No one likes the experience of failure, it hurts, it hurts bad. Failure often makes us feel like, well, a failure and nobody wants that, but behind every success story is a string of multiple failures. Usually the greater the success, the more seemingly devastating the failures that led up to that success story.
We fear failure so much that we often fail to live our lives more fully because of it. The only way to combat fear is courage. Courage doesn’t mean you’re fearless. It just means that you have the belief in yourself to move ahead despite the risk, despite the reality that failure might not only happen, but that it will happen.
Many Flavors of Failure
Failure happens all the time and there’s different types of failure. The failure not to obtain any new students from a new Facebook ad. It’s not crushing, but it’s certainly a disappointment. Then there can be the failure to generate enough sales to make your payroll. Ouch-now that’s painful. Maybe you’ve experienced that before. It sucks. Failure does create opportunity. Opportunity to learn and to grow. Failure is the greatest teacher of them all. I never received an MBA. I never studied business or marketing in any formal setting. I do, however, have enough failure under my belt to demand an honorary degree of some sort-at least a smiley face sticker.
Interview With Chris Bates
[The following are all quotes from Chris during our interview]
The thing that, that I think all of us kind of learn quickly is that failure is sort of the whole point. It’s like the whole adventure, you know, you, you meet friction each day and then how you sort of sand the edges and deal with challenges as you face them. In my mind is sort of the game that we’re playing and trying to have a business and be a success.
Failure is a Part of Doing Business
Some days are just hard. You’re trying to make payroll, maybe you had some ugly parents that weren’t happy for one reason or another…I think it’s important for us to remember..that each day you’re sort of facing the failures as the adventure to growth…If you own a business, you are going to experience some pretty significant failures.
The more you try to plan ahead, so you’re trying to say, okay, what failures might I face? What failures have I faced in the past and how can we make sure that we don’t do that again. I think that ultimately if you want to have all your dreams come true in life, just be willing to work hard, stay decisive on your dream and focused and then have fun and fail, fail as much as possible. I like to call it failing up.
Your Dream Music Studio
I think we tried to make it too complicated and we work on the product, which, you know, for many of us as our lesson business, we, we, we work on a product that’s an important part, but it’s only a piece to the equation of being a business owner. All right. So should we talk about the, this idea of leadership, um, is something that you and I were, we’re both kind of into, um, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, which is, which is a much different mindset than the dreamer who’s coming up with their sort of dream music studio.
Obviously you’re wearing many hats and as a solopreneur sometimes you’re everything from garbage man to, you know, house cleaner to, you’re doing everything for the business. And the problem is, is that we get caught up in those things. So I think that one of the important ways to coalesce your dream into a, you know, resounding reality is to realize that uh, a, there is no finish line that since there’s no finish line, you’re, you’re in constant growth mode.
Each day you do have to manage your time to make sure that you’re focused on things that will instill growth in your operation. And so growth comes in multiple ways. It does come in and making a better product, or a better service, if you will. In lesson business, we’re typically selling a service…I think that the big thing that we get caught up in is we’re so worried about the product or the service that we forget that we have to actually have bodies to use the product or the service.
Music, The Vibration Heard Around The World
Everybody knows that music is a vibration. Think of the soundtrack to your life. Think of the depth and the community (that music creates). Whether you play or even just love music. You said something, Dave, that when I first met you in St Louis, I still quote you on this. You said people don’t quit music. They quit music lessons.
I never forgot that. Like, cause I’m like, you know, people never quit music. People around the globe embrace music and it is such a big part of their lives. And it should be because it’s one of the most special things that makes us human. And, and to me it’s, it’s one of the neatest ways that we also can create community and create a social connection with others. Um, it’s just such a special, special thing.
Keep It Simple
But what I see is people have created complexity because they think that’s what their customers want and that is not what they want. They want what you created, which is whatever the life change that you’ve tried to create right? And your product. And so if you’re, if you’ve created a service that’s, you know, let’s just pretend like you’re your whole goal with Kidzrock. Let’s say you’re going to have a Kidzrock program and your whole growth goal is to grow self-esteem.
Playing an instrument becomes a byproduct. But it’s almost like an a takeaway close because your, by not focusing on the actual playing of music per se and focusing on the self-esteem part with the families and the kids, they want to play longer and then they get better and then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and then they become lifelong musicians. So sometimes it’s better to simplify everything to the core and to say why are we really doing this? We’re doing this to build community, we’re doing this to build friendships, we’re doing this to build self-esteem, you know, um, all those wonderful benefits that we know that music and, and comradery gives.
I think that embracing failure doesn’t mean focusing on the failure. It means saying, how can we take this challenge that we’re facing and sort of overcome it so that way we can keep growing our strengths.
All you listening are doing that today, that everybody is changing those kids’ lives and not even always knowing how you’re doing it. You know, like, um, you don’t know that, that one little piece of advice, you know, uh, my buddy Rogers, a, uh, educator at the district level and I had him on a podcast recently and I said, what would you, what advice would you give to a teacher? Or what do you give to teachers? Cause, um, he works with tones and he said, listen, 80% of the time you should be listening and asking questions. And I thought that was a cool way to look at educating because we think we need to fill the space. And if you think about it, it’s really more about them than it is us. And it’s about getting them to engage and it’s about getting them to ignite and turn on. And if we’re trying to fill the space because we think, oh my gosh, they’re paying for this time better teach them, they’re actually getting less benefit, you know? Yeah. That’s great.
Click here to learn more about Chris Bates and Teacher Zone
Intro music: Dusted by Fojimoto
Transition music: Levi Simon
Outro music: Rain and Revolution by City Breathing