Have you ever had something bad happen in your business? As though the universe is hell-bent on messing up your day? When things go wrong no matter what you do?
You are not alone. Bad things happen to all of us too, including me. I experienced a small set back recently that I want to share with you.
I spent 3 months fine-tuning my training program. I set up the notification emails and follow-up sequence (a total of 16 emails) and edited each one, tested each one, and then re-checked and re-tested. I invested hundreds in Facebook ads (after investing in a training program on ‘how to do Facebook ads’). I also invested in two other training programs to help with streamlining the webinar and training course setup. I spent hundreds of dollars on technology, templates, and plug-ins. Not to mention hours upon HOURS of time. I rehearsed and practiced my webinar a total of 6 times. I created an awesome playlist – experimenting with my iPod, iPhone, and different types of speakers to have it sound just right. I am sure that I annoyed my VA on the West Coast by making her listen to those playlists a few times. 😉
Finally, the big day arrived. I had a total of 699 registered for the webinar – 365 for the first day and the remainder for the second day. This was more than I ever had and I was positively stoked! I always get just a little nervous before I do anything live, but I was prepared so it wasn’t that bad.
Unfortunate Turn of Events
I started my Powerpoint presentation, clicked on the timer so that the countdown showed on my presentation, started the music, and hit “Broadcast.” Only three minutes into the broadcast and I could tell something was wrong – it froze on my screen! I restarted and rejoined the webinar (easy to do using my WordPress plugin for Google Hangouts). Everything seemed like it was working but as soon as I started, I started getting messages in the Q&A AND texts from my VA that the sound was really, REALLY, bad.
I unplugged my headset and used a different microphone. The feedback from attendees was that it sounded a little better, so I forged ahead. A few more minutes and people were dropping off the call with comments like “too much lag” and “I can only hear every other word.”
I reasoned that the best thing to do is just to go ahead, move on, and finish, because you never know if it’s affecting a small portion or everyone or if the recording is just fine. But in my case, it was everyone and, as soon as I checked the recording, I could tell it was not fine. Not fine at all. An entire two hours of me talking and only a handful of people heard it.
I had pinned a lot of hopes and dreams on this webinar. I had invested SO much!
And not one sale. 🙁
If this has ever happened to you, you know the disappointment. It was almost midnight before I re-recorded the webinar and sent out the link to the replay. I crawled into bed and felt like a complete failure. My mind raced about what had happened and the fact that I had another webinar the next day and had no idea what went wrong had me in semi-panic mode.
It didn’t happen right away, but within a couple of days, I was able to come back around and see this for what it was, a minor setback. That is all – a very minor setback. I eventually came to terms with the reality of the situation and learned a lot about me and how I handle things in the process.
Get into a State of Gratitude
The first thing I did was get back into a state of gratitude…
I am so grateful that I have a business that allows me to do webinars! To be able to teach others something that could help them in their business.
I am so grateful that no one lost money or that something happened that could have potentially damaged their own business.
I am so grateful that I had the presence of mind to not give up and figure out a way to deliver the replay the same evening and then save the second webinar the next day.
I am so grateful there were those out there who offered a word of support and encouragement (I got lots of “you poor thing, don’t give up” messages!)
I am so grateful that I learned a lot from the process and finally figured out Facebook ads.
Focus on What Can be Done and Ask For Help
Next, I set about trying to fix the situation. I got on the phone to my hosting company to see if the problem could be related solely to the bandwidth or other hosting-related issue. (Basically, I was told that it “may” have been too many people on the one page at the same time but they couldn’t be sure. And then they tried to upsell me, of course, into a new, much more expensive, hosting plan.)
I posted in my “webinars” Facebook group about what happened to see if anyone else experienced the same problem. Everyone in the group is there to support each other as we do webinars so it was a fantastic group to get feedback, solutions, and just plain “you can do it” type of messages.
I reached out to an old client / friend for support. She has a perfect way of getting to the heart of the matter and knowing exactly what to say to inspire and spur me to action. So grateful for her!
Identify any Lessons Learned
I believe there are always things to be learned from every situation.
I learned that I am now dealing with ‘bigger business’ problems. The fact that I may have had too many people attend my webinar that caused the problem – wow – what a great problem to have! Seriously, this type of problem wasn’t even on my radar. But I do have to plan on upgrading my hosting plan, especially if I want to use WordPress as it takes up a lot of resources that my current hosting plan cannot handle.
I also learned that I have a few programs that I can get rid of, saving me about $50 a month, and learned a better way of engaging participants by using the chat feature instead of Q&A submissions.
Most of all, I learned that I have an amazing support system, a loving online community, a husband who not only didn’t judge but offered practical words of support (as in, ‘hey, nobody died’), and dear friends who take time out of their day to offer encouragement. SO very grateful indeed.
In the end, I learned a lot and am grateful for the experience. But most of all, I am extremely excited for those who joined the program!
I’d love to hear your story – something bad happen and how did you handle it? What has been useful for you? Feel free to share with everyone in the comments area below.