I Failed 25 Times… And Then This Happened to my Coaching Business

I fail ALL the time…

Last month I spent an hour making a video, and my mic was off the whole time.

Several hours of shooting later, I still hadn’t captured a decent video.

All that work…

…and nothing to show for it.

I used to beat myself up after things like that…

…and I wouldn’t even want to try again.

Have you ever felt like quitting after a failure?

If you haven’t achieved your coaching business goals yet…

It’s probably got something to do with FAILURE.

  • Fear of failure
  • Quitting after failure
  • Emotions about failure

But what if you decided ahead of time that it was OK to fail?

Creating a coaching business is like a marathon, not a sprint.

A sprint is so fast…

…that if you stumble…

…it’s over.

You lose.

stumble during a sprint and lose
stumble during a sprint and lose

But a marathon…

…Is all about finishing despite the challenges along the way.

What’s ironic?

I’m a hypocrite about marathons myself.

I’ve never run a marathon, because my rule is…

…that I have to win the whole marathon to run in it.

I fail ahead of time…

…because I never sign up…

…even though I’ve been running for over 40 years.

But I still admire the runners who keep going through blisters and pain for the entire 26.2 miles…

…even if it takes 7 hours or more.

…even though their faces grimace in pain.

Their hair is a mess…

…and their clothes are sweaty and stinky.

Some people might see them as failures…

  • They failed to place.
  • They failed to run in record time.
  • They failed to win their age category.

They failed in all these ways…

…but finishing is their version of success.

And that’s how a failure becomes a real hero.


People stand at the sidelines and cheer for them.

They finish what they started and they hold their heads high…

They have set themselves up to win their own race.


What if you had your own back when you failed?

What if you decided that you would treat yourself with love and respect…

…learn from the experience,

…try again,

…and finish.

when you fail, you choose the low road or the high road
when you fail, you choose the low road or the high road

Beating yourself up doesn’t lead to finishing… It leads to quitting.

What if you created your own definition of success and failure?

Is failure…

  • Losing…?
  • or quitting?
  • or beating yourself up?

Is success…

  • Finishing…?
  • or being the best?
  • or staying the course?

Remember how I worked on that video for hours, with nothing to show for it?

Here’s how I managed my brain…

I changed the meaning of failure.

And I had to, because part of me was so frustrated that I wanted to quit.

But I decided, “THIS is a marathon, not a sprint…”

I thought, “I’m making progress.”

“People need this video and I’m not going to quit on them.”

Dr. Colette Coiner

This was the new meaning I gave to failure.

Then I felt committed to the process.

There was no way I was going to quit.

Things WILL go wrong for you, too.

You need to get ahead of those failures.

How you plan to manage your thoughts and feelings will determine how you handle a failure.

So how do you preempt failure?

Here is an acronym you can use to change the meaning of failure:

FAIL: First Attempt In Learning

FAIL: First Attempt In Learning

Go out and fail…

not passively…

…as in sitting on the sofa and surfing the internet or watching TV.

But actively set out to F.A.I.L.

Take your first attempt…

…and your second.

…and your third.

UNTIL you succeed.

I like to set a goal of 25 “active fails” per quarter…

…because if I’m failing that much (with my best efforts), I’m doing the hard stuff that will move me toward the finish line.

I’m not asking you to do that…

Because even if you only allow yourself to fail a couple of times…

…you’ll still be money ahead.

Colette “Fast Failure” Coiner

P.S. Will you make your coaching business a marathon or a sprint?

What will you think when you fail?

Are you going to focus on FAILURE or FINISHING?

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