How Willing Are You To Get It Wrong?
In this article, want to talk to you about audacity. In particular, your willingness to take surprisingly bold risks when it comes to your business.
Something I see time and time again, is bright and capable business owners, failing to really move the needle forward in their business because they are playing it too safe and allowing perfectionism to stifle their capacity for growth.
And I totally get it, being a small, online business owner can feel very vulnerable, unlike the safety of a 9–5 job with a steady paycheck, it can feel like we’re putting everything on the line when we show up for our business. Of course we want to get it right, we want to do what we know works and repeat those things that we’ve already tried and tested. But here’s the thing, if you are relatively new in business or you are early on in your business growth journey, then limiting yourself to what has been tried and tested is a one way street to stagnancy.
As hard as this might be to hear, it’s only when we step out of our comfort zone and risk falling flat on our face do we get to experience the kinds of opportunities that can create big jumps in our business growth. Allow me to share a couple of examples.
In June I was invited to participate in an all day online ethical marketing event alongside some of my all-time business heroes such as George Kao and Tad Hargrave. As you might imagine, I was excited and terrified in equal measure and as if presenting my slot wasn’t audacious enough, it was going to get a whole lot more scary.
During the back and forth with the organiser of the day, I asked if I needed to be present for any other part of the event or if I just needed to show up for my slot, his response was this:
There will be a discussion panel at 20.00–20.50 BST with other presenters from the day (Tad, George, etc.). Would you want to join that?
I don’t mind admitting that I seriously considered saying no, of making my excuses and basically running for the hills. There’s one thing to fluff my presentation in front of a few hundred people who don’t know me but getting it wrong next to/in front of two of the most established leaders in my field left me feeling nauseous.
Of course, I said yes. There is no way I could have lived with myself if I hadn’t, but it really did feel like a make or break point in my career. On the one hand it was my opportunity to shine, to share my point of view and business expertise alongside some of the most respected experts in ethical marketing and on the other hand, if I messed up, it could see my credibility and reputation go down the proverbial drain.
In case you’re curious, personally I think I nailed it, for sure I ummed and ahhed through a few of my answers, but I loved every single minute of it (which is the most important thing) and it was thrilling to know that I could handle every question they threw at me. One of which was the inspiration for this letter:
What’s the most audacious thing you’ve ever done in your business journey?
Of course I didn’t mention that it just might be accepting the invitation to be part of that very panel! Days after the event, especially given how many people reached out to me because of it, I found myself ruminating more and more on this question and the crucial role that audacity plays in our business success.
To see my presentation, click here.
Now just in case you’re thinking well that’s all very well Caroline, but I haven’t been invited to speak at any big events lately, I have another example for you.
This one is about one of my dear coaching clients, Lauren. Lauren is a copywriter for coaches, a truly great copywriter (she wrote this sales page in case you want to see an example of her work) and during one of our sessions, the idea of doing a critique of one of Tad Hargrave’s sales pages came up.
Lauren decided to do it as a video and once created, she sent it to me. You can watch it here if you’re curious or you need some sales page writing tips!
Once I saw the video, I told Lauren, in my capacity as her coach, that the next step was to send the video to Tad. Now Lauren won’t mind me telling you this, but she was not at all excited by this idea. Much like my reaction to the discussion panel invitation, it felt like a huge risk to take. But being the courageous soul that she is, Lauren bit the bullet and sent it off to Tad with an email inviting him to share it with his audience and also asking if he wanted her to create any other content for his website.
Tad’s response was enthusiastic. Within 48 hours he had shared Lauren’s video with his entire list and had invited Lauren interview him, which they then recorded and which he promptly shared with his audience. Talk about exposure!
To give you an idea of how large Tad’s audience is, he has nearly 18,000 followers on his Facebook page so you can imagine the impact this kind of endorsement had. Lauren took a huge and, in her own words, “petrifying” risk here and it paid off big time but she had to be willing to fail in order to get an opportunity like this.
So my question for you is this.
What surprisingly bold risk could you take in your business over the next 7 days?
Maybe it’s inviting someone to become a client or asking one of your business heroes if you can interview them. Perhaps it’s finally pitching yourself for that podcast or guest post. Whatever it is, I know if you spend 5 minutes tuning in to what feels edgy for you, you’ll think of something suitably audacious and if you do it, you’re business will thank you for it.
If you want some accountability for your bold risk, feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what you are planning or alternatively, head on over and share your audacious goal inside the Conscious Business Collective — a group on Facebook I host for conscious business owners who are over the sleaze and manipulation so rife in online marketing these days.