Last week, I hosted a webinar about how to host webinars and, of course, I got to witness the irony of the universe having a laugh at my expense:
My webinar system failed.
It failed so hard. And I was pretty embarrassed.
But — you knew there was going to be a but in there, right? Lemons and Lemonade, people! (Queen Bey preach!) — I learned a few things about business and what to do when things don’t go right.
My Big Fat Catastrophe (AKA Perfect Learning Opportunity)?
So here’s how it went down.
I had signed up for a new webinar service and I was really excited about it. Not only does the service let me create registration pages, it automatically sends reminders to let my peeps know it’s about to go live. So useful, right?
Now, through no fault of my own, here’s what happened next.
They had updated their system two days before my webinar, and thanks to whoever was having a laugh at me that day, their tech glitched and ended up sending ALL the reminders at once, including, “You missed the webinar. Here’s the replay.” Which made no sense, of course, because no one could miss a webinar that hadn’t even happened yet.
It was so frustrating because it made me look like I don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m supposed to be your Computer Girl, right? What was going on here? ! It was super embarrassing to have something happen outside of my control, and, worse yet, all I could do was apologize for it.
I also didn’t know if it would send the emails again at the correct times or not. And to top it off, the registration page was broken too!
And here’s the best (worst) part: I had paid for Facebook ads for this webinar which meant that there were brand new people who had chosen to sign up, who were encountering me for the first time. And this was their impression of me?!
Not cool, webinar service, not cool. Of course I worried that it affected my credibility.
But you know? Sometimes, you gotta just shake things off and plug along partly because there’s just no time to freak out in the middle of a crisis and because bringing your A-game teaches you some really important things.
My first concern? My people’s inbox: I apologized for blasting their inboxes with 5 emails all at once. Then, I regrouped and initiated my backup plan.
Through all of this stress and chaos, I learned 3 important things.
Making Lemonade: My 3 Lessons
1) It’s not about you.
Glitches happen to everyone, even people who know what they’re doing! It doesn’t mean anything about you and it definitely doesn’t mean you should give up on yourself. Actually, if you really want to make it mean something (‘cuz you’re just that kind of thoughtful soul — holla!), why not make it mean the opposite? It means you’ve got to keep going and figure it out.
2) Always have a backup plan.
My backup plan was to use Google Hangouts on Air for my webinar, so I began that process. I had to set it up with Google and then schedule the reminder emails myself. (You’ll actually see how to set up a Google Hangout on Air in the webinar replay. Want to see the replay? Hit reply and I’ll tell you how to get it!)
3) Be willing to get support.
Know what you’re not so good at, and hire someone who can do that for you. I’m really great at hosting webinars, but I’m not good at promoting myself so I need to get support around that. Technically, I can schedule reminder emails, but psychologically, it’s really hard. Goofy, I know, but we all have our “stuff” and this is mine.
So, even though I wanted to run away and binge watch Gilmore Girls instead of facing what happened, I had to get it done. People had signed up and I was committed to this webinar. And I’m committed to empowering entrepreneurs like you. You can handle this! You can do this “tech stuff.” Sometimes, it takes a little stubbornness and creativity, but you’ve got that, right?