, at least some folks would want out.
The Second Presale: Bellyflop Central
So we held a second sale, and we just got the results in. A total of four people signed up for the course after the second launch. And that is, by any reasonable standard, a disaster.
(I believe at least one of those sales came from one of my readers again. As always – if you bought into the course, many thanks indeed for your patronage. I would very much appreciate it if you could send me a review once you’ve finished looking through it all.)
Analyse What Went Wrong
in order to figure out how to recover from your failures in life, you must always ask yourself what went wrong, as a matter of immediate urgency.
Well, simply put, we probably weren’t marketing the course quite right. We probably weren’t looking at the correct target audience and niche in terms of customers from our mailing lists.
Does such a niche exist? It’s a good question.
Few places really put all of the advice together, with breakdowns of the costs and benefits involved, and with case studies, in video and audio format. Fewer still package it into one convenient bundle. That’s what we did.
And it didn’t work. You simply can’t escape the numbers. That product was a failure no matter how you look at it.
How to Recover from Your Failures in Life
When you invest a lot of blood, sweat, and toil into a product, and you see it flop, you naturally get pretty down and depressed. Both of us certainly were today. But in all honesty, at this exact moment, as I write these words, I’m actually feeling pretty chipper.
And that’s because I followed a simple series of steps designed to get myself back into the game and oriented toward success again.
I’m not saying that this is guaranteed to work. Given my own spectacular record of failure, you’d be well advised to take what I write with a mountain of salt. Nonetheless, here’s how to recover from your failures – even really spectacular ones – in your life and turn them around:
1. Face and Swallow the Humiliation
Failures are horribly depressing, and with good reason. When you screw up for the entire world to see, you really don’t have anywhere to run.
I had high hopes for our course. But the fact is that we failed to meet our own expectations, by a huge margin.
All of you are welcome to pile on at this point, especially those who received my emails trumpeting the product itself. I would like your honest feedback about what you saw and whether it appealed to you.
If it didn’t, then I need to fix that. And I own the failure of my marketing efforts and outreach.
2. Take Time Off and Away
Honestly, when I got the news this afternoon, I was not happy at all. I was tired and depressed by the failure of something into which I’d poured so much time and effort over the summer.
Indeed, I didn’t want to go to the gym today. The fact that today was “leg day”, so to speak, didn’t help. Every single time I go for leg day, my body always starts bitching and trying to convince me not to do it. Squats and deadlifts leave your entire body aching for days afterwards. I keep coming back to this classic BroScienceLife video because it is a perfect encapsulation of powerlifting:
But I went anyway, because I’ve internalised lifting iron to the point where it’s a literal habit for me. And it worked. Really, really well.
You might think that you can recover from your failures by lying on a shrink’s couch. I recover from my failures by lifting heavy shit and smashing my fists, elbows, knees, and shins into heavy bags.
I don’t recommend my methods to everyone. I’m weird. But it works for me.
When you screw up – first, admit to it, to yourself and the world. Next, step back and take a breather. Talk it through with someone. Go lift something heavy. Swing an axe at a tree. Smash the stuffing out of a heavy bag. Trust me – it all helps.
3. Focus on What Went Right
Here’s how I turned my thinking around from depressed to optimistic.
First, the profits generated on my side from the latest sale are more than enough to cover my site hosting expenses for ALL of my properties for next year. I’ve made enough from that one sale alone to keep doing this for another year.
That, alone, in light of Big Tech’s efforts to shut us down, is one little victory.
Second, I can take the material that I made and create my own course out of it pretty easily. It’s all there. I have to re-record a bunch of stuff, but I can repackage it as I wish.
Third, I can build a site around the course itself instead of selling it as a standalone idea. That’s been part of my plans for a long while, actually. I’ve wanted to create a travel website dedicated to Eastern Europe and other places for some time, but could never find the time or motivation. This will be a lot of work and effort – but I think it will be worthwhile.
And fourth, what little feedback I’ve seen so far, indicates that customers thought that the course was really solid.
4. Reset Expectations and Reorient
Once you’ve figured out what went wrong and what didn’t, start building on the things that you did correctly. Related to the inspiration for this post, if you didn’t market your product correctly – start doing some more research into your competition. Start looking at your niche objectively and see whether you actually have something that stands out.
Above all, don’t let yourself get worn down and discouraged. This is very hard advice to put into practice, because the entire world is constantly telling you that you aren’t good enough. The world wants you to give up and stop. If you just want to remain where you are, then you will always find excuses to do so.
But if you choose to keep going and keep building, eventually you’re going to find something that works.
Conclusion – Fail Faster
Failure sucks. It hurts. Trust me, I know – I’ve failed harder, more spectacularly, and at greater cost than many of you can possibly understand. Some of you may have lost jobs – I’ve lost every single job I ever held to layoffs or project cancellations. My track record of failure is impressive, if unenviable.
But as I’ve come to realise over the past 2.5 years or so, sometimes these things happen for a reason. These failures are useful information that you need to absorb and acknowledge in order to succeed in the future.
So don’t be too scared of failure. Yeah, failure is a stone-cold bitch when she smacks your head clean off, gut-punches you, and then kicks you in the ribs and the balls when you’re curled up on the floor. But the funny thing is that, no matter how many times she hits you, she can’t break you without your express permission.
So don’t give it to her. Get back up, dust yourself off, and get on with the next thing. That’s all there is to it.
And eventually, once you’ve failed enough times and learned enough lessons, you’ll start to succeed – BIGLY.
That, my friend, is how to recover from your failures in life – by refusing to stay down and stay broken.