My Public Apology & What to Do When Things Go Massively Wrong

Written by Scott February 12, 2014

How do you deal with failure?

“Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”

-Dan Stanford

A Massive Apology Is in Order…

I’ve been dreading writing this post since last night around 7:50pm when I knew it was the only next step.

You see, last night over 1,600 of you showed up for our live Connection Workshop.

It’s a free training we offer before every launch of our Connect With Anyone course. We know only 250 people can or will join CWA, so we want to ensure every other member of our community still gets our best techniques for transforming your surroundings, and hanging around the people who make the impossible your new normal.

I look more forward to this live event than any other we host.

But this one was much different – for a few reasons…

1. We had twice as many people registered as we’ve ever had in the past.

2. I spent 20 of my past 25 working hours totally reworking the slides and adding our latest learnings in social dynamics and genuine relationship building.

3. We even spent hours creating a brand new 22-page Connection Workbook so our attendees could get the most out of the training – and be able to immediately apply it to surrounding themselves with world-changing people in their day-to-day life.

We’d never put more energy into a live training, and I could hardly sleep the night before – I was so fired up.

Oh yeah, there was one more point of difference this time around…

4. It NEVER happened – the damn thing blew up!

Last night, more than a thousand of you showed up and waited for 30-40 minutes while absolutely nothing happened. Our webinar technology exploded and despite panicked calls with customer support, there wasn’t a thing they could do. We couldn’t even tell our attendees that there was a problem.

Imagine you’re about to walk on stage to give the biggest keynote of your life, filled with a thousand of your most dedicated and cherished tribe members, and two steps before you walk on stage someone grabs you, throws you in a soundproof box and locks you up. Then your audience just sits there with no idea what’s happening. And they can’t even talk and mingle amongst themselves.

Yup, that was last night.

Since I’ve gotten into business, I’ve never felt that totally helpless. Not even close.

I know that only a very small portion of our community got left hanging last night, but I still wanted to share this with all of you for a couple reasons:

1. To say that I’m sorry. Both to those who were waiting last night and everyone else. As it turns out, we’re no different than anyone else. We screw things up. Thankfully, not usually as big as last night, but things happen and as this Revolution continues to grow, I’m certain there will be more screw ups. We just hope to never have the same one twice.

2. To share how I deal with stuff like this…

So What Do I Do When Things Go Massively Wrong?

For better or worse, I’ve had some experience in dealing with situations like this. Here’s what I do.

Step 1: Give myself space. Ideally, I go out on a run or workout to clear my head (and blast a few songs from my “inspire me” playlist). Returning with a fresh perspective usually makes it obvious that it’s not as bad as I thought. I was in pure panic for the first 25 minutes on the phone with support. Then I started to realize it was out of my hands, and I remembered how useless it is to panic about what can’t be changed. That’s when I began to get a little more resourceful…

Step 2: Find the Good. This is impossible if you skip #1. But with a clear head, silver linings start to show up. It turns out lots of good can come from this, such as…

  • We can prepare an even better and tighter training for next week and hopefully even more people can join.
  • It causes us to have to delay our fourth Connect With Anyone launch a week, which means we can bust ass to include a few new features we thought we’d have to put on hold for months until CWA5 released.
  • I get to learn a lot more about how Go To Webinar works, so this NEVER happens again.
  • I get to show you all that we’re not perfect – and with any luck it might even deepen our connection. Hopefully you’ll still love and accept me. 🙂
  • I get to feel what it’s like to be totally helpless, and learn how to deal with it.
  • Next week, we’ve decided to announce two more CWA scholarship winners to help make things up to you – that’s four total! See bottom of post for the first two winners.

Step 3: Own up to it. That’s what I’m doing right now, and that’s what I did with the email below that I sent out to attendees last night. Please give it a quick read…

*****

Date: February 11th, 2013 – 8:12 PM PST

Subject: I am SO sorry – our webinar blew up on us. But there’s good news…

Hey Team,

So it looks like Go To Webinar sort of exploded on us tonight – keeping everyone from being able to attend the event, including me!

We’re not sure if it was a gang of rabid bunnies or what, but one thing’s for sure, something caused our online training tonight to totally explode.

It was tragic to say the least, and we’re doing our best to re-group and make this up to you guys.

The worst part is that you had to sit there and listen to that annoying voice for so long waiting for the webinar to start. I don’t think there’s enough dark chocolate in the world to make up for that.

We’re still trying to figure out what happened, but for now I wanted to say sorry. I am terribly embarrassed and feel awful that we wasted your time.

Believe it or not, this has never happened to us (and GTW support said she’d never seen it in her 10 years working there – see attached picture for how I looked when I heard that…).

But there’s good news. We are making it up to you with another Connection Workshop this Tuesday that will be even better than what we had planned. What else are we going to do with the extra time to prepare?? 😉

We’re also going to use the extra time to add a few fun course extras that we thought we were going to have to wait until CWA5 to implement.

So all in all, this will be a good thing for everyone (see how I find that silver lining?? :).

Hopefully even more of you will be able to join us this time around…

Click here to register for the new and improved Connection Workshop: 

The 9-Step Process for Making Genuine Connections with World-Changing People

Thank you so much for supporting us and offering your willingness to let us screw up a little. You have no idea how much it means. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and we’re glad you know that despite our attempt at perfectionism, we’re human too.

The learning really never does end, I guess…

So grateful for you all,

– Scott

P.S. See second attached picture for how I felt after remembering how much I love and appreciate you all and that next week will be even more fun!

Picture #1: “Did that webinar really just blow up on 1667 people?”

Did that webinar really just blow up for 1667 people?

Picture #2: “Yes it did, but I love you guys and we can find a way to make up for it.”

Yes it did but I love you guys and we can find a way to make up for it.

*****

“I want something I can screw up.”

I have to laugh, because as I planned my week Monday morning, I put a little note on my calendar in soothing light blue that said…

“Have a successful, calm, balanced and stress-free launch.”

Since this was the fourth time doing our live training and opening Connect With Anyone, I knew how crazy and stressful launch weeks can be. I just wanted to remind myself to take it in stride and not get too worked up.

I had forgotten about this note until I saw it late last night as I was about to close my computer. Talk about irony.

Later that night, as Chelsea and I sat on the couch decompressing while we watched some Olympic figure skating, Chelsea looked over at me in her cute, compassionate, don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously face and said, “Well, you wanted something you could screw up…”

And she was right.

I always talk about how my first job out of college was so devoid of meaning that I quit in search of something I could actually screw up.

That was my frustrated, negative way of saying I wanted a project that I could get my fingerprints on, apply my talents, strengths and passions to and actually have a chance at making a difference in some small way.

I didn’t mean it literally!

But that’s the beauty of this whole Live  Your Legend Revolution.

Things could go massively right or terribly wrong. And both will surely happen. But at least at the end of the day, I know that outcome is on me. I know that at least I showed up in the arena to get dirty and take a crack at what’s possible.

The only way to never screw up is to always leave your fate in someone else’s hands.

That reminder leaves me full of possibility this morning.

Thank you for supporting the ups and the downs.

There will be many more of each.

Much love,

– Scott

For the comments: If you have a screw-up you’re up for sharing, please do so in the comments. Tell us what happened and how you dealt with it so we can all learn together!

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Congrats, You made it to the bottom! Let’s Connect on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” - Jim Rohn