Uh oh. It happened again.
Jimmy Jilliondollars just shared another one of those Facebook posts.
Maybe it’s a screenshot of some email or text from a client or customer, or the back end of their Shopify or PayPal.
Maybe it’s a selfie of them smiling or giving the thumbs up, or eyes closed with prayer hands talking about “gratitude” or “hustle”.
Maybe it’s some random photo of a pristine white sand beach neither of you have ever been to.
But either way, your stomach starts to churn a little… and you start reading.
“Another day in the life when you’re #BLESSED.”
“Hard work pays off.”
The rest of the sentences probably read like this.
Above the fold.
So you click.
To read the rest of it.
On LinkedIn or Facebook or Instagram.
And lo and behold: They wax on about being broke once upon a time/FINALLY finding a foolproof formula/hiring a team/changing the way the client looked at things/working with an ultra-expensive mystery mentor.
And then there’s a number drop. Phrases like “six or seven figures” get involved. And it inevitably ends in something like:
“This isn’t even unusual. We sign contracts like this/have happy clients like this/make this kind of money every day.
Want the secrets to how we did it? The link is in the comments/schedule a call/WE HAVE JUST A FEW SPOTS LEFT IN 2018, SO BOOK YOUR SLOT.
[16 hands pointing down emojis] [20 money bag emojis] [6 heart eyes emojis] [Inexplicable fried shrimp emoji that was probably a typo they didn’t notice in their moment of unbridled elation].”
Inevitably, that churning in your stomach gets a little stronger, and your shoulders start to slump.
That tiny voice in the back of your head pipes up and squeaks: “See, I told you you were trash!”
You click away, but it might still bug you for the rest of the day… especially if you don’t have a story of your own to share right now.
Yes, it’s happened again: Someone else’s social media success story has made you feel like a garbage person.
Now don’t get me wrong. Entrepreneurs need to share their wins with their community.
Ours is often a lonely and isolating life, and we deserve to throw little fireworks displays for ourselves when something goes right. Shoot, I wrote a whole post like this after my first product launch, and even gave a ballpark sales number.
But we’re all only human.
Sometimes it can feel like other people’s fat paydays or game-changing sales numbers slurp our mojo out through a low-self-esteem straw. It makes us worry we’re not good enough, or we’ll never be able to catch up.
So I say: Enough of that.
The thing about these success posts? They don’t tell the whole story. They’re not supposed to.
Because, chances are, the real story’s a lot less glamorous than those unnecessary heap of emojis convey.
Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches story. Everyone loves an underdog.
But when we can’t see the journey, or don’t think about the path it took for those raggedy underdogs to get there? We have a habit of turning against ourselves.
Our brains cruelly decide to skip over the reality of the sleepless nights or the thousands of hours and dollars they poured into making that success happen, and ask ourselves “Why am I not there yet?!”
So for today, I’ll be the you’re-not-trash fairy godmother, pulling back the curtain on the most common humblebraggy Jimmy Jillionaire success posts — so you can feel better, move forward, and love yourself and your journey a little more.
Common success post #1: “1 EMAIL I WROTE/1 TWEAK I MADE TO THIS FUNNEL MADE ME/MY CLIENT ELEVENTY BILLION DOLLARS.”
It sounds like magic, doesn’t it?
Oh my gosh!, we wonder. What was the one thing?
Let’s assume the poster is telling the truth (some aren’t). If so: good for the writer/strategist! They should be incredibly proud.
… But this statement also doesn’t take into account that success also isn’t 100% on the writer/strategist.
Remember, here’s what you’re not seeing:
- The quality of the offer and how much trust the creator had built up with their community. If it’s an offer the community was asking for from a favorite expert? Of course they’re gonna jump on it.
- The visibility of the offer, i.e. how big the creator’s list is, which platforms they’re using to present the offer, how affluent their community is, etc.
- The price of the product. (A $50k launch for a $10k product is verrry different to a $50k launch with a $100 offer.)
- How ready to buy their audience was before the email rolled out — which may have been the result of a recent event, preexisting fame, or any huge number of factors.
- How many launches they’d run previously, and how many tactics had been proven and tested prior to this one email/funnel.
So remember: You’re not a failure if you can’t boast the same numbers as the result of “a single email or tweak” currently.
Take your time, track your stats, and when it does happen? Shout out about it.
Common success post #2: “I MADE ELEVENTY BILLION DOLLARS ON A PRODUCT LAUNCH.”
More goes into a product launch than a product and an idea. You don’t just drop something on the internet and watch cash roll in… unless you’re Oprah or Kim Kardashian.
Remember, here’s what you’re not seeing:
- How much they invested in team and tech, and for how long. Many big-name launches begin their creative and strategic build-outs months in advance, and usually invest tens of thousands of dollars.
- The past launch failures they’d been forced to learn from — because everyone has a “flop story”.
- How much they spent on FB ads. This number is almost always WAY bigger than you think — even $50k-$100k in some cases, and prices are only going up.
- What their break even numbers were…. which could have been as high as 50%-90%+ of the money they made on the launch.
- What kind of meltdowns and frantic pivots happened behind the scenes, and how hard they had to push on sales calls and follow-ups to make their numbers.
Product launches are tough, and often unpredictable — period. So much of it comes down to timing and trial and error.
Hang tight. Keep testing and tweaking. You’ll get there.
Common success post #3: “I HAVE ELEVENTY BILLION ACTIVE SUBSCRIBERS ON MY MAILING LIST AND MY POSTS REGULARLY GO VIRAL.”
Ah, the ol’ list-bragstravaganza.
As the world’s absolute worst email marketer (for myself — not my clients!): These statements should NOT let you lose hope!
When it comes to list size, there’s a saying that rings truer every time I hear it:
“List size doesn’t matter. Engagement does. You can make a million dollars off 200 engaged subscribers — and $5 off 10,000 who don’t care.”
When he was first building his email list, Jason encouraged sign-ups using an iPad giveaway. In a way, it worked! Thousands of people signed up… but just not for his writing or insights. Those folks were there for the free iPad, so when he started sending out newsletters and offers? They weren’t buyin’. (And some were even actively annoyed.)
In the end? He deleted his subscriber list of 25,000 to start from scratch.
Don’t get me wrong: There are plenty of people out there with crazy-engaged lists tens, or even hundreds, of thousands strong.
However, in that case, here’s what else you’re not seeing behind the scenes:
- The 10+ years that writer spent penning blog posts to basically no one in their PJ’s
- The investments they made in paid traffic to attract people to them (ads, etc.)
- The sweat it took to pitch countless media outlets to let them write posts and land features, so they could get themselves out there and in the spotlight front of new people
- How hard they worked on their opt-ins/funnels to attract their dream customers and clients to them, and leverage all appearances/features
Success via email marketing isn’t a “biggest list wins” numbers game. It’s about how much value you can offer, to as many people who care as possible.
So as long as you’re serving and dishing the good stuff out to your peeps? You’re on the right track.
Now before I go, to all of those who’ve been Jimmy Jillionaires recently: BIG CONGRATS to you for your success, and sharing your journey. You deserve to shine and have your moment.
But for the rest of us? Don’t let people’s celebration posts dazzle you out of starting, or moving forward.
While we celebrate each other, even when we feel a bit down on ourselves, we must keep in mind every time without fail:
We’re seeing the victory lap, not the whole race.
And our moment in the sun is coming soon enough.
Stay encouraged my loves! You got this!
Shameless plug: Speaking of email lists and launches, I’m running my first ever Black Friday sale of The Wordshops this Friday.
I’ll be offering a couple pretty fantabulous deals — one of which is something I’ve never offered to the public before, but here’s a hint: It involves you renting my brain. ;)
To get on the list to be the first to know, stop by https://hillaryweiss.com/subscribe
*Photo is of the author after someone else’s “success post” made her feel like a garbage person. Source.