Posted on

Success and Failure

Success is largely about what measuring stick that you’re using, or if you’re not using one at all.

I used to be a habitual starter, never finisher.  A lot of the reason behind this is because my measuring stick of success would always change.  I started wanting one thing, then it would change to another thing and I would never attain “success”.

This happened to me again recently, and has been a super good reminder.


When I started the Instant-Take Suite, I had a clear written goal in mind.  This started with “launch an audio software product by September 2017”.  It evolved into “launch an audio software product with 5 presales by September 2017″.  It changed largely because I decided that making a profit on something I put my heart into sounded better than not doing that.  Additionally, someone stated their willingness to pay me.

You can clearly see the measuring stick there, right?  There’s the thing I wanted to complete (launch audio software), the metric (with 5 presales), and the date (by September 2017).  It was super useful in giving me a mental and emotional driver.

Just as I’ll call you a professional if you make $1 at something, I can now call myself a success because I attained that goal and exceeded the specifications.


In contrast, I recently launched Rapid Rename Tools.

Why do I already consider it a failure?  Single digit downloads.

If you’ve been thinking about downloading it or whatever, let me explain – I only have myself to blame.

On one hand, RRT got more instant traction on social media than Instant-Take did.  However, I’ve learned pretty quickly that traction on social media (for my efforts) really means almost nothing other than brand visibility.

My biggest mistake, though, was that I had no measuring stick for Rapid Rename Tools.

I had been looking for something I could release as a free download to do the “online businessperson” thing and add subscribers to my email list.  When this idea fell into my lap, it seemed absolutely perfect.  The execution of the scripts wouldn’t be that difficult and I would be helping out a good friend speed up his workflow — literally enabling him to do things he wouldn’t bother to do previously because of the time investment.

But I stopped there and just made it.  I never looked for competitors (still haven’t, but I’m sure that something similar might already exist), and most importantly I never wrote down my measure of success and worked to achieve it.

Instead, I said to myself “I’ll put this out for free/dontation – a handful of people have said it would be super useful!  I’ll probably get a ton of downloads, people like free things!”

In response, I’ve essentially put a sign for infinite free couches on my lawn and about 1 has been picked up.


The measuring stick helps a lot.  If I had told myself “I want to make a free audio software product and have at least 10 preorders by May”, I would’ve had something to work toward and a valid expectation.  I could measure my progress easily as well.

It certainly doesn’t guarantee success, right?  But it makes you look around at your competition, ask the right questions of your customers, and keeps you emotionally balanced.

It’s a good lesson to remember as I keep building more products.


Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.