How to manage for happiness when your thing doesn’t fly

by | Apr 15, 2013

happy_balloon_2-4-2013Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. ~ Albert Schweitzer

What’s going on when you put your work out there and you don’t get the response you’d hoped for?

When your thing doesn’t fly?

I’ve been thinking about this because recently one of my best things didn’t do as well as I’d expected. I’ll tell you about it in a minute. But first, let’s talk about how to manage for happiness even when your thing doesn’t fly.

Truth #1: It’s not personal

I know it stings when your thing doesn’t fly, but trust me, it’s not personal.

There are a kazillion possible reasons why an offer might not succeed. A kazillion because that’s how many possible responses your possible clients could possibly have.

Did you follow that? It’s worth rereading. Because not only are there a kazillion possible reasons, 99% of them are out of your control.

Note: not 100%. 99%. That leaves a handful of things you can control on your end, which leads to Truth #2.

Truth #2: Every offer is an experiment

Every offer you make is an experiment. Even if the experiment has resulted in oodles of sales in the past, it’s still an experiment.

In other words, you can’t control the results.

But you do get to control what you put into the experiment. When it doesn’t work, you get to change it up. You can play with the pricing, the design, the packaging, the timing. Preferably not all at once, or the experiment gets muddled.

(Caution: don’t go fiddling with your offers too fast. You need to give them a good try before making changes willy nilly. Otherwise you’re not experimenting, you’re shooting in the dark with blunt darts.)

Truth #3: You get to manage for happiness, or not

When you’re building a business around work you love, you presumably make offers you are happy to fulfill.

What may not be so clear to you is that there are almost always more happy ways to offer and deliver your work than you have yet thought of. One of the benefits of having a thing not fly is that you get to discover those ways.

The trick here is not to let temporary disappointment distract you from what I call managing for happiness.

Managing for happiness means looking in the direction of a good feeling about your business. It means coming at your next actions from a place of “What does this look like when I know that happiness comes from within and that I get to play it any way I choose?”

Truth #4: If you want to be in the game, you’ve got to stay in the game

Like I said at the top, one of my best programs didn’t take off recently. In spite of having sold out several times in the past, the response to The Goldilocks Strategy for Getting Clients that Fit Just Right has been tepid.

I felt a lot of equanimity about it. I love the program. I was proud of the videos and webinar I did for the launch. I was delighted with the gorgeous new graphics and template for the workbook. Maggie and Lisa had been amazing to work with.

So I had no regrets. And for a couple of days I thought about just letting it go.

But then I realized that just dropping it would be more like resignation than acceptance. It would mean leaving the game.

I like to play, so that didn’t seem like managing for happiness.

How I managed Goldilocks for happiness

I asked myself what managing for happiness would look like when it comes to Goldilocks. And here’s what came.

Instead of trying to figure out how the heck I could get people to sign up, I asked myself a question at the heart of The Goldilocks Strategy: What do my people want?

It seemed clear: managing for happiness means asking that, so I’m asking for your help.

I’ve created a super-short (5 question) anonymous survey so you can tell me frankly your thoughts about Goldilocks. There’s even a place for you to say it wasn’t on your radar at all. It’s all good to know.

I imagine you can complete the survey in about 3 minutes, though you can write as much as you’d like me to know.

Here’s the link, click here.

No matter what your experience has been, I truly want to hear from you. And next week, I’ll let you know what I’m finding out.

UPDATE: Survey results are in, and the bottom line is that folks are concerned about money, time, and overwhelm. I’ve rejiggered The Goldilocks Strategy for Getting Clients that Fit Just Right so that it is much less expensive (85% less), has a year of monthly teleconferences for support, and break-it-down-for-you emails every 7-10 days.

Photo Credit: dfbphotos via Flickr