Six years ago today, I hosted my first live event in NYC.
That singular experience delivered my highest high and lowest low of my professional career. In one single day.
I had just moved here 5 months earlier and wanted to build goodwill in my new entrepreneurial community so decided to host this event.
I used the formula* my coaches taught me to fill it – and it sold out 2 weeks before. TWO WEEKS! SOLD OUT!
I found the perfect loft. Sunny. Spacious. New York vibe.
The buzz in the room that day was electric. We even had to set up an extra table in the back of the room for the people who showed up who couldn’t buy tix, but wiggled their way in.
We laughed and learned about values and selling. And I had reaaaaalllly cool booklets printed for everyone and really cool decks of cards for experiential learning. And we had so much effing fun. It was better than I had imagined it.
(Look at the happy faces in the pics!)
After lunch, things went downhill in an instant.
Originally, I hadn’t planned to make an offer, which is the typical purpose for doing those events.
I had made an offer at the events I hosted in Austin, TX and Minneapolis and done fine. But this one was different. I just wasn’t feeling it.
But the way it’s “supposed” to be done is to make an offer — so against my better judgement, I did it the way I was taught.
It felt like the air got sucked out of the room.
I did the traditional “break after the offer” and there wasn’t a massive rush to the back of the room. In fact, most people avoided eye contact. Or so I felt because > I < felt so uncomfortable.
I did get a few clients as a result of that day. But the overall conversion was nothing even remotely close to my expectations.
In hindsight, the BIG problem is that I wasn’t on board with making an offer. How could I expect THEM to be?!
I was upset with myself. I felt embarrassed. Humiliated. Mad. Confused. Frustrated.
I’m pretty sure I sunk into the worst damn Dip of my professional career at that point.
And it’s one of the BEST THINGS THAT EVER HAPPENED “FOR” ME. ????
It was one of those experiences that you never forget or shake off.
It gave me resolve to STOP doing things that don’t align with who I am. Although it took a long while for some of the practices I’d learned to go away. Damn, they’re sneaky!
* I’m not judging the practice of “get them in the room and make an offer.” I’ve done that since then, but in my uniquely own way, and with offers I’m totally excited about.
I now do things differently than I used to.
Each has its own vibe. I fill each one differently, depending on who I want there. I do free. I do paid. I have people apply for some – not for others.
I host several events where I don’t make offers… but let my brilliance shine and the money follows.
And some of my events feel more like parties – but using a business training as an excuse to gather and deliver value.
I 1000% believe that experience 6 years ago made me a better coach. And more importantly, a better human.
I can’t bear seeing people suffer. Or do things that aren’t true to them. Trying to be or do something or be someone they’re not. Trying to get the same results of someone they admire or aspire to be, in the same way.
It also plays into “why I give a shit” (as one of my clients so eloquently put it…) I’m not sure I was plugged into that as dearly as I became after that experience. Because I never want ANY of my clients to feel that deflated. Or not have a way to bounce back when things don’t go as planned.
Since then, there have been other letdowns. That’s all part of the evolution of an entrepreneur. But damn, I’ll never forget that day – or how it shaped me.
I share this story because I know that there are a lot of “look at how successful I am – I’ve never made a mistake in my entire life – I shit Unicorns” b.s. that leaves some people feeling really crappy and wondering why they can’t get ahead when everyone else is so successful.
It’s important to know that’s not the full truth. And don’t let anyone try to make you believe otherwise.
It’s a part of the journey, my friend. And the closer you do business aligned to your truth, the fewer missteps you’ll make.