Ever had an initiative that you wanted to add to your business which sounded great in theory but completely flopped in practice?
Yeah, you have?
Yeah, me too.
“Flop club” is a popular venue for us entrepreneurs.
I was thinking about an example of this that happened to me that I think we can all learn from…
Sort of like a case study in “Don’t do this at all costs.”
So here’s the story.
About two years ago, we launched our first Mental Skills Workshop.
It was on the fear of failure.
I launched it with passion — sharing stories, writing emails and drumming up engagement.
It was a raging success with over 70 in attendance.
The audience, according to their feedback at least, were genuinely impacted by the experience.
We scheduled in our next workshop for three months later.
But the next time around, I didn’t do what I did the first time.
I didn’t tell the stories of my own mental demons as an athlete, and how that held me back from achieving what I wanted to get out of sport.
I didn’t tell the stories of other athletes who made breakthroughs by mastering their mental game, and why mental skills training was the reason they were able to propel themselves forward.
And I didn’t lay out a compelling reason why they should make an effort to attend.
Want to know what happened?
We only had seven book in.
It was such a low turn out rate we actually pulled the pin and cancelled the event.
It was an embarrassing fall from grace.
See, I made a big mistake.
After the success of the first event, I went into the second thinking that the job was done.
That people understood why they should care.
And, that they fully understood the need, importance and value of mental skills training.
But I was wrong.
Because despite glowing and raving reviews of the day, that feeling eventually faded, and I failed miserably to reignite their desire.
And that’s because I failed to tell athletes why they should care.
So really, the abject failure of the second event was all on me.
Thankfully, I’ve learned my lesson and when I want athletes to care, I make sure I don’t leave it to chance.
I share stories of hardship.
I tell stories that inspire.
And most importantly, I tell them what it could mean for them if they gave themselves permission to explore the opportunity.
Not only do the athletes care, but they care enough that they are ‘hit right in the feels’, like this athlete:
And that’s the power of telling them the real reason why.
That deep ‘why’ that motivates you to try new things, that makes you want to innovate, and drives you to go over and above.
Doing that is far more effective than some superficial bullshit response like “I wanted to bring more value to you.”
Tell them what’s really up. Tell them the real reason why. Not only will your members/patients/athletes turn up in droves to your initiatives but your clients/members/athletes will thank you, too, for telling them why they should care.
– Karl Goodman