Tips & Talk 23 – Fail at Failure

Woman with her hand in the air accepting the situationIt often looks like brands you admire have had a smooth path to get the attention and business success they enjoy today. It’s just not true. Every company goes through struggles, deadends, disappointing results and yes, failures to get to what you see today.

But you don’t see them because they don’t share the backroom stories. That’s where the illusion of perfection comes from … and our misperception that these things don’t happen to others. They do.

In today’s show, I emphasize this point and present steps you can take to eliminate the emotional attachment to “failures.” The truth is, only by failing will you find the path to your successful profitable business.

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Transcript
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Hi there.

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It's Sue.

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And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

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These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

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things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

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If you'd like to submit a topic,

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DME over on Instagram at gift biz,

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unwrapped failing at failure.

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Yes. I want you to fail because too often,

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what I see is our fear of failing prevents us from

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getting anything done.

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If you're a first time product creator and you're wanting to

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monetize your product,

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or you're doing something new that you haven't ever done before

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this concern about failing often paralyzes you where you're to the

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point where you do absolutely nothing.

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Another thing that I often see happen is that people think

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that there's only one way to do something.

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And if you don't do things at that exact way,

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then you're wrong.

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And that's just not the case.

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There are so many different ways of accomplishing whatever your goals

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are, whatever you're trying to do.

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But this thinking that I'm going to fail.

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If I don't do it,

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the exact perfect right way is actually false thinking.

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The third thing that I'll see the mindset is that if

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I make a mistake,

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if I do something and it doesn't work,

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then the whole project is off the table.

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You know,

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like if you wanted to start a business around whatever your

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handmade product is,

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and you go to one craft show and you make a

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zero sales,

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which those of us who have been in the industry for

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a while,

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know that this can happen.

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This doesn't mean that you can't start your business,

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making a mistake around.

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One thing does not mean you're a failure.

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So yes,

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I want you to fail at failure.

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It's going to keep you from being paralyzed and not taking

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action. It's going to release you from this idea that there

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is only one way,

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one way,

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and one way only,

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and that if you make a mistake or you don't see

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the results that you're looking for,

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that there's still a path forward.

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This is not where you close the book and be done.

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And all of your dreams just drift away.

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That is not the case.

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The real true story is that success comes from multiple failures.

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One of the best ways to look at this is to

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reframe the word.

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And so,

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instead of saying that you're a failure or that you failed

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at something,

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why don't we say we're doing experiments.

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We're testing something out and seeing if it works again,

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I'll use idea that if you're starting your business,

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you're going to test the product out,

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to see if there's a market.

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And if you go to your first craft show and you

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don't sell a thing,

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the biggest fear for anybody at their first show,

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of course you,

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aren't a failure.

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Maybe you just need to tweak your product a little bit.

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It should be a different,

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it should be a different color.

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Maybe your signage didn't explain exactly what the product was.

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So there's a little bit of confusion with people who are

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coming up to your both.

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It's not a failure.

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It's been an experiment.

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You tweak things,

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and then you move forward.

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Now, same thing.

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So if you're just starting out and you're testing your products

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for the first time,

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or if you're introducing a product into your repertoire,

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you know,

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the whole catalog of products that you offer,

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I want you to fail at failure.

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I don't want you to think about this as a failure.

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I want you to think about these things that you do

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in your business as tests,

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experiments, so that you can gather information kind of like your

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old science class,

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high school experiments,

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right? So the results of that experiment then lead you into

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what your next action will be.

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Your next test will be right.

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That's how I want you to think of things that you

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try out for your business.

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And when you think of it this way,

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when you allow yourself to fail at failure,

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all the fear goes away because you're experimenting.

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You're trying things out.

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You don't take it.

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Then as personally,

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I also want you to feel like you can fail often,

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because the more you learn about your audience,

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what they like,

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what they don't like,

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what sizes of your product,

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they like best what price point your audience seems to gravitate

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to all of these things,

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just make you a better business owner and the decisions and

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the offerings you put out are more aligned with your audience.

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At first,

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you guess you have no choice.

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You have to guess at what it is.

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You put it out there,

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you observe what happens.

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You analyze the results you tweak,

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and then you put it out there.

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Again. I don't call any of that process of failure.

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I would call it an experiment and then you learn move

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forward. And the other thing about thinking of it this way

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is you can laugh at mistakes.

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If you something out that you thought was going to be

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a winning best seller product,

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and you sell two of them only after giving a test

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enough time,

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you can laugh at it and say,

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oh my gosh,

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like silly me.

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I thought that was going to be so great.

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And nobody wants it.

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And you can laugh at it because it has nothing to

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do with you personally.

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It has to do with testing tweaking,

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moving forward by being a failure at failure.

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It's those actual steps where you come to be a success.

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Michelle says no,

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or low expectations,

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less anxiety.

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Yeah, you're exactly right.

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I'll tell you what I did way back in the day.

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Some of you who follow me,

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might've heard this story before,

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but I used to have a company called basket time.

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And I was focused on corporate accounts,

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not one-off,

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you know,

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individual accustom,

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but more of the larger corporate accounts.

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As I was building up my designs,

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my very first designs,

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there was one basket that I loved so much.

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So this is a perfect example of putting things into what

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you like versus what your customer wants.

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So I made this basket that was this beautiful Willow basket

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shaped as a coffee cup.

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Okay. This was going to be my breakfast basket.

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And I thought it would be good for people who were

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coming in,

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who were speaking at events or when a client wanted to

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give a gift to a customer and have it delivered to

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their house.

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Like it's a nice Saturday morning,

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Sunday morning basket.

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And it had pancake mix syrup,

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a Scotty mix coffee.

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You can imagine what it was made up with was gorgeous.

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I loved it so much.

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It was beautiful.

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Didn't sell.

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I think I reordered the pancake mix three times because I'm

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just like,

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oh, people haven't really seen it yet on the website.

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Maybe they just didn't look at it or they didn't need

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it yet.

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I would put it in my brochures.

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I would talk about it.

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Nobody wanted it.

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And it took me probably three rotations of buying cases of

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pancake mix to finally figure out that this experiment didn't work.

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Do you notice how I said I am not a failure?

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My basket business is not a failure.

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It's that?

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Okay. So learn this take feedback that that design was not

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something your customers wanted and move on and know better for

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next time.

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That's what I mean about failing at failure.

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Allow yourself to fail.

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Don't feel like you're a failure.

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If things don't work out because this is the way you

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walk the path on multiple failure stones,

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to get yourself to that big success zone.

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Share with me some failures.

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Everyone's had them.

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And honestly,

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if you don't have the failures,

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you'll never get to that point of success.

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It's just not going to happen.

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That's a wrap.

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I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

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And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

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sessions. Now it's your turn.

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Go out and fulfill that dream of yours.

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Share your handmade products with us.

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We want them,

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