Tag Archives: lean startup

First Experiment of 2013 — FAIL

It only took me 6 days to fail at one of my most important goals for the new year — and that is great!

Let me explain. I set just two goal intentions on New Year’s Eve. Unlike most people’s “resolutions,” I made them specific enough that I could do something immediately to find out whether they would work or not.

What I failed at was this:

“I intend to get one person to sign up at minimum (max 3 people) in January, for a month long, 4-session coaching program at $345 each person, testing out the Creative Solutions Generator v0.2.”

This goal intention met my three criteria for a personal development goal: it was highly feasible (9/10), highly desirable (10/10), and moderately to highly challenging (8/10).

At first I actually started with a much bigger wish, but I determined it was not feasible. So I chunked it down to getting just one client right away.

I wanted to get this goal by the end of the first week in January but I got zero people to sign up, so today I am declaring this experiment a failure.

In NLP there is the saying, “there is no such thing as failure, only feedback.” The purpose of my Creative Solutions Generator technique is to learn how to really adopt this attitude — not just to change our vocabulary on a superficial level, but to actually be resourceful no matter what happens as we go through life.

For most things in life are outside of our direct control. This goal certainly was, as are goals like weight loss, or getting into graduate school, or world peace, etc. None of these things is in our direct control.

In this case, what was in my direct control was putting up this website, alerting my various communities online about this project and offer, etc. I did all these things, taking about 8 hours of my own labor on New Year’s Day. Even so, these strategies I employed did not get me the result I was wanting.

I wish I could say I immediately felt resourceful anyway, took in the feedback, and adjusted, but I did not. Instead, I spent the past week moping and feeling sorry for myself! This may be because I’m operating more within a performance goal orientation than a learning goal orientation with respect to career goals. Currently my identity is tied up with wanting to feel like I am already a success, rather than learning and adapting as I go.

After a few days however, I got it together to actually use my method and learn from the experiment.

So what did I learn?

I suspect that I don’t have a big enough list of potential customers at this time. I also didn’t sell the coaching based on the benefits enough — I only gave the features. $345 is a lot for people to invest in something without really understanding why it would be valuable to them. Even though I know the service is good (my clients consistently tell me how great my services are, and I think this service is one of the best things I’ve ever offered), I didn’t sufficiently convince anyone else of how good it is.

I also found that both pursuing this goal and failing at it negatively affected another career-related goal (basically I got temporarily distracted and off-course with the other goal), but the pursuit of my fitness goals were not affected. Goals do not take place in a vacuum — there is a ecology of goal interactions.

So last night I abandoned my first goal and set a new one. And I plan on succeeding or failing as fast as possible again.

On my other goal (fitness related) I’m making excellent progress — only 6 days into the new year and I’m 63% of the way there — but I still have a ways to go.

Wishing you fast failure (and even faster learning) in 2013,
~Duff

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