Success is a horrible teacher for local business owners

June 1, 2020

Show Notes

In business we are taught that more success breeds success, but is that really true? We don’t think so, at least for us, the most growth we ever had in our company was at the coattails of failure.

We find out how to make things better and improve them when we fail and find blindspots in the business.

It was because we failed and had to find so many solutions in our business that we discovered our Leads Accelerator Process.

If you’re a local business owner and want the exact framework to effectively attract, qualify, and convert leads online for your business, then you should check out our free training.

Access the free training here: https://leadsaccelerator.bitbranding.co/local-business-leads

Connect with us

Our Company Website

BitBranding on Facebook

BitBranding on Instagram


Christian [00:00:00] Welcome to another episode. Today, we're taking a little bit of a different turn here, we're actually talking about success. And we're talking about failure. Now, the biggest thing here is that we're going to show you how failure has made us grow into the company that we are today. We're gonna give you a story that we've never told before. A story of hardship and true failure, the very beginning of our company. And that has shaped us into who we are today. Check it out. 

[00:00:32] This is the marketing natives providing actual ways to grow, improve and succeed in your business. 

[00:00:40] And now your host, Christian and Aaron. 

Aaron [00:00:46] All right. So, guys, this is gonna be a little bit different of a podcast episode for us and hopefully in the future it will change. This may be an evolution of our podcast. We want to start telling different stories that we're gonna help and resonate with local business owners. And we still are going to give hard how to tactical tips and advice as well. But I think you guys can learn a lot more from our journey and not making the same mistakes. And this is, I think, a part of the process. So if you guys can follow along with our journey. So success is a horrible teacher for local business owners. And the reason we said that is because most people believe that success breeds success. 

Aaron [00:01:28] So the more success that you have, the more successful you're going to be. Which is not necessarily the case. And we wanted to kind of extrapolate or expand on that. And I was just talking to Christian before we recorded about this story. Anything will be more fun for you guys to find out more about the very beginning of bitbranding, because those were those, as they say, the good old days or the the days that were kind of stressful. But really, looking back at them, they weren't that stressful at all. 

Aaron [00:02:01] It was just like a then and now kind of thing. Yeah. And I think the yeah. 

Christian [00:02:07] The overarching theme here is what you just said, like success doesn't breed success. And the story that we're about to tell you the story of failure. It's not a story of success. Right? It's not. It eventually has a happy ending. Right. But we have to go through these trials and tribulations and its failures in order to become successful. And that's that's the whole story and theme about this podcast, is that we want to make sure that you understand that failure is normal and failure is necessary for you to have a successful company. Yes. If you don't have failure, then you're limiting yourself on how much you can grow and how fast you can grow. So I would even advice to seek failure. Right. And and seek ways that you can fail so that you can actually grow. 

Aaron [00:03:13] Yeah. If you look back and think that, I can't think of any specific examples. But if you ever Bodger you see these motivational videos on YouTube or Facebook or anything like that, it's like this is where, you know, Jeff Bezos started. He was in a in a bedroom or like a one room, and now he's grown into this. It's like it all started with something smaller. And all these failures, I think, was like Abraham Lincoln. He, like barely passed any of his asset classes. He failed to get elected. He failed to do this. And then, like, you know, after 50 or 60 tries of all these failures, he became one of the best presidents and united the country. So I obviously know I butchered that story. But the point is, that we all have been through that? It's just I think that we don't talk about it as much in business. And I was telling I think we're selling this to you, but I heard it on a podcast the other day before we get into this. And that is like Disney movies would absolutely suck if, you know, there wasn't any problems. Like imagine if Woody and Buzz were best friends from the very beginning and Andy just happened to play with them all day, like there's nothing with Toy Story or like Finding Nemo. What would it be like playing with nemo? Like there would be no issues or problems for them to overcome and just be happy endings. Now there are happy endings, but they wouldn't be good movies. There's no conflict. And it makes for a boring life. So we weren't, I guess, born in life or in business to just have success all the time like that. The rough stories that we have are like the crazy stories or anything like that. Those are the ones we talk about the most. Nobody talks about like, oh, man, I can't believe it was 70 and sunny. And, you know, it was just a perfect day ever. Like, nobody really cares about that. But they do care about like last night here, at least in the Dallas area about where. Christians at and lower right now. It was the craziest thunderstorm ever. Like Roy, one of our friends, mutual friends, he was on it like two o'clock in the morning. There's like two or three hundred people on. And I wake up and watch Facebook live of him, you know, basically saying there's like hail everywhere, potential tornadoes coming up. Like, that's the stuff people are interested in. And that's the stuff that people want to talk about and know about. 

Christian [00:05:22] So, yes, I think I'll go back to the movies like it provides a chance for the characters again to grow. Right. There has to be the most interesting stories are the ones of a failure because the character has to go through these challenges and overcome those challenges. And that's what's relatable to people. That's what's relatable to business owners. That's what's relatable to everyone in life, you know. That's what life is all about. It's about going through. Going through failure. Overcoming that failure. And that's what makes us relatable. That's what makes us as relatable as people, as business owners, etc.. So, yeah, I mean, Woody and Buzz, they have to go through that stuff and those character arcs and growth in order for us have, you know, kind of rally behind them and say, hey, you know, yeah, I've I've actually been through some of these problems. You mean those a cartoon. There's also this. YouTube channel called Yes Theory, and they're awesome group of guys, and they have this motto and it's a seek discomfort, they've actually created a whole line of clothing item, things like that. But they also advocate for that. They advocate for, you know, at the point where you're inconvenienced or uncomfortable. And the point of failure, you know, that's where we would grow. 

Christian [00:06:52] That's where we actually push ourselves to to become better. And so we have a chance to check them out. Highly recommend watching some of their videos. They're very inspirational. And it definitely make you want to. Get out of the house and do something right. 

Aaron [00:07:07] We'll have to come back to this in later episodes because right now we can't talk about it because I feel like I saw a tweet from Christian who said, you guys can all shame and find them on Twitter for not watching the last dance. But this is exactly what it's like. I mean, Michael Jordan was so successful that even when he was better than somebody, he made up things in his head that people said to him was like, oh, good game, Michael. Like, so he would get it. So he was so competitive in his head, he had to motivate himself because he's at a different level, a way different levels. So successful. And he could have rested on his loyals. 

Aaron [00:07:39] But as Laurel's rather. But he decided to make up things in his head so that he can motivate himself to fight adversity whenever he was just having success. He like he lived for like the failure and then overcoming that. So it's just I don't know. Check it out. Obviously, most of you guys need to watch that movie. But are the Syrians like Christian? But we want to tell you guys and now that we've kind of prefaced this a little bit, I want to tell you guys a little bit about our. Our journey from the very beginning, so to give you guys some context really quickly. Christian and I were working remotely on the company when we first started. We were doing everything, the Google Docs. 

Aaron [00:08:20] But then Christian came down to Dallas and we went to go drive around. We had a couple of really nice deals lined up as far as like, OK. These are potential prospects. We went to met with them. We wrote our proposal. We were going to talk to them about how we could help them with their marketing and our Web site and everything. And we had just landed like we had. I think we got a deposit or we made the most money we've ever made in one day. And I'll tell you guys, it wasn't a lot. I think it was like a couple of thousand or two or three thousand dollars. I don't even remember. But it wasn't a lot. 

Christian [00:08:51] It was like $200. Yeah, it wasn't it wasn't a lot there. 

Aaron [00:08:54] Like, we just made this much money in, like, I don't know, was like an hour or like, oh my gosh, this is crazy. So your first sale is absolutely important. We've had I think that morning we sold a website and then that afternoon we sold a website to you because I was like a boutique in Kansas. And then we drove all over to Plano to a popcorn shop and closed that website as well. And they both and they one of them gave us a check right then. And we had that check. Oh, my gosh, this is awesome. 

Christian [00:09:20] I think that the context of that, the fact that we thought there was so much money, it's because of what you just kind of mentioned right there, which is this is the most money we've made in an hour to. Right. That it took us to to do those transactions. So I think that was the biggest excitement was like, oh, my gosh, we've made all this money in just two hours. Right. Obviously, we kind of had the all wrong, but we were set back. So in that time of moment, we were extremely excited that we've made that much money in that little amount of time. 

Aaron [00:09:54] Yeah. And so then I remember we went to waters creek. We talked to I mean, we had like a Mojito. We're like, oh yeah, this is the best thing ever. So we're on cloud nine on as many of you guys probably are when you're starting your business and you get your first sale, which is like the most exciting thing ever. 

Aaron [00:10:07] You like this? I had to do this all day. Like as soon as I got my first sale, my second, it'll just be all easy. So the website was actually pretty easy. 

Aaron [00:10:18] The very beginning we did. We didn't have any process or procedure in place and we were still working remotely. Christian went back to to Oklahoma and we were both working on a platform called Squarespace, which I'm sure you guys are familiar with. And we would both be inside of the editor and we would be doing like face time or something like that and working through, like, how we wanted to design the website. And I'll tell you right now, Christian has a lot more years at this point. He had a lot more years of design and now he definitely does experience. And I did. But I don't know why I was helping out with the design. It was more of like, you know, we're part of the business. So we're both going to work at this together. 

Aaron [00:10:56] And so we I don't know, maybe you guys never did that, but we were just trying to figure out, like our processes and the way that we were doing things. And obviously we were very inefficient. So it's like two guys working on one website and different ideas on what to do and how to do it. And so that popcorn shop, it had products that were pretty easy. Christian did that. And we realized, I think, a couple weeks into it. Right, that I'm just not going to mess with the website. I'm going to do like the social media part of things. And I'll focus on this. You do the Web site. And so I think a couple of weeks and we figured out the products and there were no problem. You were designing them. Maybe you can give some context to that. 

Aaron [00:11:35] But I know the biggest thing, the biggest hurdle that we ran into was figuring out their tins, like trying to create that. 

Christian [00:11:43] So absolutely, the products were super easy. Obviously, you have a certain amount of flavors and then you have a certain amount of spices. They have to worry about extra small, small, medium, and then the flavors. You have butter, popcorn, you have, I don't know. Or you as an. Car moan, whatever. Anyways, there was about 50 to or 60 some different flavors, and obviously each of these have the sizes. 

Christian [00:12:09] That was the easy part. The complicated part was the tins. Like Aaron said, the tins. You could have three different sizes. So you had the dirt, like the one gallon, three point five gallon. And then like a six gallon or something. 

Aaron [00:12:25] I feel like you remember it pretty well. It's like this is incredible. 

Christian [00:12:31] So you had these three sizes of tins and then, uh, each of these tins, you could do one flavor or two or up to three flavors purchased so you could pick up three point five gallon tin and you could have up to three different flavors. And then, mind you, going back to the fifty two flavors or whatever, each of these flavors had different price points. 

Christian [00:12:56] Depending on, I guess, the complexity of the flavor, right? So butter a butterfly where it's a lot cheaper than a Karmal drizzle, chocolate, whatever. Obviously, that's a lot of more weight. 

Christian [00:13:09] And it was. 

Christian [00:13:11] So we early on, not early on, but I guess towards the ending of designing this Web site, we figured out that this is almost impossible to do in an Squarespace. But we still said, OK, let's try and figure it out. 

Christian [00:13:29] I think we the calculations that we've made. 

Christian [00:13:33] There was possible combinations of up to like thirty or ninety thousand. It was like thirty something thousand combinations yet combinations that are possible with what I would I just said. 

Christian [00:13:46] Right. So at some point we were contemplating like, OK, let's create all these combinations in the vacuum. 

Aaron [00:13:54] We do so many per day for eight hours a day. We knocked out like this. Many of them. We can make it, Megan. Yeah, it was it was really, really hard. 

Christian [00:14:07] Obviously, the biggest some of the biggest things is, one, we didn't really do a good scope of work during the beginning of this one. 

Christian [00:14:17] What's. Yeah. We didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into. Obviously, that being part of the process that we've actually, you know, change has helped us mitigate this exact problem that we're having. 

Christian [00:14:34] So at some point during this, we were I was contacting my brother house, calling my brother because my brother has a lot more experience with Cody and and doing all this stuff. He's actually, I guess, the person that I looked up to when we were younger, and that's why I know all that. I know Photoshop and Illustrator and the coding that I know it's because of my brother and I looked up to him and he taught me a lot of these things. So when I write into this problem was like, look, I need help with this. 

Christian [00:15:08] And he I mean, he was awesome. He helped us a lot. And we figured out a solution. But it took us I mean, tons and tons of research just looking for a solution and something that was remotely possible. And even even us saying, OK, yeah, we're gonna do this, we're going to we have to make this work somehow. The solution that we came up with wasn't even. The best solution now, not we we sort of butchered her, her pricing structure and had to change different things in order to make it work for Squarespace. So the solution was not the best solution at all for her store, but we had a solution, please. 

Aaron [00:16:01] I think that one of the calls that I had with her was about three fourths of the way through the website. And we had just figured out how to like like if you can imagine, it's just like a really small button to where they could click on it. And like, you can definitely tell that it's not needed to the site where they could click down and like, actually add a different type of 10. And she was like, well, it looks like it's starting to come. But like, do you guys want to just chop it all up and just go towards something like Shopify or whatever else? And we at the time, we like we we can't because we didn't know Shopify, we'd had to learn something else. I think at this time we didn't track the hours. So let's just say that we were just doing it. But we probably, you know, Christian alone probably put in a couple hundred hours. 

Aaron [00:16:47] And then the amount of time that I put in it probably means probably 250, 300 hours for this one Web site and for us to be able to just say, like, we're gonna scrap it and move on. We wasn't possible. So we kind of pushed forward and we built the site. It was functional. She got sales. So she was selling things. They didn't sell a bunch of tens. And there was definitely issues for it. But I guess my point for this is we can tell you about the happy ending later. But I think from all of that, I remember many calls and many like strategy sessions. 

Aaron [00:17:22] And I even remember in Christian probably may not remember this, but I remember saying, like, okay, if we can figure out a solution for this, we can do pretty much anything in business, because at the time it was like the hardest thing ever. Like we were staying up late, we were getting up early. We were trying to figure out how to make this work. Like we said, I remember texting Christians, Christian tell me and texting his brother. And I remember one night it was like nine or ten o'clock at night. He's like, Dude, I think my brother figured out a way we can do this. I'm like, oh, my gosh. I think it was like the best night sleep I had gotten in like months because we found a solution. 

Aaron [00:17:58] I mean, we kept trying Christine kept trying to learn like CSX, which is like a a fancy way to like Stilo Web site. He tried to learn different types of code talking to his brother. We tried to work with Caroline, like reducing the amount of products potentially or like different, you know, options, I guess, with her products, like there a bunch of different things that we were trying. I don't think she ever in budging on the products or the solutions. I think she even threw us for a loop by adding new pricing like they were upping their pricing at the time. But I don't think the solution are the issue. I guess the the resolution here was not necessarily that we built the best website for her because we've built much better websites and we've built her new Web sites. I will say that now. But what it did teach us is to persevere and find a solution that there's always a way. It's may not be exactly what we were thinking. Like, it's not like I think we envisioned it was like this is going to be an easy Web site. Kurson is going to spend like ten hours or whatever, and we're going to all just design the Web site. It's going to these products. It's super easy. We're just gonna build it and then we're gonna be done, like then we'll go do another one. And I think, you know, five or ten hours into it, we realized, oh, dang, we're climbing Mount Everest. And we thought we were going over a hill. But it did teach us a lot in business, which was we didn't have a process. Obviously, I shouldn't have been designing any type of Web site at all. We didn't have any time type of time tracking, so we didn't know if we were doing it correctly. We didn't have, like Christians said, a scope of work. Like what? You mean like what we're gonna do for this project or what? What are we charging it for? We are proposals I'm looking back to that tent now is like our proposals didn't outline exactly what was happening and just kind of say, like, this is how much and then this is what you're gonna get, which is like a finished Web site. So it's like they signed a contract to get this Web site. So it's like we owe them that Web site. But there's just so many things that I think that we would have went down the wrong path if we wouldn't have went through the struggle of those tens. Very early on in the company, only because. It was like not just a little hurdle. It was a big hurdle, like it stretched us not only in the 10 world, but also in our processes and trying to work remotely with you and I doing face time and trying to communicate. So just the communication aspect of things, too. So like all those struggles and all those quote unquote failures really pushed our company forward to find other solutions. 

Christian [00:20:35] Yeah. 

Christian [00:20:35] And I think the our mentality early on was. We just need to make money, right? We we could have we could have taken the route of the first year of our quote unquote business. 

Christian [00:20:52] Just figure it out processes. Figure out this, figured out that. And then when we're ready and we had all this stuff in place, then we started to sell. Yeah, we could have taken that approach, but we took an early approach of saying, let's just sell this. Let's. So whatever list may go ahead and get out there and make some money, then we'll figure out what to do once we get those projects. I mean, looking back, I think obviously it pushed us to to make all these things happen. And obviously, we've been profitable since day one. Right. We've we've been making money since day one. We haven't had any debt. We haven't had any of that stuff. So I would say, yes, this this this journey or this path that we took has definitely been hard. But at the same time, it's been successful because of all these failures that we've had. So yet this one thing that we did at the very, very beginning has sort of. Or, you know, grown into all these different path and different things that we've implemented in our business because of these failures. Right. I feel like if we would have taken on a single website early on and everything went fine and dandy, I think we would have kept doing the same thing over and over. Keep using Squarespace. Yeah. Until we failed. I think that the whole point of this is like you're eventually going to fail. And that's what's going to lead you to seek out better solutions, seek out ways to for you to grow. And we don't use juice anymore. 

Christian [00:22:31] Now, the the that I've been the over overarching learning nugget here is we said for the type of website that our clients want and need, Squarespace is not the right solution for us. From that, we've moved on to web flow. We actually moved on to Shopify and we've even done some stuff with WordPress, very limited. We've done some stuff with WordPress. 

Christian [00:23:00] So we found a solution actually worked for us, which webflow has been amazing because we can just design it, how we want it, how we envision it and actually make it happen. It looks nice. We're not to worry about any other limitations that we had on on Squarespace. 

Christian [00:23:18] And actually, you have all the freedom of designing what exactly what the client wants. So that's one of the biggest things that we learned from this is one you have to have the right tools to. You have to have the right processes, and then you have to know, you know, exactly what the client wants and be able to deliver on it early on. Right. You're not agree to something and then try to figure it out. 

Aaron [00:23:42] Yeah. And I think there's, you know, early on, you can probably get away with a little bit of that, but it's just it's a lot harder that way. But I think one of the other things is that we prove to us that we could do it. But there is less friction if we figured out a solution, like, you know, we finally created a program or for ourselves anyway of like exact process of how to generate those leads and exactly how to qualify leads and convert them, etc.. So it took us time to go through this to realize, like, OK, how many times we had to hit our Hasso heads over the wall and just say, like, OK. There is a better way to do it. But I think failing in the beginning proved to us that we could get through it. So it's not like we couldn't. But why work harder on this when we could find a solution? So it it pushed us to find the solution, which eventually made us, you know, getting us to a position where at now, which I'm sure we're gonna run into problems until years now, they're going to push us to that next level. But I truly believe that we wouldn't have created our program like that lead accelerator program for local business owners to, like, helps them generate leads. We wouldn't be able to teach them processes. We wouldn't be able to have a system in place. We wouldn't be able to do any of that. Had we not went through our show through it ourselves. So I think that's the one of the biggest things is like now we can explain it better and we have it in place for ourselves so we can teach it better. And nobody else has to make the same mistakes as we did because, hey, look, we learned early on and there's no reason anybody should ever have to build a a popcorn website like we did. 

Christian [00:25:24] Yeah. You know, now that I think back on it, those first few projects were. 

Christian [00:25:30] Some of the hardest project to take on. 

Christian [00:25:33] We took on what plays out both of them were e-commerce Web sites. So our very first projects were e-commerce Web sites, which are leaps and bounds. Way more complex than just building an informational couple pages Web site for, let's say, I don't know, a lawyer. Right. Which we did build that one, too. We did later. Right. But the other the first two were very hard projects to start with. And to be honest, we didn't even know. We didn't even know that there were going to be a harder project to do in a more static marketing Web site. 

Aaron [00:26:13] Yeah, they I think they touted, like Squarespace Tida, like, you know, super easy designs and like templates or whatever, and like you can sell your products in minutes. And so we're like, well, we'll do our own little design and we'll build to do it in minutes. 

Aaron [00:26:26] And, you know, not 200 hours later figuring that out, which was, oh, that was rough. And I think it I don't know if it necessarily worked for you, but I'm sure that, like a lot of people can probably relate to, like your parents. I didn't know. So I had this issue as much as Christians like. 

Aaron [00:26:46] There are definitely more like afraid of like, what are you guys doing? And looking back now, it's like, OK. So we had just closed these two Web sites and we'd run into these problems with these Web sites and we're trying to figure out how to make it work. I think at this time we were still I think we had just quit our jobs. And so our parents are like worried about us. And like, you're going out there, you're trying to do this, and then we run into more problems. But then I don't know if they necessarily were more okay with it, but at least if they knew that we went through this struggle, we overcame it. It's more of like just a little notch of confidence. They're like, OK. If they were going to fail at it right now, you know, that's a big kind of roadblock. And they they overcame that and they figured it out. So it's like I think they also gave, at least for me, more confidence to tell more people that, oh, yeah, we can do this like we have a business. We all are going to be successful. We've been through this then. I know that we can run into whatever else it may be, even if the other things like a harder obstacle. It's like we've been through hard times. So because we've been through hard times, it's not going to be as difficult as if we were just like fresh, you know, starting the company. 

[00:27:58] All right. So I hope you guys got a lot out of this episode. It was kind of fun for us to recap what happened in the business early on. And like I said, I think we're gonna talk a little bit more about these stories. But I think one of the biggest things to take away from this is that you should not. Believes that success builds success. But really that the failures that you have, that you have will actually ultimately push you towards more success. And when you do that, you come over, overcome those obstacles. It's gonna make you stronger in your business. And for us, it was more so figuring out those processes and procedures and creating systems and figuring out a way to automate part of our business, which is where we're at now. 

Aaron [00:28:42] And that's we've never been possible if we wouldn't have failed previously. So I encourage you. Like, if you're going through a rough time right now, if you're going through something like, you know, a world pandemic, like we all are going through right now, if you're listening to this in May of 20/20 or even anytime before that in March, we were going through this. So it's a struggling time, but it's an eye, an opportunity for you to become tougher and find ways to be more growth oriented in your business or find ways to overcome those in your business. 

Christian [00:29:18] Absolutely seek failure. See, failure. I think failure. But embrace it, embrace it. Is that what they say? Seek failure. They see, embrace failure. What do they say, though? Those guys. Oh no. They said a sick discomfort. DCD coming. OK. 

Aaron [00:29:32] So we'll just do our own little version. There's like embrace whatever. All right. Awesome. Thank you guys so much for listening. If you've gotten this far into it and you are trying to figure out the processes and procedures and systems in your business, you're your local business to generate more leads online, especially as we go through a pandemic and you're trying to take your offline business online. I'd encourage you to go do a 45 minute free strategy session. We're doing us right now to help people figure out the three pillars that they need to have in their business to generate more leads consistently so that they can spend more time with their families and don't have to worry about whether or not a pandemic is going on to continue to grow their business. You can schedule your free 45 minute Strategy Session by going to apply dot bitbranding dot CO. Again, that's apply dot bitbranding dot co And if this is your first time listening, please make sure that you hit subscribe, because that is how we grow. But more importantly, tell you don't miss on an every episode that happens on Mondays when we drop a new episode. You could also, if you're watching on YouTube, make sure that you hit subscribe button and then hit the bell so you get notified as well. And again, back for you. Podcasts, people almost forgot. Make sure that you leave us an honest rating and review if you've been listening for a while. This is how the podcast Grow Grows. Apple podcasts especially. They love the reviews. Some more reviews. We have the more people we can reach, the more impact we can have. So we would greatly appreciate it if you went over to apply tunes. Our Apple podcast, rather, and left us an honest reading review. It helps us. And if you enjoyed this episode, please screenshot it. We had somebody do this for the first time a couple weeks ago, which was awesome. Screenshot this episode and then tag us on Instagram and let us know what you thought about this episode. It's really, really helpful for us. 

[00:31:23] Everything he said. Yes, absolutely. Do all that, the marketing native's podcast is a production of bitbranding. 

More Episodes