What Do Failure And Success Have In Common?

I’ve addressed the topic of failure and success in the Internet marketing business many times over the past years, both in writing and at live events. Personally, I find it to be a fascinating subject. And just when I thought I have nothing more to say about it, I suddenly got a realization.

Fact vs. Opinion

Have you ever read a terrible review of a movie or a book?

Reviews are nothing more than opinions and the world is full of them: they’re cheap, easy to produce, and have a value of approximately $0.002 per ton. “Success” or “failure” is only someone’s opinion about the outcome of a particular event.

Consider the time, money, and effort that go into producing a movie or a book—not to mention the years of education and practice that movie makers and authors put in before they entered their industry. Once that book or movie is released, it becomes a fact. And nothing that anyone says about it changes that.

Facts are primary. Opinions are, at best, secondary.

Why are facts more important than success or failure? Because it proves that someone did something. They took action and brought something into being.

True, more than 2 million books were published and approximately 700 movies were released in 2014. That’s certainly a lot of people doing.

But there are no annual statistics published on the number of people thinking about writing their book or producing their movie or waiting until they are ready.

What’s Your Point?

Substitute your business for a “book” or “movie” and you will see where I am going with this.

I talk a lot about the importance of implementing: four or five hours of doing for every hour you spend learning. You’ve read about how to create a landing page? Great. Now apply what you learned then create and publish the page.

In my younger days, I read a lot. I bought and studied every new online marketing “secret” that landed in my email inbox. But I didn’t bother carrying out anything I learned. No execution meant no failure; however, it also meant no chance of success either.

After a certain point, I realized that I had to change. I had to move.

In your business, especially in the beginning, a success or a failure is not as important as doing: writing your copy, creating your landing pages, placing your ads, building your list, and all the rest.

This is not to imply that success isn’t sweet—it sure is. And this is not to say that failure doesn’t suck, it definitely does. But without doing anything, you can’t have either one.

So, what success and failure have in common is that each is the result of doing.

Beneath Every Success …

Success is like an iceberg. Most people only see the tip, while a few consider that 90% of the iceberg is beneath the water.

The vast majority of the iceberg is failure.

The internet is full of articles with the same bios and stories of people who failed multiple times until they succeeded. In actuality, they didn’t stop after failing. They thrive by working until they succeeded.

Always remember that success is built on persistence and application.

Doing is Learning

Do you remember learning how to drive?

I learned driving using a car with a manual transmission. Coordinating the accelerator, clutch and brake caused me a lot of confusion. (You know what I mean if you learned this way.) I popped the clutch and stalled plenty of times. I ground the gears trying to downshift from third to second. It was a long process until I was ready to drive on a road rather than an empty parking lot.

You can learn the traffic laws from a book but you can only learn how to drive by doing it, making mistakes, and doing it some more.

What other things can you think of which you learn by actually doing? I would say sports, copywriting, playing the piano … and even running a business.

By applying energy and effort, and seeing the results, you get first-hand experience about what works and what doesn’t. Even failure is valued as a learning experience.

Scale Up What Works

While learning what doesn’t work can be valuable, the scope of your success depends on what you do with “what works.” In your efforts toward success, you will ultimately try a lot of things and there will be failures. To attain success:

  • Don’t give up after a few failures

  • Identify what works and scale it up

For instance, if you get an increased response to an ad, isolate why: Was it a new copy? A new list? A new offer? A different kind of ad (solo ad, banner ad, etc.)?

Then crank it up. If it was the copy, create more ads with a similar quality and context. If it was a new list, be super diligent with your follow up. If it was a new kind of ad, increase how much you’re spending on that ad and make it reach a lot more people.

Final Thoughts

Learn from your failures and your successes. Scale up what you do best and create more achievements. But most importantly, keep applying what you learn.