42 | Failure
As I celebrate my 42nd birthday, I also celebrate my failure. Today would have been Day 1 of SYNCHRONICITY 2018.
This year I had an idea to ask 300 people to believe in the vision that I had for the future of our magnificent state and spend $995 to share in two days of incredible speakers and inspiring MasterClasses to build a shared vision. I committed to deliver it with $5k worth of deposits and I leapt.
I needed $110k to break even with speakers, venue and Sound/AV hire, catering and an absolutely spectacular evening celebration.
I moved the dates once, hoping to stimulate more ticket activity with a bigger focus on promotion. I pivoted on sponsorship and had a small win.
With Helene Thomas, we created the most beautiful stories of incredible Tasmanians - a promotional project, Synchronicity Stories. We even made it to Ryk Goddards’ morning ABC show to talk about them.
But it failed.
I sold a grand total of $6195 worth of tickets and $3400 worth of sponsorship.
I had to cancel before the rest of the costs were due.
I wanted to share with you the numbers because it's the quantum of the personal failure that I hope sizes up for you I wasn't just playing at event management. I lost the deposits and repaid all the ticket purchases.
Failure sucks... there’s no glamourising it... it floored me...strained all my most important relationships and smacked me down with a massive series of anxiety attacks.
But when I got over the ego hit... when I stopped sobbing like a banshee and spitting fire at all my loved ones... I was left with some really solid lessons and a massive hit of optimism.
Here are my top 5 lessons from this failure.
Know your customer - I preach it everyday. With SYNCHRONICITY 2018 I was answering a need, my potential audience told me. But they weren’t prepared to commit to the price and the format. And that’s ok. Solution: more research, more profiling, more asking. ‘My opinion is irrelevant’.
Accept help - I had so many offers of help and I should have embraced them earlier. My partner is a rock and after much resistance I let him cover some of the cost. Feedback came thick and fast once I cancelled the event. I should have asked for it throughout the planning process.
Embrace the SYNCHRONICITY of things and say yes more often - so many incredible Tasmanians came out of the woodwork to make contact with me as a result of SYNCHRONICITY marketing. They’ve paved the way for the future of DisruptiveCo and I cannot wait to collaborate with them.
I am capable - I have doubted my ability for years, paralysed by fear, unable to move projects forward. SYNCHRONICITY gave me MOMENTUM... and belief in myself that I can ship beautiful art. (Thanks Seth Godin)
One failure doesn’t stop you - I’m back in the game and on my way to the next iteration of SYNCHRONICITY. A series of small, salon style events with a program to be released soon.
Failure has made me clearer than ever that my purpose is to help create ways for Tasmanian entrepreneurs and established businesses to collaborate in order to experience disruptive levels of growth. It’s my rising tide project.
I am here. I am a failure. And I’m ready to try again. Come join me.