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Hello Seven Podcast with Rachel Rodgers | But What if I Fail?

104. But What if I Fail?

“But what if I fail?” This is a question I get asked all the time, and even ask it myself sometimes. So, in today’s episode, I’m giving you a plan so you can address this question when it inevitably comes up and you find yourself wondering if the risk of failure is even worth the effort.

Too many potential entrepreneurs leave money on the table by telling themselves they’re too busy to put more time in, they don’t have the financial resources to invest in themselves, and a bunch of other reasons. But the truth is, what they’re really afraid of is failing. However, if you want a different life, you need to make some moves and switch some things up, so you don’t just sit around saying, “But what if I fail?”

Tune in this week to discover why you might fail, yeah, but if you go out there to win and show up in that energy instead of leaving it up to the marketplace, you’re more likely to create something incredible. I’m sharing how to show yourself your own ability to succeed, and I’m giving you three way more useful questions than spinning in indecision and asking, “But what if I fail…” so you can turn any situation into a wild success.

ROI: The Millionaire Summit is our first big, annual conference where over 1000 diverse entrepreneurs head to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s happening January 24th through 26th 2023 and it’s three days of amazing speakers teaching you how they made their first million, and how to make your next million. So, if you want to learn from the best while also seeing yourself and your identity reflected on the stage, click here to get your ticket now!

Join us every Tuesday at 7pm ET for our Premier Watch Party over on YouTube!

Miss the LIVE Watch Party? Check out the episode below!

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The problem with toxic positivity and not acknowledging the severity of the challenges you’re facing.
  • How we often ignore the most obvious solution to any problem we’re dealing with.
  • Why there’s always a chance you’re going to fail, and that’s okay.
  • All the things you have to be willing to risk if you want to achieve real success.
  • Why your actions always match your energy.
  • A story from my own business where I thought failure was imminent, and how I turned it around to become a wild success.
  • 3 better questions to ask yourself when you’re stuck thinking, “But what if I fail?”

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Even your whispery version of yourself, even your less confident version of yourself is enough. Is enough to help you win today, is enough to get started. It’s about not letting the fact that you’re in that whispery version stop you. It’s about not letting the fact that you don’t feel super confident stop you. You know what’s more important than confidence? Courage.

You want to make more money? You are in the right place. Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast, that’s seven as in seven figures. I'm your host, Rachel Rodgers. On this show it’s all about you and your money. We talk about how to maximize your earning potential, how to make better financial decisions, and how to find your million-dollar idea, that genius business idea that’s going to make you a whole lot more money. I’m here to show you how to expand your income and expand your confidence, power, and joy.

If you are a woman, a person of color, a queer person, if you’re a person living with a disability, or you don’t fit the stereotypical image of what a millionaire is “supposed” to look like, this show is for you. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, you could be earning a lot more than you currently do. Your journey to wealth starts right here.

Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast. Today I want to talk to you about a question that I get asked all the time. But what if I fail? That is the question that I know is on your mind some of the time, it’s on my mind sometimes. Trust me, I ask this question of myself at times. And so let’s address that question, but what if you fail. Let’s just deal with it today. I want you to leave this episode with a plan of how you’re going to address that question in your mind when it comes up.

I want to start this episode by telling you a story about a woman that I know. This woman is working two jobs, so she has a full-time day job working eight hours a day. And then she also has a part-time job in the evening, which equals a total of 14 hours of work every single day, right? So every single work day she’s working 14 hours.

And she invested in a coaching program, she is trying to start her own business and trying to improve her life. But she was in a state of despair and she was starting to feel hopeless because of how much she was working. She had no time to work on this new business that she wanted to launch and she just felt like it was never going to happen and she was just wasting her time.

And so she showed up to a coaching call saying, “I’m just going to fail. Like there’s no point in trying, I’m working 14 hour days and I don’t have time.” And that’s the truth of the matter, she did not have time. I don’t disagree with her, right? If you have a full-time job and then are also working a part-time job, maybe you don’t have time either, right? And so let’s not pretend that reality isn’t reality, right? The reality is what it is of your circumstances, right?

I have three young children in my home. That means sometimes I get up at six in the morning to get ahead of my work day and get some things done and guess who’s right up with me? All three of those kids, right? And so there goes my plans for the day to be productive and get things done. Suddenly I have to rework my plan, right? Or I have to decide, okay, I don’t want to give them too much screen time, but this morning y’all are getting the iPad and you’re getting TV time so mommy can get her work done. Or I can decide I’m going to have to find another time, right?

So I think it's important that we not have this sort of toxic positivity where we just pretend, oh, no, there's always a way. That is true, there is always a way. But it's also true that the reality that you're dealing with is the reality that you're dealing with, right? And I think when we pretend to ourselves that it's not real, or it's not hard, or people say to us, well just do this or just do that, it feels very flippant and it's not acknowledging the challenges that you're currently facing, right?

And so for this particular woman, she was feeling like it was hopeless and there was no point in continuing, that it was just never going to work. And my response is, yes, you're right, you don't have time right now. And so that means something has to change, right? So the solution is not necessarily giving up. That's one option, but another option is making a change, right?

And so I'm sure you can obviously already think of what the solution is, right? The solution is drop the part-time job so that you have time after work or you have energy on the weekends to work on this business, right? Keep the full-time day job and drop the part-time job, right? That's the obvious answer. But that's not what she's doing, right? She doesn't want to do that.

So when there's an obvious answer facing us and we're ignoring it or we're pretending that we can't make that happen, there's a reason why, right? And so the real reason is not that she's busy. The reason is that she's afraid she's going to fail, right? Because the reason she's not dropping that part-time job is because she is afraid that she's not going to be able to replace that income.

And if she doesn't replace that income, she's not going to be able to make her financial needs met. And so that's where the real fear is. The fear is of failure in the business. And so here's the reality, right? It's already not working, your situation, right, or this woman’s situation in this circumstance is already not working for you, right? Working two jobs and trying to start a business at the same time is not working for you, right?

And so if you want a different scenario, if you want a different life, if you want something to change, you are going to have to change something, right? You're going to have to make a decision, you're going to have to make a move. There's something that's going to have to take place in order for you to change your circumstances, right? Otherwise you'll continue to sit in the place that you are of feeling hopeless.

And so why do we not take those obvious actions, right? Why do we not quit the job? Or why do we not make the investment, right? So we might say, “I really want to know how to build a business and I don't know how to do that. I need to hire a coach, but I don't want to do that,” right? And so the obvious answer, hire a coach to help you, you know, take a course, learn how to build a business.

But we don't necessarily do that either, right? Because we're afraid, we don't want to spend the money, we don't want to make the risk. Same thing with time, Like, oh, I could spend more time working on my business. But it feels like a risk to invest all my time in something that may or may not work.

Here's the reality, it may or may not work. That is the truth, right? So that question of, but what if I fail, the truth is you might fail, right? That's what we are all signing up for when we pursue something. Nothing is guaranteed.

Not only is there the potential to fail, but we do have to be willing to risk our money. We have to be willing to risk our time, our energy, and our egos, right, in the process. Sometimes we have to be willing to fail publicly in order to win. These are requirements of success.

Y'all, I am so excited to tell you about ROI: The Millionaire Summit. This is my first big annual conference. Over 1,000 diverse entrepreneurs heading to San Juan, Puerto Rico, January 24th through the 26th. We are going to have a good time, y'all. We're going to dance, we're going to party, you will see amazing speakers that will teach you how they made their first million, and they're going to show you how to make your next million.

You're going to learn from the best and have diversity, right? You're going to see yourself and your identity reflected on the stage. Join us for ROI, get your ticket now. Trust me, there's going to be so much FOMO, you don't want to be mad in January when you’re watching us having a good time on Instagram. So go to and get your ticket right now. 

And so you're never going to be successful without risking your money, your time, your energy, and your ego. These are requirements, okay? So there's no way around it.

So yes, there's fear. There is fear of failure, and that is a very real thing. But in order to overcome that we just have to make a different decision, all right? So we have to face the reality that there are times when what we're already doing isn't working for us, okay? And so you're holding on tightly to something that isn't working.

Like this woman is holding on tightly to a part-time job that already isn't working for her. And a schedule and a life that already isn't working for her. And so if she were to pursue letting go of the part-time job, going all in on her business and really committing to it, and it may work, it may not, right?

If it doesn't work, guess what? She's back in the same situation she's already in. She's back in a situation where the circumstances aren't working for her, right? And so what's going to happen? Something's going to need to change again. Do you see how that works?

So when you are asking yourself, but what if I fail? Really what you're saying is, “I'm afraid to risk my money, my time, my energy or my ego.” Right? And that's true, we are afraid, right? Trust me, I'm afraid. I'm still taking risks that make me scared, right? But in order to be successful, we have to be willing to keep going, right? We have to be willing to take those risks. That's how we get to where we're trying to go, all right?

And so I want you to ask a different question, all right? Let's create some new questions to ask ourselves instead of always saying, “Well, what if I fail?” Right? Like that's our drama moment we want to have. And listen, have your drama, right? Vent to your friends. But at the end of the day, know that there's a different question that we could be asking ourselves, right?

And let's start with asking this, what if I win? What if this thing totally works out and is a massive success, right? What if it goes exactly how I dreamed it would go? What if it's better than my wildest dreams? I want you to ponder that question and journal on that question. Write down, what does that look like? What does your dream life look like? What does your dream scenario for your current circumstances look like? If you were to change this thing and it go exactly the way that you want it to go, what would that look like?

Really paint the picture. Get into the details of what that would look like, right? Because what you want to do is, and something that I do every single day is I lay in bed at the end of the day and I think about what I want to happen. And I think about how great it's going to be when it happens the exact way that I want it to, right?

I have a big live event coming up in January. And so when I'm daydreaming about that I'm thinking about us all partying together, and what music is going to play, who's going to dance in the middle, right? And how we're going to cheer that person on, right? I think about the speakers and them making us cry from the stage and people's lives being changed.

I literally was imagining the other day, lying in bed, the testimonials people were going to give saying that this is the best event that they've ever come to. Put some color on your dreams. Like really allow yourself to picture it and picture it every day because I think what we do is we meditate on failure, right?

We contemplate failure constantly. We always are thinking about what is failure going to look like, right? What's going to happen if I quit this part-time job and then this business doesn't work? I'm going to be, you know, homeless, or I'm going to be whatever dramatic thing that you think is going to happen, right?

And so we spend a lot of time thinking about that, instead of spending that time thinking about what could happen if success were to happen. And the reason why we need to do that is a very practical one, because when we imagine winning and we imagine our dream scenario, what happens is we get motivated to do the things that we have to do to be successful in the first place, right?

If we're always contemplating failure we're like, “Why am I doing this? This is hard. It's probably going to fail, I should probably quit while I'm ahead,” right? But if we think about how beautiful this is going to be, and how much fun it's going to be, and how exciting, and how it's going to deliver everything that we ever wanted, then we're like, “Oh, I'm so excited and I feel more committed. Now let me go take the action I need to take.” Okay?

So the first question I want you to ask yourself is what if it works? Okay? That's your first question, what if it works? And really spend some time journaling on that, talking to a friend about that, thinking about it every day, all right?

And then the next question that I want you to ask yourself is, what do I already know to make it work? All right, what do I already know to make it work, right? What do you already know that can help you be successful with whatever it is that you're trying to accomplish? You know a lot. I want to challenge you to actually write down what you already know, right?

Maybe you already know a few people who could be potential customers that you can send an email to. Maybe you already know how to create a beautiful brand because you have experience from your old job on branding, right? Maybe you already know how to deliver an amazing service because you've done this before, right, in the past in some former job.

So ask yourself, what do I already know? What do I already have, right? Take stock of your talents, and your strengths, and your abilities, and how each of those things is directly tied to success, right? And what I want you to prove to yourself is that you are already enough, that you already have enough, right? That you have what you need to begin your journey, okay?

I was reminded earlier today about how when I used to do YouTube videos, I had a YouTube channel when I first started my law practice, which was my first business way back in 2010, 2011. You literally can scroll down on my YouTube channel and see those old videos, right? And in those videos, I'm whispering, I'm very reserved, I'm very afraid to be on camera and to be putting myself out there and talking to people.

But I still did it. And guess what? That was enough. Some of those whispery videos I have where I barely wanted people to hear me because I was so self-conscious, some of those videos have 30,000 views, 50,000 views. Those videos literally years later, after I recorded them, were still bringing me clients into my law practice for years to come.

So know that even your whispery version of yourself, even your less confident version of yourself is enough. Is enough to help you win today, is enough to get started. It's about not letting the fact that you're in that whispery version stop you. It's about not letting the fact that you don't feel super confident stop you. You know what's more important than confidence? Courage.

You don't always have confidence. Confidence comes from experience. If you don't have experience, you're not going to be confident doing something that feels brand new, right? Just like I wasn't confident doing those YouTube videos way back when, right? Or you're not confident as a new entrepreneur pursuing this new business.

You don't have confidence then, but you know what you do have that's probably more valuable than confidence is courage, is the willingness to do it anyway. The willingness to take action and to face your fears and to go for it, right? Because that's how you get the experience in the first place that will eventually lead to the confidence, all right?

Courage is 100% within your control. Sometimes confidence isn't, right? Confidence comes from knowing what we're doing, and we don't know what we're doing in the beginning. But we can have courage, okay?

So again, your first question is, what if it works? Your second question is, what do I already know to make it work, okay? What do you already got? What do you already know, all right, that can make it work?

And then number three, what's one thing I can do right now to make it work? All right, that's your last question. What’s one thing I can do right now to make it work? And I use that language on purpose because it's within your power to make something a failure or to make something a success.

When we show up to an event, or we show up to an experience, or a new thing that we're going to do, we're like, “Well, let's see what happens.” Let's see if we get customers, let's see how this launch goes, let's see if these clients return after I served them one time, right? Let's see if I can get some press. Let's see if anybody is interested in my thing.

No, not let's see, right? What are you going to make happen instead of leaving it up to the marketplace, right? And so my success is not left up to whether or not somebody buys my stuff, right? My success is left up to I'm going to keep going until I win, period, end of story. So I know that about myself and I'm going to show up with that energy every single day.

That's how I'm going to approach my business. That's how I'm going to approach anything that I'm doing. I insist on winning, period. I have made the decision that this is going to go well. I have made the decision that this is going to be a success. And that's how I'm going to show up, right? That's the energy that I'm going to bring to this whole experience.

And so instead of waiting for something to happen to you, or thinking that it's up to the marketplace, right, or it's up to some other outside thing, no, understand that you get to make a decision. You get to decide whether it's going to be a success or be a failure. And no one has more control of or whether or not it works than you, right?

Like yes, we are dealing with the reality of the marketplace, right? We are dealing with the reality of the economy. You might be dealing with the reality of an industry or regulations in your industry, whatever it is, there are outside forces that affect us. But they don't necessarily stop us, right? They affect us, right?

So it might be that during a recession, it's not just one marketing message that's enough to make someone buy. Now they need five marketing messages before they're ready to buy. Great, step up the content that you're putting out there, right? Work a little harder, commit a little bit more.

All you're doing is changing and adjusting your behavior to make it work, right? That's all you're doing as you're an entrepreneur along the journey, is you keep adjusting until it works, okay? So I need you to commit. So that's your last question, what's one thing I can do right now to make it work?

One thing you can do for sure is make the decision that you are going to be a success. Make the decision that you are going to win, all right? You can also put it in your calendar. Whatever moves you need to make, carve out time in your calendar and put it in there.

Maybe one thing that you need to do to be more successful is get a babysitter, right? Could you ask your sister, or your cousin, or your niece, or your grandma to help you out with the kids so that you can spend a little bit more time working on your project, whatever the thing is that you're working on? You can ask a friend to hold you accountable.

Do you know that we are 95% more likely to achieve our goals if we have someone holding us accountable and regularly meeting with us? This is why coaching is so effective, right? Because if you hire a coach and tell them what your goals are and they're holding you accountable along the way, and you're doing regular check-ins, you are 95% more likely to be successful than if you don't have that, right?

And so if we're on our own, the percentage is 12%. We have a 12% chance of accomplishing our goals on our own. But if we have accountability we have a 95% chance of accomplishing our goals. So get some accountability, whether it's hiring a coach or asking a friend to hold you accountable. Maybe it's writing an email to those customers that you want to serve. Maybe it's writing an email to everybody you know announcing the existence of your business.

What are those things that you can do right now? How can you take some action right now? What's one thing you can do right now to make it work, to make it more likely to be a success? Okay? That's how I want you to be approaching it and thinking through it.

So the three questions are, what if it works? What do I already know to make it work? And what's one thing I can do right now to make it work? Okay, I want you to ponder on that the next time the question, but what if I fail, pops into your head, okay?

And I want to leave you with one last story. So I was hosting an event years ago, this was my first time doing a bigger live event. So we had about 80 guests and that was huge for me. I had never done an event that was more than, I think I had done one small, super small like evening event that had 30 people in it, max. This was going to have more like 80 to 100 people in it, right?

And so I had to put down a deposit on a space, I hired an event planner, I was spending thousands of dollars to make this event happen. And I had to write yet another check for yet another vendor and I started to get afraid. And I looked at how many tickets were sold, and I had sold maybe 20, 25 tickets. And I still had a lot more tickets to sell, right? I needed to sell like another 75 tickets in order to make the event work.

And so I was talking to a team member of mine at the time and I said to her like, “Maybe I should pull out, maybe I should cancel right now. I think if I cancel now, I'll get most of my money back, I can cancel these contracts while I'm still within the window to get my money back. Like let me just cancel this event, I'll refund the money to the 20 people who bought tickets and go back to safety, right?”

Why was I saying that? Because I was scared I was going to fail. I was saying to myself, “What if this is a failure? What if nobody else buys tickets? What if I have an empty room to deliver an event to?” Like that's embarrassing, right? And I think I was more afraid about the embarrassment than anything else.

So this team member said to me, she was like, “Well, what have you done to sell the event?” And I was telling her like, well, we've sent emails and we announced it on social media. And that was probably the end of the list of things that I had done to sell the event. And she's like, “I don't feel like you really tried.” And she was willing to call me out, luckily for me.

And it was true, I hadn't really tried, right? In my head I was thinking about this event nonstop. But in reality, I hadn't really told that many people about it. And I hadn't really sent that many emails or posted on social media all that much. People didn't even know about it, right? I really didn't make the effort.

And so she said, “You know what? Before you cancel it, what if we just really try? What if we just spend five days, six days sending an email every single day talking about a different aspect of the event and why it's going to be so amazing? What if we just did that and let's see how it goes. And if we don't sell a bunch of tickets, then on the other side of that, we'll cancel it.” And so I said, “Okay, great plan.”

So we wrote five or six different emails and added in a bonus that people could get if they bought a ticket that specific week, so there was a specific deadline. And we just went all in. And in addition to the emails, I also posted on social media a couple of times about it and we just put more effort in.

And guess what happened? We sold the rest of the tickets literally in a week because I had thought I was working so hard and doing so much and that failure was imminent. And I thought failure was outside of me, I thought that the marketplace or my clients or potential clients just weren't interested in this event.

And the reality is that the failure was within me. The failure was I wasn't putting the work in, right? I wasn't putting in the effort, that's where the failure was. And so as soon as I changed that and started putting the effort in, I got the result that I wanted. And so we sold out the event and I hosted my first live event not far from here and it was very successful.

And not only did I have a successful event, but I wound up making hundreds of thousands of dollars from that event because so many people who were there became clients of mine. And so it wound up being a wild success. Not just a success, but a wild success. And that's when I was like doing nothing for months. And finally, at the last minute when I started to panic, I put some real effort in and I saw the results, okay?

So know that failure is most likely to happen because you have decided it's going to be a failure and your actions match that. The actions match that belief. However, if you approach it differently and decide you're going to win and your actions match that instead, I think you'll find that failure is less likely to happen. Okay?

So I wish you much success in your endeavors and I want you to ask different questions. Ask yourself, what if I win? Ask yourself that every time you think, “Oh, but what if I fail?” Ask yourself, but what if I win? And really imagine that and think through that.

So thank you for joining me for this solo episode of The Hello Seven Podcast. Please subscribe if you enjoyed this episode and share it with your friends.

How come you're not a millionaire yet? What is standing in between you and having seven figures in the bank? Well, a lot of things might be getting in the way. Maybe you need to work on your mindset. Maybe you're trying to build a business but you honestly have no clue what you're doing. Maybe you don't have the right support network or you never got a basic financial education.

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