What to Do When (Almost) Nothing Goes As Planned

Handle Launch StressOnce upon a time (yesterday), my friend Carrie and I joined forces to host a free workshop for the Female Entrepreneur Association (Carrie’s lovely and ginormous community of – you guessed it – female entrepreneurs).

While we’d been wanting to do something together like this for over a year, the plan for this workshop didn’t really take shape until about two weeks ago. Maybe.

(No time like the present, girls!)

We whipped up the registration page, the thank you pages, the sales pages, the webinar, blah blee blah, etc, etc. and then the FUN part:

We told people about it. (<<< Think you’ll love this video, BTW. Save it for later!)

In a matter of days, we had over 2,000 people register for this workshop. #whoababy

SO exciting, right?

Then webi day rolls around.

The registrations are ROLLING IN (could totally get used to that feeling, BTW).

I wake up, get dressed (AND put on makeup – bonus!) to add some pep to my (pregnant) step, get B-man ready for preschool, drop him off, fill up my gas tank (because who wants to start a big day on symbolic “E”?!).

Come home. Log in. Tie up some loose ends.

Take 5-10 minutes to step away, sit on the couch, and visualize alllllll the people around the world who need ACAC beaming on over to Honolulu this morning to join us.

All is right with the world.

#GAMETIME

I log in and get situated with Carrie. Mic check, mic check 1-2-1-2.

HUNDREDS of folks are logged in live in just the first few minutes…from all over the world.

A half hour into the call we’re up to almost 500 – and they’re staying on! (Whew.)

I have my husband’s laptop nearby so I can see what THEY see (there’s a weird delay with WebinarJam + want to make sure I don’t miss anything major).

I’ve also got a private Slack convo going on with my sister Stacey and dreamy new assistant Ari – making sure all is well.

We’re rockin’ and rollin’ through the free training – they’re loving it.

I make it through all the content and finally start to introduce ACAC.

I get to this reeeeeally cute slide of Bryson in his first Halloween/birthday costume (Carl from “Up” – explaining why entrepreneurs literally can’t afford to see effective copy as a #squirrel – distraction or a shiny object) – and then I see it out of the corner of my eye:

THE BLUE SCREEN OF (BROADCAST) DEATH

“Thanks for coming! The presenter has ended the broadcast.”

Say WHAT?!

No – I definitely didn’t end the broadcast. I’m still talking, and my slides are still up…

IS THIS THING ON!?

Carrie says I’m fine (she can see me because she’s a fellow presenter) and – bless her heart – keeps talking just in case they CAN still hear us.

But I know better.

I can SEE from the audience view on Jerm’s laptop that sure enough – nobody else can see my slides or hear me talking.

Chaos in the chatbox.

Confusion in the Slack channel.

HUNDREDS of people drop off. Quickly.

We were at almost 500 at the highest point (600+ total).

Now we’re at 400. 300. 200. And down to the 100s.

Wellllll SHOOTS. That seriously couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

Think, Nik. What can you do?

I remember that with WebinarJam you can use the same link to log back in, so I open a tab to my email (where I’ve got the link) and I try that.

It works!

THE (PARTIAL) COMEBACK

But still – over half of our study buddies are gone (and rightfully confused). We are too – but we gotta keep movin’.

So we rally.

Ari sends a quick “we’re back!” email on my behalf, and the number quickly climbs back above 200.

(Talk about dreamies – especially those who signed back on a second time!)

By the time we finish the live Q&A, we’ve welcomed a dozen new dreamies to the ACAC fam – which had to happen manually, BTW, because we forgot to make sure our auto-delivery sequences were connected #oops.

Okay, but what on earth just happened?

No clue. No time to worry about it now. Gotta keep movin’.

THE AFTERMATH

We quickly make a plan to make it up to everyone by offering a bonus live Q&A next week (Tuesday), before Carrie’s special bonuses expire. An unexpected second chance at the part they were MOST excited to be there for.

WHEW. No rest for the webi-weary.

We get THAT registration page set up, tweak and swap the welcome emails (I was SO close to having these all ready to go!), get the replay video edited, exported, embedded, blah blee blah blee blah…

And (several) hours later, we BREATHE.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Because all is well.

Even when all feels crazy.

All is well.

REFLECTIONS

Did we face some unexpected obstacles today? Um, YES.

But did we handle them like solution-oriented big girls? HECK yes.

I am SO proud of and thankful for the dream team I’m building over here. Definitely would’ve cried at some point if I didn’t have their help. (Although technically my mom’s sweet + encouraging text totally made me tear up. Love you, Mama!)

At the end of the day, though (and even in the midst of it) – this was a GREAT day.

I woke up in a safe, secure house in a beautiful (although unusually rainy) part of the world.

I’ve got a healthy baby boy growing in my belly – and his precious big bro had a great day at a wonderful school.

(And BONUS: he’s sound asleep in my bed as I type because even though Aunt Stacey left a few nights ago, we’re not ready to give up our slumber parties just yet ;))

I had more than enough food to (emotionally) eat throughout the day – and fresh water to keep the thirsties quenched.

I even got to sneak away from the chaos and get out of my head for (most of) an hour this afternoon thanks to my investment in a great personal trainer.

My car(s) work. My tanks are literally full.

I’ve welcomed over 2,000 new subscribers to my corner of the internet in the past couple of weeks (thanks to this promo, my new cheat sheet, and some FB ad experimentation)…and I know that every single one of these folks is connected with me for a reason.

And (even if it’s “dude I’m just here for the cheat sheet”), I trust that it’s a great reason.

So. Even when it’s a lil crazy, life is GOOD, my friend.

Technology may throw us for loops every now and then, but meh – it’s really not that big of a deal.

I could look at it like this mystery glitch cost me $10,000+ in revenue (and PS – if you’re reading this WebinarJam, it seriously did), but I know and believe that everrrrry dreamie out there who is meant to join my A Course About Copy family will do so in perfect timing.

Whether that’s before this clock runs out, six months from now, or two years from now.

It’s just how it works.

When we’re open enough to chill out to realize it – it’s how it ALWAYS works.

5 STEPS TO A LAUNCH STRESS CHILL PILL

Let’s bring this back to how you can benefit from my experience today, shall we?

The next time you find yourself thinking, “WHAT NEXT?!?!” try working through these steps:

#1: Breathe.

Literally. Take a deep breath and take a minute (or five) to collect yourself.

#2: Get help.

Find folks who can help lighten the load and LET THEM.

#3: Get perspective. 

You may feel stressed right now (feel the feels, by all means), but don’t let it consume you. This too shall pass. (Please don’t smack me for saying that.)

#4: Choose gratitude. 

Focus on what’s going right. Gratitude is the universal cure for unnecessary stress and whininess. Shortest distance from blah to better.

#5: Just keep swimming. 

Please don’t let a hiccup (slash technological wrecking ball) stop you from shining your light. The world needs you to show up today. And errrryday.

Sidenote: If you’re in the mood for meh-coulda-been-way-worse dramatic stories today, you’ll enjoy this one about how our wedding venue went bankrupt 33 days before the wedding. Wrote it on my old personal blog almost three years ago, so forgive me for the lengthy paragraphs ;)

YOUR HOMEWORK

I will DEFINITELY do a live Periscope this weekend to recap these lessons learned, so be sure to follow me @nikkielledge on there so you can join the conversation!

Til then, in the comments, I’d love to know:

Got any great tech disaster stories (and by “great” I mean fun, funny, inspiring, or just that awful)?

Better yet – got any stress relief tips for those struggling to let it GO?

Do tell.

To the miracle that there was no chocolate in the house today,

nik

P.S. If you liked this post + want to help me spread the word by using the links below to share it with your buddies, I would greatly appreciate it! You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to see new videos before I’ve had time to turn them into blog posts ;)

Convo Copy Cheat Sheet

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LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

  1. Jess Catorc

    Ah thanks for sharing this, so nice to hear about when things go “wrong” just as much as much as the good stuff! Really great idea for having the webinar on another computer too.. would definitely take out so much of the guess work knowing if you’re talking to yourself or not (been there :) )

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Yes! It CAN be distracting (especially if there’s someone trying to spark up a totally unrelated conversation #notcool), but it’s great to have a second screen going when you’re sharing your entire screen for the actual presentation.

      You can track chat, what they see, questions, and ultimately see the sales rolling through so you can welcome newbies :)

  2. Deanne

    YES, Nikki and friends of Nikki!

    On Wednesday, I had my long anticipated come back, launched my YouTube TV episode number 1 sent out mail chimp, did all the jazz and woke up the next day to see it launch and the link to connect to my episode completely faulty.

    Imagine. I in the passenger seat as my husband’s driving, there is back to school traffic, all I want to do is get home because mailchimp is not working on my IOS. It takes me 2 hours to get home from the launch email and of course my inbox is filling up with people telling me the link is not working. “WHY”. I’m so frantic to get home, heart pumping and then my husband says a wise thing, “Babe, not a big deal, you’re alive, most people that love you will wait for your new link and that just gives them reason to read the message maybe another time.”

    I calm down. He pops in Oprah’s CD audiobook, “What I know for sure.” He goes to work, I jump in the drivers seat and hall my fanny home.

    Even though I did all my checks and balances the night before, checked the links, technology has it’s time, it’s personality, and well, it’s not anyone’s fault.

    It happens to some of the best of us. What I can say is YOU ARE OUT THERE, you are doing it. A lot of people are still sitting around dealing with perfectionitis. At the end of the day, big deal, the one’s who love you stick around and maybe now get a chance to see you again, or better invite a friend because maybe what they heard in previous conversation sparked some light bulbs. Being pregnant now too, I have no choice but to cool down. My little one inside, kicks around, or my womb literally gets tight when I have stress.

    What I do to cool off, I think of the big picture. I see we are all human, we are all playing, and we are all just trying to connect in fun ways. I drink some water, take a few deep breaths, and close my eyes and think of all my ideal customers and those that are already with me and I send love and gratitude to them. Gather myself, and write a funny professional comeback subject line, invite them to come back in, keep them engaged and thank them for caring enough to see what I’ve got for them and Voila! Send.

    For me the result was great! I did get one unsubscribe but then got 2 subscribers to my newsletter, plus 5 new Youtube Subscribers and even though those seem like little numbers. I love an appreciate every single person that meets me. It tells me they want more in life, and I can be there as their Divine Friend to help them figure it all out.

    Love everything you do Nikki, keep at it sister. I look forward to hearing your session coming up, cause believe it, I even missed the google hangout! had to work! So looky there.

    Be well,
    Deanne

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Love that Deanne – and YES during my first launch of ACAC, Vimeo was randomly attacked the day I sent out my second video (I think – maybe third?). I was in flight, and by the time I landed I had all kinds of emails. WHEW!

      Great recovery and thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Michael

    Yikes, what a STORY! It sure pays to keep one’s whit, have a backup plan and keep on truck’n. Hopefully you did a fresh reboot before broadcasting and are not connecting your broadcast device via WiFi (reboot your modem & router if you’re REALLY superstitious!!!) Don’t open unnecessary programs, tabs, etc. Glad you made it within the 5 minute HOA window to rejoin the call before it was permanently terminated – good on ya’ :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Yes me too! I was hard-wired in and freshly rebooted, nothing open but what I needed – although I hadn’t rebooted the modem and router, may do that next time ;)

      WebinarJam wants to blame a random Google glitch, so that’s less than comforting for next time. One thing I’ll do is keep a tab handy with my superadmin link so that I can refresh ASAP if it ever happens again!

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