Can There Be Excellence in Failure?

Only if you consider that excellence is a process.

When things don’t go as well as intended, we often think of ourselves as failures. Or, we blame others or circumstances beyond our direct control.

Let’s face it: Our intellectual foresight is limited; when something doesn’t seem ‘right’ or seem to make logical sense, we tend to get concerned and upset. And all too frequently, that emotional state gets in the way of our ability to take appropriate measures to achieve our ultimate objectives.

But what we can’t always see is the perfection of the Universe in the longer run. Sometimes, what seems like a ‘raw deal’ or ‘bad experience’ is something which strengthens us and actually serves us in the future.

It’s just that with our limited view of current events as they relate to a bigger picture, we don’t have the ability to see (and experience) such seeming unpleasantries as desirable and valuable experiences.

Consider that “Perfection is your life as it is this very moment. Excellence, on the other hand, is the process of fulfilling on your commitments in life.”

Said differently, your life is perfect as you experience it now. And these very experiences are like lily pads that you land on, on your way to grander and grander experiences.


  1. Commit to developing the habit of recognizing the perfection in your current life circumstances whatever they are. Whether your business is thriving or barely surviving, be willing to trust in the perfection in the current state of affairs.
  2. On a daily basis, practice the habit of acknowledging that all your life experiences, desirable or not, ultimately do serve you in fulfilling on mission of your business and the purpose of your life.

When I was struggling financially early in my practice as a plastic surgeon, I kept telling myself that I was learning valuable lessons. Was it tough to keep telling myself that? Of course! Many days, I just couldn’t see any end in sight and the only solution I could think of was “Beam me up, Scotty!” (for those of you who haven’t seen Star Trek, this is the phrase that Captain Kirk says to his First Engineer to beam him up from the planet surface to the Starship Enterprise.)

But over a decade later, now having retired from practicing plastic surgery when I was 40, I have a different perspective. I now recognize all those tough times as valuable, worthwhile experiences which serve me well in helping fellow entrepreneurs to lead wealthier, healthier, and more productive lives.

But back then, there was no way I could foresee this. NO WAY!

And yet, today, I make a greater difference in more peoples’ lives, by helping their businesses to be more successful. And, I get to spend more time with my wife and two sons. As parents, my wife and I are one of the few who participate in school events with both of us there.

Moreover, I make more money, with less legal risk, in less time than I did as a plastic surgeon. And, I have no risk of having to get up in the middle of the night to tend to a patient in the emergency room.

Now, I’m not telling you this to gloat. It’s just that I don’t know that can paint a picture with words about how miserable and terrified I was back then. But I’m sharing my own harrowing experiences as an example of how extremely trying circumstances fit into the bigger picture, one that may be grander than we can imagine during times of immense distress.

The collective of your entire life experiences are part of the journey of you fulfilling on your greater purpose in life. Embrace them all and you’ll experience a quantum leap of freedom in your business and in your life. As a side benefit, your business will thrive in direct correlation to the degree of freedom that you alow yourself to experience in all areas of your life.

The Age Old Question: Long or Short Copy for Website Sales Pages?

When it comes to writing compelling copy that’s engaging and sells, this is a very common question:

“What if I’m going to be marketing on
the internet? Do you suggest long or short? Some people like the long copy and
other prefer the short. What is your take?”

The answer is: BOTH!

For starters, if someone who is NOT part of your target audience sees your headline and copy, they won’t be interested and they won’t read anything.

If someone who IS part of your target audience sees your headline, if they are attracted by your ‘hook’, then they’ll read more.

On the web, the majority of viewers scan the headers and subheaders. If they are really interested, they’ll go back and read more details.

Still another subset of readers will read the headline and at least the first paragraph. Then, they’ll scroll right to the bottom of the web page to get to the punchline: How much does your ‘thang’ cost?

There are readers who read every word, but they are the exception, rather than the rule.

So, for all practical purposes, when you write compelling copy for the web, you have to make it easy for your viewers of all types, from the ‘scanners,’ to the ‘every word’ reader, to the types who read the first paragraph, next cruise to the bottomline.

To do this, you’ll need to make sure that you write effective headers and subheads, you pay particular attention to writing solid, engaging first sentences of your paragraphs. And, you have to make sure that you format your copy with the appropriate use of color, typefaces and font sizes, and text formatting (bold, italics, etc.) By the way, use underlining very sparingly, or you’ll end up with a page that looks like your a cheap salesperson.

And as far as what’s important to include in the copy, you need to first ask: ‘What is it that potential buyers want to know about what you’re selling?’

They want to know what’s in it for them. And, they want to know the risks involved. You’ll need to address this in your copy; things like:

  • What problem does it solves for them?
  • How does your product/service solve it?
  • Can I believe you?
  • What’s in it for them to buy and use your product or service?
  • What’s the risk (financial and otherwise) of buying from you?
  • Do I really need this?
  • Do I like you or trust you enough to buy from you?
  • Is it really worth the money?

The ultimate bottomline
Don’t sweat the length; write as much copy as you need to convey the key benefits and ultimate value of what you’re selling and be sure to address natural resistance and knee-jerk objections. The people who want to solve the problem that you are the answer to will read as much as they need to feel good about buying. Everyone else, won’t read anything, not matter how short or how long.

If you’ve ever been through a rough patch in business and in life…

…this puts things into perspective:

"There will be a time, not so far from now, that you will look back on this phase of your life and instead of condemning it or beating up on it… Instead of blaming or guilty, you will feel appreciation for it, because you will understand that a renewed desire for life was born out of this time period that will bring you to physical heights that you could not have achieved without the contrast that gave birth to this desire."

– Abraham (Excerpted from a workshop in Boston, MA on Saturday, October 4th, 1997)

NOTE: I’ve been a student of Abraham-Hicks for several years; their teachings ring true to my core. Abraham is a group of highly evolved teachers who speak their broader non-physical perspective through the physical voice of Esther Hicks.

If you think this is a little too "woo-woo," then consider the teachings of Socrates, who is frequently paraphrased as saying: "The wise man knows that he knows nothing."

Learn more about this expanding body of work at:

The Analysis of Marketing Failure: Four Questions to Ask When Your Marketing Isn’t Working

The Blame Game
Does this sound familiar? You run a marketing strategy and it flops miserably. What’s the first thing you do?

All too often, if you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, you start pointing fingers. You blame other people, including the very clients and customers you seek to attract. You blame circumstances that are beyond your control, like the weather or the season of the year.

And, inevitably, you end up pointing more than one finger back at yourself. In addition to this self-flagellation, self-doubt creeps in. You start to wonder if you’re ever going to do the “right” thing, if you’re good enough, if you’re [fill in the blank] enough.

The truth is, no amount of blaming others or beating yourself up has ever made a significance difference in the world. It is tempting, however!

Four Questions That Work
What does work is to re-frame your marketing strategies and outcomes. Look at whatever has happened as a learning experience. After all, whether something worked or (especially) if it didn’t work, you might as well learn something valuable from it.

Right now, recall a specific marketing effort that didn’t work out as well as expected. It might be something from the recent past or something you’re going through right now.

Now ask the following questions:
  1. What worked?
  2. What didn’t work?
  3. What did you learn?
4. What will you change about your strategy, moving forward?

That’s all there is to it; four simple questions. Your biggest challenge will be to get into the habit of asking these questions before you start blaming others, yourself, or circumstances.

An Example
Imagine  you are working on lead generation for, say, your gourmet chocolate company and you run a marketing campaign that’s designed to appeal to chocolate lovers through the internet.

You run a Google Ad Words pay-per-click campaign. You spend thousands of dollars for all the people who “clicked through” your online ad. Your web traffic analysis tells you that thousands of visitors came to your site, but only a handful stayed for more than a minute or bought anything. So, you only have several hundred dollars in revenue from it. Obviously not an ROI that’ll keep you in business.

Let’s look at the four questions:
  1. What worked?
Well, at least some people clicked through, so that tells you that some people are indeed interested in purchasing chocolate through the internet.

2. What didn’t work? Of course, spending thousands of dollars to make several hundred didn’t work. But it also didn’t work that you initially attracted visitors to your site but that most didn’t stay for very long. And of the potential customers who went further into your site, only a fraction were inclined to buy anything.

3. What did I learn? It would be easy to say to yourself, “Internet marketing doesn’t work. People don’t by chocolate online; they need to see it and smell it.”

But what if you said, “What I learned is … Some people do buy chocolate from the internet. I wonder why so many people came to the site, but so few bought anything. What if my marketing message on my website is confusing or turning people off?”

4. What will I change about my strategy, moving forward?
Maybe you’ll give this strategy another trial. But this time, you’ll refine your website’s marketing message. Maybe make the site more attractive, both in appearance and in the words you use to describe your products. Words that sell are words that evoke powerful emotions—could you do a better job of filling the room with the alluring aroma of sweet, irresistible delectables with your words?

Asking Four Simple Questions Is a Habit
Now, isn’t that better than the alternative of finger-pointing and other non-productive forms of getting the results you want from your business? By the way, these questions apply to just about any business situation, not just marketing. Heck, they apply to just about any life situation!

Asking (and answering) these four questions can completely change your world. Get into the habit of exploring them, before going down the “blame, shame road,” and you’ll prosper mightily. This, clearly and simply defined, is the road to “more profit, greater freedom, and lasting contribution.”

To your prosperity!

The Cure for Knowledge: Persistence

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave."
— (John) Calvin Coolidge

In today’s Information Age, we know far more about nutrition and human performance physiology than ever before in the history of mankind. So, why then, is morbid obesity a world-wide pandemic. Why is childhood obesity soon to become the #1 killer of children?

Because all the knowledge in the world never makes a difference.

Knowledge is the boobie prize. Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Execution, the act of applying that imagination in the physical world, is a creative process and is the only thing that has ever made any difference in the world.

And, what it takes to create is to persist.

Winston Churchill, summed it up appropriately when he presented a graduation
speech at a boy’s prep school (Harrow School) in England.
He stood up and said, “never, never, never, never … never give
in.” Then, he sat right back down!