I love this quote by former world heavyweight boxer, Mike Tyson. As a man who won his first nineteen fights with knockout punches, ‘Iron Mike’ knew a bit about disrupting the best made plans of wannabe world champs. Whilst few would argue he’s a great thinker – we can learn a lot from his blunt assessment.
Gotta get up again
I’ve been helping smart people to build their thinking and success since 2010. I used to think it was all about the content and clever IP. Increasingly though, I find it’s about helping them to build confidence in an uncertain world – a factor that has been amplified by a year of COVID-19.
One of the most valuable elements of my work is to help people to understand the fight they are in. Be under no illusions. If you plan to stand out as an influencer, a founder, a leader or an entrepreneur, you are up for your fair share of failure and pain. And that’s OK – as long as you are ready for it.
A few years ago, I remember running a webinar on Building your success plan. I had over 50 great people online and ready to roll. When zero hour came, however, I couldn’t get the technology to work. After 15 agonizing minutes, I had to abandon and re-schedule. PUNCH 1. Despite testing and several rehearsals, I felt like an amateur. I was sure I had stuffed up.
It turned out that the gazillion dollar platform (big shout out to GoToWebinar!) had a ‘server error’. They were ‘sorry!’. I was fuming. Even when we re-did it, there were more glitches, fewer attendees and sound-only on the live feed. PUNCH 2. We kinda got there in the end, but it was a terrible experience. It was the middle of the Australian summer. By the end, I looked and felt like I’d done a couple of rounds with Iron Mike.
Learn how to take a punch
In the early stages of your development, it is easy to let this stuff derail you. You’re already wresting with the ‘not good enough’ monster, so this is just proof that you are kidding yourself isn’t it?
In reality, we tend to amplify our own importance in the minds of others. The truth is most people just don’t care. Not in a nasty way, but simply because they’re too busy with their own shit! We all know that technology breaks. I find most folk are remarkably understanding.
4 tips to getting off the ropes fast
The trick then is not to avoid getting punched – that’s unavoidable. It’s to take the punch, shake it off and press on undeterred. Here are a few ideas to get you back in the fight.
Understand that failure is a part of the journey
Simply accept that you are going to fail and it will hurt when you do. It’s reality – and the price of freeing ourselves from the paralysis of perfection.
Plan to fail
I’m a long-time member of the Thought Leaders family. We bake in a 50% failure rate in everything we do. Your workshop doesn’t get enough interest? Fail it. Not enough sales for that new product? Fail it. These are still punches – and they still hurt. But acknowledging up front that failure is a possible, even probable, outcome, we minimize its effect. This makes it faster and easier for us to get back on the horse.
Whilst you are going to get punched, you can be smart about minimizing the impact. You need to prototype – to test the viability and demand for your ideas as early as possible. Run a pilot program (acknowledging that it’s not fully polished) or publish a test chapter. Adopting this approach prevents you from investing any more time than you have to in finding out if your offering will fly or flop.
Get a community of great seconds in your corner
As ever, it pays to laugh at your trials and tribulations. Find a community of like-minded folk to share your fight club stories with. Believe me, you’ll find everyone has taken some punches. It will get you match fit faster and help maintain that healthy dose of perspective that we all need.
So don’t hold back. Time to step into the ring and ‘plan for pain’.
It will probably do you the world of good.