A young boy was walking home from practice. He carries his bat in one hand and a ball in the other. Tossing the ball into the air, he grips the bat and swings with all his might, only to miss. Undeterred, he scoops the ball up, regains his form, and tries once more without success. As he nears my vantage point, I can hear him make a low exclamation of “wow!” after each miss.
He continues to toss, swing, and miss and each time exclaims “Wow.” Finally after 27 tosses and failures to hit, he exclaims, “Wow, what a pitcher!”
Lesson #1: Failure is a matter of perspective:
At our business, we want people to cancel our services (include link). While Verizon or Netflix might complain about a cancellation, we embrace it. A cancellation means we have done exactly what our customers needed; we help them get a fair and accurate credit report. A cancellation for us means someone qualifies for a new home or someone can send their child to college. A cancellation means a job well done.
That’s all it takes, a change in perception.
Lesson #2: Failures are Valuable:
In 1989, 2 doctors, David Brown and Nicholas Terrett, created the chemical compound “sildenafil citrate”, hoping to turn the compound into a drug for a heart problem known as angina pectoris. It took 3 years of dedicated work to know they failed. They couldn’t get the drug to work right. What did their failure warrant?
One of the most profitable prescription drugs ever—the tiny blue pill, Viagra. According to Pfizer’s earnings report, Viagra earned them $628MM in its first quarter. In any one’s estimation, that’s a nice haul for a failure.
Lesson #3: You need to Fail:
In the affiliate business, you are going to have failures. Some campaigns will not do well. Some keywords will not perform. Despite all your best efforts to provide great, meaningful content, it might not get read. The alternative?
The alternative is you don’t produce anything. You need to fail. You need to send an email that won’t get read. You need to leave a voice mail that won’t be returned.
Christopher Columbus missed India by about 9,100 miles. Babe Ruth struck out nearly twice as much as he homered. Here’s to hoping your failures will be just as spectacular.