On a client call today, I was paid a compliment: “I want to get my marketing, sales systems, and business as dialed in and productive as yours is.”
Later that same day, a total sh*tshow ensued on a live webinar I hosted.
The webinar should have been as routine as brushing my teeth, but I was totally blindsided by a bunch of changes to our process, templates, Member’s Dashboard, and client support… one can of worms opening another, and another and another. Two hours and several “emergency” meetings later, I had the ship righted again, all the changes made, and a new direction set, but then that little turd burger incident put me behind on another critical project I was supposed to get done, now later than late – so here I sit at 9:15 at night working to try to make up for the lost time.
So many people think that once they get to a certain level of success, size, growth, employees, personal wealth, etc., “it will get easier.” They believe that their problems are mostly caused by a lack of resources (money), an inability to find good people because they can’t afford to hire them, or some other limitation due to being small in size or new to the business. Bollocks.
I’m here to give you a little bit of bad news. It NEVER gets easier.
Lots of people like me who were once poor, struggling start-ups and are now rich, successful business leaders are surprised by this. I know I was. I truly thought that once I got to a certain size, number of clients, profitability, and staff, running the business would get easier. Truth is, you don’t automatically get better results and more “ease” with anyone or anything just because you have more money.
People are still people, and the rich are just as susceptible to bad things as the poor. The rain falls on us all. Vendors still screw up, people make mistakes, and communication failures abound even with smart, competent, highly paid-people.
Resistance and opposition do not go away just because you’re bigger, more experienced, or supposedly smarter. Sometimes it increases because you have more things going that could go wrong, and more ways that things can get screwed up. The only thing that changes is that you (should) become smarter and expect problems so you can get ahead of them.
Today, I failed to do my normal checks before a webinar, thinking it was a routine repeat of something we’d done before. MY mistake. I AM smarter than this, but that doesn’t make me above doing stupid things.
In marketing, you can have my experience and knowledge and still have total failures and lukewarm results.
Also today, I had an e-mail ping-pong exchange with a prospect that, candidly, we ought not to be tangling with. He’s far too stubborn about “what won’t work for HIM because HIS situation is different.” Despite ALL of the marketing we delivered in advance of his appointment, including hundreds of well-written, real client testimonials and success stories from people in situations exactly like his…despite the well-deserved reputation I have earned over two decades of results…despite sitting through a very strategic, well-delivered consultation process that has been honed and practiced and delivered by a well-trained and highly skilled salesperson…I’m still getting resistance from this dude.
Another campaign we recently ran secured an abysmal response rate – it was a campaign that checked ALL the boxes and should have worked. You would think that BY NOW getting leads and clients would be as easy as breathing for me, but you might take pleasure in knowing that I still need to work at it, day in and day out, be involved in the strategy, watch and review the numbers weekly, check the budget, review and test workflows of campaigns, dig into why something’s not working as it should, harass and nag people to do things I asked them to do weeks ago and fix things that were working but somehow “broke” or were no longer being done.
So no, you’re not an idiot or a screwup because you still struggle day-to-day with problems, resistance, setbacks, mistakes, and utter chaos. And no, once you have money and success, those things DON’T dissolve – you just get better at crushing through them and imposing your will on others to push your agenda and goals forward.
This week is Thanksgiving, and one of the things I’m grateful for, if I’m honest, are all the problems I had to overcome.
They honed my skills and made me stronger, smarter, more confident, and more capable. They didn’t feel “good” when I was going through them or facing them, but I have learned to find gratitude in the struggle. There cannot be champions without competition, no diamonds without pressure, and no sunrise without darkness. The true maturity of an entrepreneur is developing the emotional strength to handle whatever business throws at us.
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