Before I begin, I want to announce that I have completed my course, Digital Notes Organizer. Per the rules for IWSG, I won’t advertise it in this post, but you can find a special offer here. However, today’s discussion on Failure has a lot to do with the release of my course. More specifically, I expect it to fail.
Many might perceive that I’m being negative, that I’m being hard on myself, that I lack self-confidence. And why not, Failure is something to avoid, something to fear. No one sets out to fail, and no one wants to work as hard as they do for failure. Yet my embracing failure has nothing to do with any of this, it is something all together different.
First thing to know about me is that I’m a realist. I accept the reality of a situation, and as I often say (in comparison to an Optimist) that I don’t need to lie to myself to motivate myself. Apologizes if you are an optimist and you don’t lie to yourself, but I’ve met many who do, and ignores key facts that will likely leave them in disappointment. Especially among writers wanting to be authors, that if they don’t get the positive feedback they believe they should get, they tend to throw up their arms and walk away.
To embrace failure, let’s talk about my first book, Scraping By. This book was not meant to be that great. It’s a 12-page story I wrote on a whim, that was only meant to see how the Kindle system work. That said, I wrote it to the best of my ability (several drafts), I gave it to a professional editor, and advertise it. I did everything you’d expect to for any book released, and yet, I knew it would be a failure.
Why do something if you know it will fail? Perhaps if you know it will fail, you should work to undo the failure so it will be a success.
Seems logical, but ultimately flawed. If we work to overcome the failure that is to be, then we’ll never release our stuff. I knew I would fail, because I was a brand-new author. There’s no way to overcome that, unless you have lots of money to get your product out there, which I did not have. It is possible for new authors to hit it out of the park, but those are the exceptions. So I felt, if I were to fail for my first time, it might as well be something more simple, that can help me learn rather than sale. And in doing so, I learned a lot about the process (specifically that you should handcode your ebooks).
Now let’s jump to my course. There is a very good chance that my course will fail. I’m a new instructor, and my course is rather unique for the website. Not only do I teach you how to install a server on your computer, I do so not for IT Solutions, but as Improved Productivity for your notes. More importantly, I’m asking people (primarily writers) to do away with their method of notes and embrace something brand new that quite frankly looks complicated (it’s actually not) and intimidating (it’s a 6 hour course).
Do I want to succeed? Hell yes. Am I setting low expectations by believing I will fail? Hell no.
It may seem like I am, but it’s not that I think less of myself. If that were the case, I might not have released the course or any of my books. I want to succeed and believe that everyone should take this course and bring their notes into the 21st century. However, I also see that I have so much against me, I am embracing the failure.
Maybe I’ll get some bad reviews and that can help me with the next. But, I also learned quite a bit about this process that I can apply to the next course I made (I’ve got 20 courses planned). I do hope that as I do more and more courses, that I gain some popularity and people look at my first course and decide to take it.
Don’t fear failure. Face failure, embrace failure. Learn from failure. I don’t set out to fail, but I also know that it is a strong possibility. After releasing Scraping By, Terran Psychosis and Daygar Legacy were successes for me.