Julius Caesar once said, “Experience is the best teacher.”
Well, Julius Caesar was wrong!
You can experience many things but that doesn’t mean that you will learn from them.
Evaluated experience is the best teacher!
Do you know how to train an elephant? Elephants are some of the strongest animals on our planet yet they can be held back by a simple rope. How is that?
When an elephant is young and small, trainers will tie a rope around its neck and attach that rope to a strong and secure pole. When the young elephant tries to walk away, naturally the rope and pole keep it from doing so.
The young elephant will push, pull, and do everything possible to escape but the rope and pole keep it from going anywhere.
The same thing happens over and over until eventually, when the rope is placed over their heads, the elephant no longer pulls or pushes to try to break free because it knows it can’t. That is why in captivity you will see giant elephants standing passively with a rope tied around their necks that isn’t attached to anything at all.
The elephant becomes so accustomed to being held back by the rope, that merely the rope itself keeps the animal in check.
Their previous experience tells them they can’t break free, when they really can.
That’s why you have to evaluate your experience. Even if you’ve experienced it before.
Apply this principle to your membership business. For example, when you do a “trial membership” and it doesn’t work, you can’t just say: “I tried that already and it didn’t work.”
No, it’s not that it doesn’t work, it’s the way that you did it that didn’t work.
Evaluate it. What can you learn from experience?
- Was it the wrong time?
- Was it the wrong offer?
- Was it the wrong message?
- Was it the wrong audience?
- Was it the wrong context?
- Was it the wrong way to communicate?
- Was it in the wrong place?
- What went right?
- What went wrong?
- What was missing?
- What was confusing?
This not only works for when things go wrong but also for when things go right.
It’s my observation that a lack of evaluating when things go right, is the source for most people’s problems.
It’s not that the method doesn’t work… it’s that the way it was implemented didn’t work!
Think about it, something goes great and we go on to celebrate. We totally skip over evaluating what made it great.
When something goes wrong, we immediately look for the reason why it went wrong.
If you want to run a successful membership business, you can’t rely on experience alone. You must rely on evaluated experience of both your victories and your losses.
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