Why Concepts Fail (When They Should Be Working)

About six months ago, I downloaded an app that enabled me to relax. In a busy day, it puts you in a mild hypnotic state, and lets you rest for a while. Then twenty minutes later it gently wakes you up and you feel super refreshed. I tried this app and hey it worked when it came to the twenty minute nap. But when I tried it at night, it often left me restless.

The app had failed.

Or had it?
Did it fail because I wasn’t listening to the instructions and implementing them as I should? The instructions on the app clearly said I need to listen to the same audio for three weeks. Three whole weeks. Who can be bothered with doing something for three whole weeks? Well, there you go. You’ve set the seed for failuer.

Often it’s easy to go slightly around in circles if something doesn’t work well.
So it may well be easy to say that a book like The Brain Audit does work better for services, or better for products, or better for B to B (Biz to Biz) or B to C (Business to Customers). In fact, it doesn’t work better or worse for any group. It just works equally well for any group that will apply it well.

With Pazon.com (who sold ignitions–which are products by the way) they lost a chunk of money. Actually went and made a loss right after applying The Brain Audit. At this stage it’s easy to give up if you’re unsure about a concept. And they chose not to. They went from a 16,000 pound loss to 90,000 pound profit.

And as I said: It’s easy to just slot a concept, or give up on the concept, because hey we’ve got a business to run, and we’re not in the business of trying out every concept that comes our way.

So if you were to try many of the concepts we talk about e.g. Yes-yes, testimonial acquisition, strategic alliances etc. you’re more than likely to FAIL.
(Yes, that’s correct). You’d fail because any concept has a certain depth of implementation. As humans we see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear. And ignore the rest. Then of course, things fail.

I am headed to my watercolour class in 45 minutes. I will be shown a technique by master painter Ted Sherwen. I will of course implement it “exactly” as he says. And it will fail. I always get crappy results. Without exception. I have to come back and spend all week tweaking and testing (and failing) and then when I go back the next week, I’ve improved dramatically. The cause of failure is always the inability of our brains to understand, assimilate and then implement a concept. That’s why an ongoing testing needs to be done in real time—and not necessarily in practice.

I just launched the Article Writing Masterclass after much discussion with my wife, and also in conjunction with existing article writing clients.
And despite my best efforts the first round of the sales page came out looking good, but not as clearly as I thought. Back and forth changes ensued. We’ve even pulled down the page, and I have to work on it before we put up the page again. This is from someone who wrote the book on The Brain Audit and who can write a salesletter with little or no effort.

The point remains. You can’t learn or hope to succeed purely on the basis of taking a concept and hoping it will work. You have to put paint on paper.  You have to see how the brush reacts with the paper. You have to see how the paint runs. You have to understand the temperature around you and how it will affect your painting.

You can’t hope to succeed until you do this over and over again.
Yes, an outsider will help you find your glitches.
Yes a mentor will see beyond the average person.
But failure is inevitable.

True success does indeed come from minor (and sometimes) major failure.
The Brain Audit is such a device. It can work for any business (and I’ve seen it work for hundreds of businesses). But only if the business owner has the ability to put changes on paper. That paint must go onto paper. You must fail first, and hope that you fail rather spectacularly.

Then, you will have repeatable success. Otherwise, all you have is a fluke.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Neil Smith

I’ve failed many times. My current website is somewhat of a failure. But that does not mean the Brain Audit is a failure. It means I’ve got about 4000 more tweaks to make!


Helmi Natto

” Disasters create Masters “

Katleen Van Landschoot

And what about your app that enabled me to relax? Does it works now for you at night or did you give up?

Sean D'Souza

Oh no I use it very often. Sometimes more than once a day if I want to take a nap.


What’s the name of the app?

Sean D'Souza

It’s Andrew Johnson. 🙂 Search for the app called “relax”.

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