Been thinking about this idea of “failing forward” regularly as I do the work to launch my first book. The learning curve on this endeavor is nearly straight up. Writing a book is a cake walk contrasted with all the moving parts necessary for sending it out into the world for readers to (hopefully) enjoy.
Marketing and promotion are not my strong suits. I know this about myself. But everything I’ve read says book promotion has to come from you in order for readers to believe it’s authentic—that you’re authentic. So, I’ve been reading and reading and reading books and blogs and social media posts about marketing. I’ve taken workshops and joined webinars and forums on the topic. Still, I feel like I’m going to screw up my book launch like a boss. It’s not that I lack confidence in the quality of my work. It’s that I lack confidence in my ability to sell it.
That’s where the idea of fail forward comes into play. The essence of trying thirty new things a year is taking risks. The reason why we call them risks is because there is a possibility of failure. The irony, of course, is that failure teaches us so much more than success does. When we’re successful, there’s no incentive to try to grow and improve; whereas, when we fail, there’s all kinds of incentive to try to grow and improve. Thus, fail forward. That’s not to say we shouldn’t succeed, just that we shouldn’t be afraid to fail. Take a chance. Learn from mistakes.
I recently read in one of those places I’ve been consulting to teach myself about marketing that it’s inevitable that we’re going to make mistakes. Reading that freed me from the morass of fear of failure into which I’ve been floundering for the past six months. I’m going to make some mistakes in my book launch. There. I’ve admitted it. The trick will be to discover what those mistakes are after I’ve made them and then figure out ways to correct them when I launch the next book in the series–in March. If I don’t take the risk, no one but a few beta readers will ever read my novels. After all the time and work and joy I’ve spent writing them, the idea no one will read them is far more terrifying than screwing up a launch. Fail forward.
Whatever it is that you truly want to do, that thing you’re not doing right now, ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen if you suck in a deep breath and jump in. Will you look or feel like a fool? Why is that a problem? How long will that feeling last? Is the fear of looking silly the hill on which you let your dreams die? Will you lose time or money? How will that loss affect you in a year? Five years? What do you stand to gain from taking the risk? That last one is the true million dollar question.
Take that risk.
Tell me about a way you failed forward. What did you try, what mistake did you make, and what did you learn from it? What have you gained? Also, do you have some marketing tips? I really do need the help.
Yours in taking a risk (or thirty),
Tam DeRudder Jackson
=Love is worth the risk.=