We all make mistakes. As humans, that’s pretty much a given. Mistakes aren’t the problem, the problem tends to happen when people don’t learn from the mistakes they make.
I have seen countless entrepreneurs make the same mistake over and over again, never learning from the mistake and thereby never making any real progress. Then they get angry when a peer starts moving ahead in business, because they’re stuck in the same place they were all those months ago.
I completely understand the struggle. I think we’ve all been there at least once in our lives. But, if you’re ready to start making real change in your life, it’s time to own up to those mistakes and use them as lessons so that you don’t make the same mistake twice.
For me, when I started FITzee Foods, I was a mission to provide fresh prepared meals to those who wanted to eat better. I worked my butt off in that business for nine years.
Sadly, even after nine years of time and effort, I had to close the doors to FITzee Foods. It was like a piece of me died that day.
But, from that disaster, some pretty magical stuff started to emerge. The more I analyzed this epic fail, the more I realized that EVERY successful person had at least ONE similar story.
I remembered numerous off-the-record conversations I’d had with wildly successful entrepreneurs. Stories of disappointments and losses that they usually kept close to the vest.
That’s when the lightbulb went off!
What if, as entrepreneurs, we talked about the REAL stuff? Those times where we lost that major deal. The days we couldn’t afford to make payroll. The lawsuits we endured. The rent we couldn’t pay.
And, then to share how we all came back for more… AND, eventually made it!
I was staring my biggest failure, my biggest mistake in the face, and was also learning from it.
This massive mistake is what led me to create my Success Unfiltered Podcast, which I so lovingly create for you every single week.
So, my friends, your failures and mistakes do NOT have to be your end. Use them to motivate you to do better next time!
Learn from Your Pitch
Justin Kitteridge, a guest on Success Unfiltered, shared his story of the very first time he did a big-time pitch. Justin was pitching Steve Pagliuca, the majority owner of the Boston Celtics.
According to Justin, he couldn’t have done anything worse than what he actually did. During my interview Justin he openly shares what he did wrong; his pitch was too wordy, he wasn’t telling the true story of what his company could be, and he held the meeting right after lunch (a recipe for disaster all by itself). 😉
Justin believed that he was going to just walk in and WOW Steve. But, hindsight is 20/20, and Justin knew almost immediately that his pitch was terrible.
He never got to the marketer’s side of the pitch. He wasn’t able to show Steve the viability of the business, and that wasn’t because he wasn’t interested, but because Justin kept going and going and talking and talking. Justin even admitted that he thinks Steve briefly fell asleep.
After rambling for awhile, Steve cut Justin off and went through all of the reasons it wouldn’t work.
Justin could have walked away from this moment and wallowed. Instead of doing that, he told himself that he had to learn from the experience. He had to refine his pitch, and move onto the next one which had to be better than the first.
There was not a single moment where Justin doubted whether his company would be successful, he KNEW that it would be. He just needed to get smarter about the way he did things.
The best news? After refining his pitch, he was able to get Steve to invest in his company!
Trust Your Investors and Advisors
After refining his pitch, during his first round of funding, Justin was able to secure six investors who wanted to be a part of his company.
These investors and advisors don’t own a huge piece of the company, but they own enough that they want to see the company grow and succeed. All of the investors have been CFOs or COOs and are incredibly smart people.
Justin knows that life is too short to be making the same mistake twice. He values being able to learn from his own first mistakes, and he values the guidance of his investors and advisors.
No more critical mistakes for Justin and ISlide!
Quick Tips for Your Pitch
We all fumble with our pitches, especially when they’re new or you’re launching a new product. But, Justin graciously shared his top tips for rocking your pitch.
1. Storytelling – You want to show everyone that your product works and is a viable product.
2. Flip the Script on the Typical Marketing – In Justin’s world, typically companies will pay big time influencers to wear their product and then share about it on social media. But, for Justin’s company since they are able to customize the slides. Influencers are able to add their logo, brand or message — meaning, they’re going to want to wear them because it has their messaging on it. It’s all about them!
My advice, use this example to think outside the box. How can you create a pitch that is unique and is different from the norm.
3. Adopt the Mentality that Failing is NOT an Option – Justin left a six-figure job to start his company, with a wife and two kids. There is NO other way but success for him. He will do whatever he has to in order to succeed.
This is SO important because you want to prove to your investors that they can entrust their money to you, because you will not give up.
Royal Family, life is just too short to make the same mistake more than once. Accept that you are going to make mistakes, stop beating yourself up for them, and instead focus that energy on learning how not to make that mistake in the future.
I would love to know how you turned a massive mistake around into a huge success!