Warning: this is going to sound like a cheesy 1970s motivational poster, but here goes: I’m learning there really is no such thing as failure.

Recently I ran this one-day workshop. I had offered it as part of a training call I’d been asked to give to someone else’s group. Expecting a big crowd on the call, I took my coach’s advice to create something brand new for them that would allow them to take what they had learned further with my assistance. The call went great…except that there were a LOT fewer people there than I had thought were coming. So while I had signups, they too were way fewer than I had bargained for. I tried doing some last minute marketing to others, but at that point, there really wasn’t time for it to work.

In the past I might have been grumpy about the size of the audience I had for the call. I might have thought “what’s the use” of creating an entire training and spending half of my sunny weekend indoors, shouting into my computer, for so few people.

But this time, I decided to make lemonade:

I did my very best thinking and creating when it came to the information, the slides and the handouts. I realized that this was an exercise in commitment and that just getting it done and done well was an accomplishment. I thought about the hundreds, or even thousands, of people in the future who could benefit from the recordings that I’d have once I did the workshop. On the day, I showed up on the five hours of webinar trainings with as much enthusiasm as if there were hundreds there participating. I answered questions with as much value as I could.

When it was done, a funny thing happened. I felt proud of myself and excited for the participants.

Then, the following week, I began getting feedback from the stalwart few who had actually watched the training. They loved it. They were excited. In fact, some of them reached out to me for more intense one-on-one work to help them create for themselves what I had taught in the workshop. Result? Two new ideal private clients (so far!) to the tune of almost $13,000.

Now that sounds like a happy ending, but even more valuable were the lessons I got about how to handle what seems like a setback in business:

Show up 100%. Each person who raises their hand to work with you deserve your best work, whether there’s 1000 of them or only one. Give it to them.

Lose the ego. No one is watching or keeping score except you. So don’t let embarrassment or comparison with others or “how it should be” cloud your thinking or make you feel bad or give up when things don’t go as planned.

Ask: “what else could this be?” Get creative and think outside the box and outside this moment. I knew that the recordings of the workshop could be very valuable as a product. Since that’s the topic I was actually teaching, I got to demonstrate it to my clients and to myself. The reactions I’ve gotten has validated the material so I feel great selling it again on autopilot. I can also use it as a bonus for affiliate promotions, to leverage my time and add value with my private clients, or sell it from the telesummits and podcasts I’m often invited on.

Notice the wins. Adam Urbanski pointed out that despite the small turnout, I’d actually gotten over 20% of the people who showed up to the original call to sign up for the workshop, which is excellent… and among those who did, some wanted higher-end work. Now if I ran some paid advertising to my own webinar, I could get a bigger audience and multiply those same great results.

Realize it’s never over till you quit. If I had gotten discouraged, pulled the plug and issued refunds, I never would have transformed the lives of the people who signed up and gotten two amazing clients, not to mention all the others I’ll get to help and the income I’ll be able to generate in the future, all from having stepped up and followed through on this “failure.”

I hope this story helped you…and know that the sweetest lemonade is the kind you make yourself. Where in your business do you have that same opportunity right now?

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