Monday, January 25, 2010

An unexpected lesson in failure

As you may have read previously, for the next two weeks I am attending a daily webinar titled the millionaire affair.  The event was created and put together by Sue and Steve Soucy who are the event hosts.  Each day a different successful entrepreneur will be having a candid discussion with us about what they've learned along their personal road to success.  Today's presenter was Wendy Moore (from Melbourne, Australia), who was supposed to discuss how to use social media to attract media and build your list.  Yippee... right up my alley!  And then... everything went wrong and it became a lesson of an entirely different sort.

What happens when you plan a webinar, investigate hosting companies, line up busy speakers, perform weeks of testing and then your 400+ person audience crashes the server?  It was an abrupt and absolute meltdown!  A true example of grace under pressure, Sue and Steve did everything in their power to get things up and running again.  They had a chatroom open on Twitter for the event and directed our chat there to take some pressure off the server while they got on the phone with the webhosting company.  Throughout the rest of the hour, the webhosting guy, Sue, Steve, and our guest speaker Wendy all tried to get the system to work.  We were finally given our own dedicated server and 400+ people had to collectively log off and log back in.  In the midst of all this, we guests from all over the world began chatting... mainly about our collective technology issues.  Dispite the fact that we were all disappointed, the mood was positive.  I attribute this to the constant positive communication from our hosts that they were doing all they could and to the reason we were all there.  We all had a common purpose of learning how to improve our lives and therefore, we were all coming at this with a positive attitude.  You don't improve anything by complaining, giving up, or speaking hurtfully to the people trying their best to solve the problem... and AH-HA... that was the real lesson today.

After over an hour, they still hadn't worked out the bugs and rescheduled our most gracious speaker for tomorrow.  Many people left (having other obligations to attend to), but about a third of us hung on... for a total of over 3 hours!  I ended up doing other things as I was listening to them trying to figure out how to prevent this from happening again, but was amazed at their spirit.  They never gave up, they never got mad (not even at the webhosting company guy), they just focused on finding a solution to the problem.  It was wonderful.

I was also impressed that Wendy Moore, our speaker for today (and now tomorrow) stayed on the entire time.  Not only that, but she offered free special online bonuses (items that normally cost money) to those of us who stuck around... as a thank you for our patience and perserverence.  She talked with us one on one and was wonderful and positive through the whole thing... despite the fact that it was her presentation that was affected (and some would say ruined, although I would disagree) by all of this.  I was more impressed by her handling of today's situation that I could possibly have been by any presentation she might have given.  She really cared.  I went to her website (Savvy Web Women Mentoring Program:, Free Bonuses From Savvy Web Women: ) and signed up immediately for their affiliate program.

Many people view successful individuals today as standoffish or even mean and uncaring.  I know many successful individuals personally and find them all to be extremely personable, friendly and accessible.  It's just that the corporate or social structure doesn't enable them to get out and be as accessible as they may want on a daily basis.  If you really want to learn from these people, you can... but you need to make the effort.  Don't be afraid to contact a particular author or corporate giant.  If you want information badly enough, you just need to be persistent and of course polite... and once you make that contact don't abuse it.  You will be surprised at how much you can learn from these people and how much they really are willing to teach.

Today was not at all what I expected, but by maintaining a positive attitude and hanging in there through it all, I gained lessons it might have taken a lifetime to grasp otherwise and I am so grateful for the experience.  I am looking forward to technologically-glitch-free presentations through the rest of the series, but I am certain I will learn important things every day of this series whether the technology behaves or not.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Becky,
    What an amazing post. Hopefully tomorrow things will go a little smoother. Glad that you stuck with us - we really appreciate it.