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Eternal Order
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Profile of Dannydoyle
Inspired by Walters plea for context I think this works. So here goes!

Failure can be VERY instructive. Heck I personally learn more from failure than I do from success. I have bitten around the edges here, but have not really gone deep into this. Mindpro and I have been talking about a thread like this for a while, but I am far more cynical as to the acceptance of it.

My point is not to set out to fail. Far from it. Always set out to succeed. BUT when failure does creep in and show it's ugly face LEARN from it! I tell you on the road to success if you have not failed you have not traveled very far.

We see it COUNTLESS times here where guys are absolutely scared to mention that they have failed, or things did not go quite as planned or whatever. Either they make stupid excuses or they just avoid the subject completely.

Failure is not embarrassing. Not learning from it and not doing it again however is. I do not know of a single successful person in life who has not failed and failed BIG at some point. It is about what you do when you fail that makes you a success.

We see it all the time. "Come to X spot on XX date and time to see my show". Ask how it went and you hear NOTHING! I have tried to produce shows when I started that had 8 people show up! We tried to do my hypnosis show in Key Largo and I wanted to hire a bouncer to throw people INTO the place! They were staying away in droves. It was partially that the show was just not as good as I thought it was. Yes that was part of the problem. Counting on the hotel to do ANY marketing was a BIG mistake. I had posters, rack cards, table tents and so forth. The first poster they put up for the show they put up on the morning of the show. IN the room that the show was taking place in! Yes you had to buy a ticket to even see the poster.

So I learned. I learned that never leave something in the hands of others that you depend upon to eat. I was on a door deal. Needless to say that never happened to me again. Take control of things, don't depend upon someone who has no financial stake in the outcome to do work that affects your financial outcome. BIG lesson. Learning that lesson has helped me so much since I can't express it in words.

But if I just shift blame, don't look at what I can take away from the experience or worse just let my ego be bruised and give up I can't move forward.

So DON'T be afraid to fail! Be afraid only not to learn!

What have been some of your failures and what did you learn from them?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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177 Posts

Profile of Station10
"For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'."
~ John Greenleaf Whittier

If we become so afraid of failure we will miss the most exciting part of life . . . living. As Garth Brooks sang:
"And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance"

Through my failures I've learned how to preserver. I've learned what my strengths are and how to be strong. I've learned what my weaknesses are and how to fix them. I've learned what works and what doesn't. I've learned to become humble and put my ego in check.

Yes I too think I learn more from failure . . . I just wish sometimes I didn't have such a massive education. Smile
John Gilmore

"I am a great admirer of mystery and magic. Look at this life - all mystery and magic." ~ Harry Houdini

"To Strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield!"
~ Alfred Tennyson
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Inner circle
1273 Posts

Profile of WDavis

I agree a postmortem examination is always benefitial. Especially so with failures. I will give you two examples from my life.

The first example was for one of the public financial institutions I worked for. At the time, we recently brought on board a team of 4 to build out a new lending division. I was to build out the credit platform for them. Nothing got off the ground. We fought, to the point I was asked by the CEO to apologize to the department head, for calling him an $&@!-ing idiot who couldn't stay on task. Well 9 months later those people were fired. The bank realized it didn't have a Defined structure to develops new divisions. I was tasked with developing those frameworks for the credit division. As for myself, in a postmortem examination I learned I needed to check my own hubris as I was developing a reputation for being hard to work with. For the longest time I thought, "why are people so stupid, the logical approach is to do X".Now I've learned to guide people to the facts and appropriate decision and be more understanding of others feelings.

The second example, was when I first started on my own, we hear do some free gigs, get some exposure, etc. well I was asked by a friend if I knew anyone to perform a private event for a mutual friend. I thought at the time, I could do it and get exposure etc. well I did it, it was ok of a performance. I learned where my show weaknesses were in that environment. But more importantly, I learned never volunteer for private individuals or companies. I will only do pro bono now for registered 501c's because I was reached out to by this "friend" again for another event, but when I said it would cost, they tried to haggle and threw the fact I did a free gig a while back in my face.

Good topic
Ken Northridge
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Inner circle
Atlantic City, NJ
2242 Posts

Profile of Ken Northridge
I’m not sure this is what you’re looking for but I feel like sharing and I hope this will inspire someone.

I once took over a sales route with 120 accounts that had annual sales of about $10K. I was the 5th person in 5 years attempt this. In other words it was a bunch of dead beat accounts that no one was having success with.

I knew if I could develop a relationship with just 20 of those accounts my job would be a success and the financial reward would be very good. What I didn’t know is which of the 20 accounts I would be successful in.

So, I had to knock on every door, every week. Some people would let me do this even when they had no intention of doing business with me. But some would get in my face and say, “I don’t need you here. Don’t come back!” I respected those people more. It was a failure, but I could now cross that account off my list and concentrate on the others.

It took years but I eventually got the list down to about 20 accounts. I got those 20 accounts to produce over 1 million dollars in sales, and got my work week down to 3 ˝ days.

There are good people for you to do business with out there, you just don’t know who they are until you try.

I’ve heard that a reasonable expectation of direct mail is a 2% response. That means you have failed at booking 98% of your targets! But the 2% can turn into life-long customers.

I would say failure is essential for growth.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
Mary Mowder
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Inner circle
Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3649 Posts

Profile of Mary Mowder
I once did a two week gig at a comedy club which went very well, and I had a great time. It was an all woman review and I opened. Since it all went well I thought the owner was on the up-and-up.

I was asked to return and do another two week gig at the same pay, which was going well but after the first week, the owner said he would pay me half what we had agreed upon. I was inexperienced and had no contract (despite being warned by Martin Lewis that the guy would try and pull this if I did business with him). The owner had paid to have one of the performers' boyfriend flown in to see her in a grand gesture andapparently decided to recoup on my wages.

I was really enjoying the gig and wanted to keep doing it but it was so unfair I felt I had to say no to this. The owner said I could take the half pay both weeks or one week that I'd already completed for the agreed upon wage. I REALLY WANTED TO WORK THE SECOND WEEK but I quit and got full pay for the first week.

I can't think of anything that gave me more self esteem than saying no to being treated so shabbily. Suddenly I had more of a sense of self worth.

Can't say I enjoyed it but I learned to get a written agreement and to say no to bullies.
I should have known that if the guy would try to cheat Martin Lewis that he would not hesitate to try it on me. I should have listened to Martin but I actually think going through it helped me in the long run.

-Mary Mowder
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Profile of charliecheckers
When we first started, we had 5000 postcards printed and distributed several thousand directly to families during the Fourth of July week at parades, carnivals and firework displays in our area. We thought the personal touch of hand delivering and introducing ourselves would land us a fair amount of shows, even if the return had been 2%, we would have been elated. Instead, I do not recall one person saying they learned about us from receiving those, and because we fairly new, our overall shows were few, so we knew well the strategy did not work well. I know some have had a bit of success with putting cards at family restaurant bulletin boards, or similiar actions, so some of the failure could be blamed on the postcard content we had- but the failure taught me to focus marketing efforts on avenues where the liklyhood of booking a show was more predictable and the timing of their need was closer to my promotion than random promotion not knowing when or if they would need consider my services. At least at the beginning, that is what worked much, much better for us.
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Profile of Mindpro
This is such a great thread as I am a firm believer we can learn just as much (actually more) about what NOT to to as what TO do from others. Failures or setbacks are one of the greatest learning tools, unless of course you are the type that has to experience it on your own to learn, whichj is fine it just takes you longer to get to the same results.

In reality, most people have far more failures and setbacks, and woulda & shouldas than actual successes, so such stories should be quite easy to come by. In almost every one of my books, courses and live events I share not only some of my own examples (and I guarantee you they are probably bigger than yours) but they whys and most of all what I learned from them and how I recovered or reapproached it and the difference in results. Some have told me at my live events that is one of the parts they enjoy the most as they can see/feel themselves in many of these stories and situations.

I also don't know why some people are afraid to discuss the poor, bad or ugly side of their efforts. There is so much personally to be learned and gained, as well as, on here for example, the benefits of others. I hope more performers and entertainment business operators share and participate here.
Christian & Katalina
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Elite user
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Profile of Christian & Katalina
Many times failure is a great discriminator. It reveal who wants to really succeed at something and those that only dream about it.

There is no shame in failure. In fact, all professional magician have failed multiple times:

Trying a new piece in the show.
Trying to land a new client.
Writing a new show.
Marketing a show at a theater.
Working on a new magical skill set.

If someone wants my time to help them improve, I watch closely how they handle failure. If they whine, blame others, or pretend it didn't happen, there is reason to waste your time with them. If they pick themselves up, own it, and then learn from it, they have the makings of a professional.
Milbourne Christopher Award for Mentalism 2011
The Annemann Award for Menatalism 2016
Author of "Protoplasm" Close-up Mentalism
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