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Exhaustion, Retreat, and the Excruciating Reality of Succeeding Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

tiredI blinked twice, and rubbed my eyes.

It was done.

I had just delivered the last webinar of our launch; the last of almost thirty webinars that I had delivered in about three weeks.

My day’s work wasn’t close to being over – there was still a mountain of emails to answer, tasks to complete, and loose ends to tie up. But before diving into all of that – before even getting up to make the cup of tea that would sustain me through it – I took a moment to observe and notice exactly what I was feeling.

It was the strangest sensation; a weird mix of elation and despair.

I never imagined that something so good could leave four people feeling so bad…

We Should Have Been Celebrating our New Product Launch…

By all measures, it was a phenomenal success.

I’ll publish a detailed deconstruction of exactly how it all played out in a week or two, but for now, here are a couple of the highlights of what we achieved in less than a month:

  • We accepted over 450 students into our new Audience Business Masterclass
  • The total deal value of all those sales was well over a quarter of a million dollars

And that was all in just one month. Crazy, right? πŸ˜‰

So yes – on the face of it, we should have been celebrating – and we were, believe me, we were!

But as exciting as these results were, they came at a price…

…but Success Comes at a Price…

Despite what some get-rich-quick gurus might like to promise, results like this don’t just “happen”.

Not even close. πŸ˜‰

An enormous amount of work and planning went into creating these results;

  • First of all, we built an amazing new product to sell; literally, the best we’ve ever seen.
  • Then we developed the richest, most informative and valuable webinar that we could; and I iterated it over the course of 30 live presentations.
  • We coordinated with over 30 affiliates who helped us to spread the word about this amazing offer.
  • We implemented much more sophisticated marketing automation and webinar replay technology than anything we’d used before.
  • We offered all of our students and prospective students a ridiculous amount of 1-on-1 hand-holding and support.
  • And honestly, that’s just the beginning…

This added up to an awful lot of work.

Some of it was planned, but a lot more tiring than we had originally expected – like delivering as many as four webinars in a single day. (What was I thinking?!)

Some of it wasn’t planned (though maybe we should have) – like playing whack-a-mole with technical glitch after technical glitch that kept popping up with all of our snazzy new technologies.

And some of it was just Murphy’s Law rearing its ugly head – like technology and connectivity glitches popping up at the worst possible times (topping the list was when my computer spontaneously rebooted right in the middle of a webinar – I think the last thing captured before the recording cut off was me saying “what the $%&#?!” as my computer shut down), and an almost existential threat to our business from the unlikeliest source (more on that in a future post).

Now, thankfully, this isn’t our first spin on the merry-go-round.

We’ve launched products before, and experienced more than our fair share of technical glitches, badly timed human errors (mostly mine), and learning curves.

So we did a decent job of budgeting for the time that these unexpected problems would take.

What we didn’t account for, though, were the things that went *too* well…

Not Just another Internet Marketing Training

One thing in particular went unbelievably well – and in the process, ate up crazy amounts of our time.

I’ll share exactly what happened, but to explain it, I need to go back in time to when we were originally planning out the Masterclass. Back in those early planning conversations, it was very important to us that it not end up being “just another internet marketing training” that doesn’t work – and that meant two things:

First, we had to teach good stuff, that really works, and teach it clearly. This would already put us head and shoulders above most of the competition (unfortunately; this really says as much about the state of our industry as it does about us).

Second, we had to engineer a situation that would get our students to actually do the work. This may sound trivial, but it really isn’t, because the sad truth is that the *vast* majority of training programs, e-books, membership sites, etc. go mostly un-read and un-watched, and almost completely un-implemented.

The first requirement – clearly teaching good stuff that really works – that was easy enough; after all, education is what we’re great at, and where we shine.

Getting our students to actually do the work, though – that would be a tough nut to crack. Because let’s face it, it’s really hard – so much so that even marketing educators that we really appreciate and respect take the position with their students that “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”.

We Just Couldn’t Accept That

No way – taking hundreds of someone’s hard-earned dollars and giving them nothing in exchange (at least in terms of tangible results) – that was just unconscionable to us.

Yes, ultimately, it would be up to the student to take action, but we were committed to doing everything that was humanly possible to make sure that there would be *nothing* holding our students back, and *everything* working in their favor to help them:

  • We started off by setting clear expectations; rather than making promises about magical, overnight riches, we made it clear to all of our prospects that reaching the targets we promised would take a full year of working 10-20 hours/week, during which they could expect to make very little money.
  • We researched and leveraged the best practices of instructional design; borrowing from my own (decade plus) of experience in the educational technology industry, and from sources and authorities ranging from Julie Dirksen to Tim Ferriss.
  • We included an insane guarantee with the program; not just the usual “30 day money back” stuff – we actually guarantee that as long as our students put in the time, do the work, and reach out to us when they need help, they will reach very aggressive income targets; and if they don’t, I’ll refund their tuition, and give them $1,000 out of my own pocket.
  • We took their technology challenges off the table; we know that technology is a major stumbling block for a lot of people, so every single student gets unlimited technical support for their first three months in the program; anything that you have trouble doing with technology, my team will help you to do.
  • We’ve setup sophisticated marketing automation technologies to track whether our students are consuming the course content, and send them (and us) reminders to make sure that the work is getting done.
  • We offer our students a ridiculous level of direct, 1-on-1 support, ranging from the completely free (all of our students can email us any questions, any time, for as long as they like), to the unbelievably affordable (students can join weekly group strategy calls, and even submit each and every piece of homework that they do in the program to us for review, and this costs less for a year than people would expect to pay for a month).
  • We call each and every student on the phone to make sure that they’re settling well into the program, emphasize that we’re here for them if and when they need us, and answer any questions they have about getting started.
  • We encourage our students to reach out to us for help in just about every interaction that they have with us; we make it clear that if they’re stuck, we’re here to get them un-stuck.
  • We remind our students again and again about the need for entrepreneurial resilience.

And there’s probably more that I can’t think of right now; we really did *everything* that we could think of to make sure our students actually do the work.

And, lo and behold…

Holy crap, it worked!

Yes, that’s right, it worked.

All of the work that we did to get students to engage with our training really paid off; during the launch window alone (less than four weeks), we had over 400 students send us questions, submit homework, or request technical support.

This was, at the same time, the most brilliant success, and the most bone-headed screw-up, of the entire launch.

On the one hand, we managed to get more active engagement from our students than anything our industry has ever seen. And on the other hand, we were completely unprepared for the sheer scale of work that would arise from this stampede of students taking us up on our offer to support them.

So if you add up everything that we had more or less planned for, everything that unexpectedly went wrong, and everything that unexpectedly went right… what do you get?

Well, first of all, you get over 450 people who are super-excited about their businesses, and the results that we’re going to help them create. Which is amazing.

But you also get a ridiculous workload for the four people responsible for making it all happen: Megan, Amanda, Robyn, and myself.

For an entire month, we were all working waaaaay too many hours…

…sleeping a lot less than most people should…

…and getting more tired, stressed, and cranky by the minute.

And all this without a single day off, and no end in sight.

In other words, our amazing success was propelling us straight towards the edge of a cliff…

The Problem: Overload + Running on Fumes

Okay, let’s get clear for a moment about what the problem really was.

It wasn’t that we accepted more students than we could handle; we *did* know what we were getting ourselves into, and the Mirasee team is absolutely capable of supporting every one of our students. But we didn’t anticipate how fast the support load would ramp up.

Under normal circumstances, that would just be a temporary hiccup – no problem.

But at the same time that we’re dealing with all of the planned and unplanned consequences of our launch?

Big problem! :-S

And that wasn’t the worst of it, because as bad as this temporary hiccup was, it was still a short-term problem; launches end, and our workloads would clear up pretty fast once the launch was over. So we might be a bit behind on emails for a few weeks, but we’d catch up, and that would be that.

Or at least, that would be the case if we were all at our best. And by the end of this launch, none of us was performing at anywhere near our best.

And that was the real problem: we were all running on fumes.

We were all tired, stressed, and on the verge of burn-out.

And to make matters worse, we had this retreat scheduled…

Best Laid Plans: Our First Staff Retreat

If you’re a student of ours, or a regular reader at Mirasee, you already know about our staff retreat.

You know that for a full week (February 4 through February 10), we were all MIA – away at a charming little bed and breakfast called the Crystal Inn, about an hour and a half north of Montreal, without so much as a stable internet connection.

What you might not know, though, is that this retreat wasn’t a sudden, knee-jerk response to the workload – it has actually been on the calendar for months.

Here’s what the original plan had looked like:

January 7 through 27: Our new product launch. Things will be busy.

January 28 through February 3: Launch wind-down week. Tie up all the loose ends, and get ready to leave.

February 4 through 10: Staff retreat to recharge and look at big picture strategy, with an hour or two each day devoted to supporting our students.

February 11 and onwards: Back to work, back to normal, everything is great.

You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men, right? πŸ˜‰

Here’s what actually ended up happening; first, because of our less-than-perfect planning around the launch and support workload, and then, because I needed to protect the sanity and well-being of my team (and our ability to support our students in the months ahead):

January 7 through 27: Launch craziness. Things go right, things go wrong, and the work-load keeps piling up higher and higher.

January 28 through February 3: We’re running on a treadmill, pushing a boulder up a hill; trying to catch up on everything that has piled up, running on just a fraction of our normal energy levels.

February 4 through 10: We’re on the retreat, and completely shut off from day-to-day work. I was still watching every email and student post, but I gave my team strict instructions that they shouldn’t even open their work inboxes at any point throughout the week.

February 11 and onward: Back from the retreat – energized, recharged, and excited to be working with our students. Making giant strides towards dealing with all of the backlog, and getting back to our standard 24-48 hour support turnaround times (we’re about two days away from clearing the backlog, as of this writing).

Now, on the one hand, I believed (and still believe) that this was the best way for me to look after the well-being and interests of my team, and of all of our students.

But on the other hand, welcoming hundreds of students into a brand-new training program and then disappearing for a week (even if we did announce and explain it)…

…well, that kind of sucks.

Which is why I’m writing this post. To explain what happened, and to express three sentiments.

The first is that…

We’re Very, Very Sorry

I’m saying this on my own, and on behalf of the Mirasee team:

We’re very, very sorry.

We all feel terrible that we have students who excitedly sent us questions, and homework, and had to wait so long for a response.

And I personally feel terrible, because it’s my job to have known better, and planned better, so that this situation never would have happened.

We’re doing everything that we can to make it right as fast as possible, and we’re almost done catching up on the backlog.

But there’s no way around it; this whole experience has been inconvenient, and down-right disappointing for a lot of people.

I’m sorry.

We’re Very, Very Grateful

At the same time, both we and I are very, very grateful to all of our students.

Not just for sticking with us – though of course, we’re grateful for that.

And not just for being patient and understanding – though we’re very grateful for that, too.

We’re also very grateful to those students who expressed their frustrations and concerns with such consideration and thoughtfulness; not blaming or accusing, but just sharing their feelings, and asking us to explain, clarify, and help them understand.

You have all given us the benefit of the doubt, and we are truly grateful for that.

And even more than that, we’re incredibly grateful, and humbled, by the support that we received from so many of our students; jumping to our defense in the forums when other students expressed (very reasonable and thoughtful) concerns about our presence and response time; in short, friendly messages wishing us a great vacation; and in longer, incredibly supportive emails, like this one:

I have heard, through the grape vine, a little bit about the dissatisfaction that was expressed over you and the team takingΒ  a week away.

I’m sending this note to let you know that I support your choice and have the highest respect for you — you saw a problem and did what you felt was necessary to make a change for the better.Β 

Has it been inconvenient for me?Β  Yes.Β  I’ve asked Megan some questions about Lesson 1 and haven’t received any response — even after resending. Being able to discuss my issues would have made it easier progress further with Lesson 2 rather than remaining stuck with it for close to 2 weeks.Β  So, yes, it was inconvenient.

But…

I trust you and the team to do what needs to be done for the good of the whole, and if that means being inconvenienced for a week while you regroup, then so it does.

I look at sometimes needing to step back as part of the greater process, and I’d like to talk to you about it so I’ll be sending another email later on today.Β 

There’s a huge difference between stepping out (passive) and stepping back (active) to re-evaluate and regroup.Β  Perhaps those who expressed their dissatisfaction so strongly temporarily forgot that as well as teaching, you’re still learning, and that learning (as well as life itself) is a process of expansion and contraction.Β Β Β 

I do hope the week was productive for you all and that you returned with the solutions and the fresh perspective you were seeking.

I can’t tell you how much it means to me that we received far more emails like this one than emails that (very legitimately) complained about our absence.

All to say that we are very, very grateful.

Thank you.

We’re Very, Very Excited

As sorry as we are (we’re very sorry)…

And as grateful as we are (we’re very grateful)…

More than anything else, we’re excited.

Excited to be working with so many amazing people, who are putting so much of themselves into doing such amazing things.

Excited about the relationships that we’re building with our students.

Excited about the chance to help them achieve some truly spectacular things.

And even more than that, excited about what’s next.

Because as much as the retreat was about recharging from the launch madness, and coming back ready to do amazing work, it was also about our strategy in the greater scheme of things – getting really clear about what we’re going to do in the coming year to support you, your business, and your future.

In spite of our fatigue, we actually got a lot of work done on the retreat. We’ve got a very big vision for what we’re going to create, and how we’re going to change the world.

And we’re excited to share it with you.

So we’re sorry that we let you down.

We’re grateful to be doing all of this with you.

And we’re so very excited about what’s coming next.

Now it’s time for us to buckle down, and do some amazing work – for you, for your business, and for the world.

“Exciting” doesn’t even begin to describe it! πŸ™‚

About Danny Iny

Danny Iny (@DannyIny) is the CEO and founder of Mirasee, host of the Business Reimagined podcast, and best-selling author of multiple books including Engagement from Scratch!, The Audience Revolution, and Teach and Grow Rich.

48 thoughts on “Exhaustion, Retreat, and the Excruciating Reality of Succeeding Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

  1. All I can say is, welcome back and let’s make some money!

    To be frank, if I wasn’t part of the first FPM, I’d probably feel the same apprehension as the new ABM crowd, but the fact that you guys came back, addressed the issue without being defensive really made many feel like it was just a business hiccup that can be rectified.

    Let’s keep this going and open up the communication channels once again.

    Glad to have everyone at FPM back.

  2. I greatly appreciate the openness and honesty you have shared here, Danny and while you guys were out recharging, I was doing the work. I look forward to what you and the recharged team have to offer!

  3. Hi Danny and team,

    You guys are head and shoulders above the rest of this industry! I know from prior experience with you guys that you are sincere and reliable – traits that I like to represent in my own business. Thank you so much for demonstrating this fact, yet again! So, did it derail me a bit? Yes, but that’s on me, not you.

    Does this all demonstrate something that I (we) should plan for in my own business? Yes! When I open my project to help people get their digital pictures out of their computer and into a scrapbook, one of the important elements for some folks will be hand-holding to get over the technical aspects… and I will have to limit how many I take into my program at a time.

    It’s like the old line: “What if we give a party and everyone comes?!”

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experiences to help us make our own better.

  4. Thanks, Danny. It’s encouraging to know that my gut was right about you, the team, and the program. Trust isn’t gained by demonstrating perfection, it’s earned by our response to our mistakes.

  5. First, I want to say that I’m not at all upset over the fact I haven’t gotten a response yet to my question. Sure, your usual response time set an insane expectation. But I’m used to the month-or-more-or-never response time of magazine editors, and I always give myself at least 2 weeks to respond to emails. So a few days or a week? Is nothing.

    However, I’m really mad that I missed the webinar where your computer shut down. Clearly I attended the wrong webinar. I’d pay money to hear you shouting “what the $*#%*$!?!” in the middle of a webinar. πŸ˜‰

  6. There was me, fretting that I was getting behind because a couple of other priorities and health issues raised their heads and it’s week 5 – or is it 6? – and I’m still on week 3 for technique and week 1 for technology. You make me feel better about being disorganised.
    I’m currently in UK and there’s a crisis here about horse meat being found in processed products marked as beef – a far worse crime of customer mistreatment than you guys are guilty of. The strange thing is that those supermarkets who handle it well, apologise and promise rigorous testing from here on in, are coming out shining. Owning up and saying sorry is always a powerful thing.

  7. Exhausted, frazzled leaders aren’t any good to anyone… And it’s not physically good for them either.

    I’m glad you all went ad recharged, Danny.

    Maybe inconvenient timing… but good call. πŸ™‚

  8. Taking a well needed break is a very good model for your students. I’d rather take a page from your book when our business becomes wildly successful πŸ™‚

    • Hi Danny,

      Thank you so much for sharing the experience. As far as I’m concerned there’s nothing to apologize for:

      I’m SO GLAD that you take care of yourselves!

      Plus, you have offered absolutely unprecedented level of support at an equally unprecedented low price, making it possible and realistic for us to build the business we want. In that context if someone can’t let you get the rest you need (for just one week) in order to continue giving your best… well, then they have a major problem with understanding and appreciating what they’ve got from you!

      I remember how at the end of the webinar where I signed up (and am I glad I did! :-)), you quoted Marianne Williamson’s remark about our fears (the fact that more than anything else we fear our own greatness). I’ve heard that quote countless times before. This was the first time that it really got to me. Perhaps because I have a feeling that this time I just may succeed, at last. Anyhow, the thing that I have feared all the way (and still do) is that having a business that can actually sustain a reasonable lifestyle means working like a horse (as in: much more than a full-time job). I love working with stuff I love, so that by itself is not a problem. Getting exhausted on a regular basis is. So it’s very, very important for me to learn about possible solutions to that aspect of growth. Please keep us posted about your experiences and insights in this area!

      I am so, so GRATEFUL for everything you’ve done for me already and I look forward to continuing the process with you. Including whatever breaks you may take along the way, in order to keep yourself energized and inspired!

      I know by now that you are as dedicated as can be to our success and that I can trust you completely, and that makes all the difference.

      THANK YOU!

      Halina

  9. Danny and Team,
    I am very impressed with your honesty and the time you took to express it in such detail here. Your honesty is one more thing that sets you apart from others running online programs. (BTW, I had actually been a bit slow starting lesson one and when I read you would be out of touch for a week, I was actually relieved! As excited as I am about the program, I felt a bit overwhelmed about the time commitment I had just made in signing up. So I started by reading Engagement from Scratch, and I am so glad I did!) Now, back to my homework. =)

  10. Again you have proven to be a true teacher on how to run a successful business! I am glad you are not “perfect”. It takes the pressure off so many of us that are new to this, that you can make mistakes but it is not the end of the world as long as you are genuine in addressing it. I too was relieved by your absence since I had over committed myself as well. Now to finish up my homework lessons!

  11. This is my first class with y’all, and I have to say that I am very impressed. We are all learning, and just because you know more than me about launching an audience-based business, that does not mean you’ve somehow become an invincible super hero.

    Actually, I felt way better going into the program knowing that, even if it all goes perfectly, Danny + crew are still learning, too, and making mistakes. Plus, it’s given me some time to think about my homework assignments and ask a lot of questions about them. πŸ™‚

  12. NO NEED TO RESPOND TO THIS COMMENT. It is meant for you all with nothing expected in return:

    You guys are the teachers. We all accepted you as such, when we signed up. You did what was right for you and all your decisions were your best decisions you could make, with the information you had, at the time you made them.

    Thank you for your graciousness in extending your honesty, apologies, and gratitude. Now, no more need for anymore back-pedaling or defense of your actions! Those that still question you on this will NEVER get it. And while you might experience some bad-mouthing even after all this, you’ve done your best! (which is amazingly awesome i might add!) and you no longer have ANYTHING to apologize for.

    Great modeling for all of us, your students. It’s easy to get along with everyone when everything’s F n’ D (Fine and Dandy) but true colors come out when a complication arises. You have shown your true colors, Danny, Megan, Robyn, and Amanda, and I love you even more for it.

    Now, I’m going to say a thing your mom might say (and i can because i’m your moms’ age, i’m sure) perfection is an unattainable addiction. And, so is total honesty, in a way, meaning it’s all about perception. Not one of us will EVER perceive this situation the way you do, nor will we perceive it the same way as each other. Point being, YOU’VE DONE YOUR BEST! And, no chance of a doubt, you will continue to do so πŸ™‚ Now, let’s move on!

  13. Thanks for the apology, but I for one didn’t need it.

    I have been very pleased with the class so far and was absurdly grateful to have “extra time” while you were away to work on week 4 and 5. I think that time has helped me create an even better first impression incentive than I would have if I’d tried to anally stay on target while you were away unable to give feedback.

    I think that everyone needs time off and I’d rather you take it before you are exhausted, than get so exhausted that the quality goes down and all the students suffer.

    That said, take the time you need responding to my emails. I tried to wait until you were back before sending them, but I knew (I worked email support) that a weeks backlog would not be gone in a day.

    Congratulations on your success and I hope my new venture does as well!

    Jenn

  14. FPM Team:
    #1. Well Done on an EXPLOSIVE launch… “eating your own dog food” clearly shows you believe in your own system
    #2. Waiting an extra week to speak with Danny 1:1 was actually better than my original plan (next day bugging Megan for an appointment :>) because it “forced” me to complete the first two homework assignments and made the chat with Danny more substantive
    #3. Glad you took some time off, it’s important — sometimes taking a “pause” can be the hardest thing for an entrepreneurial team (psst, I’ll bet you all checked your emails, voicemails anyway so you didn’t REALLY check out !)
    #4. Happy you are all back and looking forward to the next few lessons.

    all the best,
    Carole.

  15. Danny & Team,
    No apologies needed. You said the program takes hard work. With hard work must come deep rest to be sustainable. You proved that your system for launching explosively works.
    You took care of your needs as human beings. As a business owner myself, I get that and support it 100%.
    You shared your experience so we can all learn from it.
    Thank you for your dedication and integrity.
    Now, onward!

  16. Danny and Team,
    I appreciate the humility and professionalism.
    There are things to be learned from you, not just in the ABM course.
    The way you conduct the ABM model has given me ideas on how to use similar strategies in my business.
    I’m glad you’re rested and back.
    Matt

  17. Let me join the fray and add to the sentiments that an apology for me wasn’t even necessary. I’ve been around offline business all my life, and know what massive success looks like. Contrary to conventional wisdom, its almost ALWAYS messy.

    I tagged Danny long ago as someone who stands out from the crowd of big-name marketers. He actually still believes that as he scales up, he will find a way to keep sharing himself with everyone. I don’t think its really possible, but I see him struggling with even thinking about giving up on the idea… and that’s a really good thing. I’ll settle for the humility mixed with his indomitable spirit.. not to mention talent. Know what another word for that is?

    Leadership!

    It’s bona-fide. And it’s good enough for me.

  18. Hi Team Firepole,
    Thanks for being as open as you can with us; sometimes we need to be reminded that we are “humans”. I would rather you guys take time away to come back re-charged and fired up to help us, than to do it all run down and burnt out. Let’s roll up our sleeves and focus on the task at hand – let’s roll!

  19. Danny & Team,

    Your honesty and humility are attributes of exceptional leadership.

    It takes courage to admit when you’ve made a mistake and even more courage to dare greatly by risking the relational equity with those of us who are just getting to know you.

    As Seth Godin says “Ship it”, you guys have modeled this well and are shipping excellent content. I believe that “shipping it” is an ongoing process of shipping content, product, excellent customer service, vulnerability and opening the hood of successes and mistakes for everyone to learn.

    Continue to pursue excellence!

    David

  20. Great message, Danny, thanks. I agree with the others that an apology wasn’t necessary. Thanks for your transparency and humility–something that seems to be very rare, especially in the online world where anyone can present any type of image. It just confirms that I made the right choice in taking the class.

  21. You’ve been working non-stop for quite awhile. You knew your team and you needed recharging. You took the important steps and did it. No need to waste extra time and energy worrying over the perceived timing’. If you hadn’t done what was prudent, a far larger and deeper problem might have cropped up due to the team’s exhaustion.
    Great letter. Now on with changing the world!!!

  22. I like that you guys took a week off.
    After speaking to Megan when I purchased the course I trusted that you would provide the support you promised right from the get-go. When I saw your email announcing your week off I thought, “good on you, lets have more fun when you get back”.
    For me happiness, health and productivity are more important then 80 hour weeks.
    Your communication is commendable and I am looking forward to having my own well deserved week off.
    Quinn

  23. An old axiom comes to mind: If we don’t take time to be healthy, we will take time to be sick, or in this specific case: If you don’t take time to recharge, you will be not be able to help provide the “jumpstarts” for your students.

    I am thrilled you took your staff on retreat. I think it speaks volumes of you as a leader to your staff and as a service provider to those of us who have signed on. If all we ever do is push, push, push, we will reach empty, both in our energy we have available for our clients, but especially for our loved ones. What good is success if we burn out ourselves, lower the overall quality of our business, and torch our personal relationships in the process?

    If you have clients that are still angry after this post, well, I would say you are not a good match for one another and you should part company. πŸ™‚

  24. I don’t know, somehow it didn’t bother me that y’all took a week off. Yeah, it was a little inconvenient when I was mired in a bit of technical ridiculousness, but it’s not as though I didn’t have a heap of other stuff going on in my life to busy myself with.

    I was a bit surprised that you’d gotten in over your heads, though now that you’ve explained it here, I can see how it happened and I can also see that you’ve basically learned a few lessons that hopefully now the rest of us won’t have to learn.

    In fact, I think I’ve learned a lot all the way around in watching this launch unfold, from seeing the webinar offered to me through quite a few of the e-mail lists that I’m on, to realizing that the webinar was taking place again and again and again to doing the math once it was all done and I could see the numbers.

    This is quite the adventure and I’m pleased to be a part of it.

    Anyway, getting back to work now on my new site- which is coming along, my blog, and my freelance work.

  25. Hey, FYI, I’m a freelancer, but I not only do freelance writing, I also offer freelance grunt work. Must be able to complete from home, as Montreal is a ‘fer piece’ from Illinois, but hey, if you need me for anything, let me know. I used to be an executive secretary and have tons of street smarts ;0)

    You guys deserved the break. Breathe!

  26. I am always surprisingly amazed by the ethics you and your team have. So rare to see theses, days. We would not be humans if we were perfect and it is always good to remember that our greatness comes form our mistakes and life experiences. you know how to acknowledged them publicly and take responsibility which is HUGE! Glad you are back and that you took that well deserved break. Nobody can give to someone else what is does not give to himself.

  27. Congrats on the launch, man. That’s epic.

    But dude, 30 live webinars in three weeks? You crazy. πŸ™‚

    That’s why I do a rolling launch. Much more manageable.

  28. Danny ~ I am glad your team was able to take some time off and recharge. I figure, it will be worth it to all of your students. You and your team should be back, ready to create some more amazing content to help us be able to afford that vacation time… I hope my recharge time comes soon πŸ˜‰

  29. I’m happy that you took a week for your retreat for two reasons. First, the early lessons have been hard enough for me to keep up with anyway. Second, your gratitude and humility are completely in line with good character and integrity. My mother always said “honesty is the best policy.”

  30. I reluctantly withdrew from this round of the ABM due to the fact that I was attempting to do two concurrent online trainings and it was getting crazy! I was sad to withdraw however I knew I wasn’t able to bring the commitment to the table that Danny made very clear was required. I’m out for now but I know I’ll be back and I am totally impressed with your work ethic Danny. Personal e-mails, sincere sharings and total style AND substance….a special breed indeed πŸ™‚
    See you for the next round!

  31. Pingback: Stop Checking Your email first thing in the morning - Blog habits
  32. I’m coming a little late to this conversation, but I wanted to let the team know that this post was more than a quick way to provide an explanation. It has turned into such a huge learning opp for so many of us – especially those of us who are starting to feel the “heat” of success.

    It’s exhilarating but freaking terrifying, and I’ve referred back to this blog post a couple times now to ground myself. To remind myself that the feelings I’m experiencing are good and normal, and to remind myself that no matter who you are, business throws you curve-balls. πŸ™‚

    I know I’m like the 50th person to say this, but thank you for your honesty and openness regarding what happened. I think it’s had more impact that you may expect.

  33. aha! I’m laughing and crying at the same time. God bless you Firepole team. Makes me feel better about everything…and to be as transparent as you in my writing and marketing too.

    I like being part of this program

  34. What a great and inspiring post!

    I love the honesty and I totally respect your choice as well. In order to give our clients the best service possible, we need to also be giving to ourselves. If we’re working ourselves day in and day out without so much as a break, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to provide loving support and answers to questions.

    This got me thinking that I’d definitely like to take on an intern at some point, when I’m ready for a large launch such as this. I’m currently in the stage where I’m working one-on-one with all of my clients, but I’m also planning into the future to create group programs and online courses.

    Thanks for the heads up! :]

  35. Pingback: Stop Checking Your email first thing in the morning - Blog habits
  36. I think it’s great that you scheduled the retreat, otherwise you would have been so burned out you wouldn’t have done anyone any good. Sometimes you just need to take that down time, if not for yourself, then for those who you want to help.

  37. Just snooping around and found this, after watching the webinar ( Passion, Purpose and Prosperity) on wednesday and was blown away on the “common sense” approach to building an audience first. Magic. I will be signing up in the morning for the Course along with my eldest daughter (26) so we can build a business together. This blog and all the student testimonials only validates my gut instinct, while listening to Danny and the rest of the team at Firepole !! Take a bow, you earned it. I am very excited about the prospect of working with this top notch team of dedicated, honest pros.

    Lyle Guidolin
    Red Deer, Alberta

    • Hi Lyle,

      Thanks for finding and commenting (and making us blush with the kind words)!

      I’m so excited you and your daughter are planning to sign up – what fun!

      Did you guys get tons of snow in Red Deer too? I know my in-laws in Calgary were just buried last week.

      Keep warm – and see you on the inside!

      Megan

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