Flopportunity: Failure is Success in Progress
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Robby Amaro is a Partner at Telesto Ventures, that owns 4 E-Commerce companies. He has 2 operating roles in these companies: CEO of Prime Greens and CMO of Vitality Now. He is also partnered in two marketing agencies, and one marketing course (The Marketing Mercenary).
Robby Amaro is a lifelong entrepreneur that got his start selling Kirby Vacuums door to door. He then took his direct marketing skills and began pitching products at Sam’s Club and Costco. He took this knowledge, and tried out his skill set on the internet at Six Pack Shortcuts (now Six Pack Abs) where he started their email program – and took it from $1,000 a week to $16,000 a week, all while learning copywriting and SEO along the way.
He went on to get an equity offer at another direct response company where he was the CEO. The rest is history. He’s operated as a customer service agent, affiliate manager, email marketer, marketing manager, director of marketing and now CMO and CEO so there weren’t any shortcuts along the way. He put in the work.
Finally, he’s known to give way too much information away for FREE, so here you go.
This is an edited version of the audio interview linked above.
Robby Amaro: Failure, what it means, is an opportunity. You cannot improve at anything, typically, without hitting a roadblock or some kind of issue. As much as the issue sucks at the moment, that’s exactly what’s going to teach you and help you improve. The thing is, you never want to look for it – but it’s coming. Just know that when it does come, it’s not the end of the world. It’s actually your opportunity. I always tell my team, “never try to fail, but if you aren’t failing, you probably aren’t trying enough.”
Dee Braun: So, failure is opportunity. What’s it opportunity for?
Robby Amaro: Growth. Failure equals growth. As long as you come back and keep swinging you, you’re going to be OK.
Dee Braun: I think two things are super important. One is you absolutely are not failing, and you’re not alone. The rest of us look like we’ve got it all together. We’ve just gotten really good at faking it.
Robby Amaro: And nobody shares their failures. Very few people advertise their failures.
Dee Braun: The second one is to talk to somebody. Don’t deal with it on your own because you don’t have to.
Robby Amaro: The truth of the matter, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s going to take time to do this stuff. It gets better. I think your ability to deal with it actually gets better and better with time. Another thing and this is a tough one – who do you follow? Who do you trust?
Dee Braun: For the newer people, I think the biggest failure that actually causes damage is to isolate yourself with your own lack of knowledge and weaknesses.
Robby Amaro: It’s tough to humanize successful people. It really is until you hear it from their mouth or get to know them personally. That’s why networking is so important. Staying isolated keeps you away from the people you want to be like.
Dee Braun: Friend-request people, get to know them in email, ask for a one-on-one, get their Skype, whatever. If you can’t do it in that public setting, you’re just not brave enough, fine. But find a way to ask the question.
Robby Amaro: Or move your conversation. “Hey, I have this issue with this software. Here’s my issue. Maybe you know what, let’s move that to the group so the group can see our conversation.” Maybe that’s an easy step because then you’re just asking somebody one-on-one, but they’re giving you feedback in a public place, and other people will join in and help. Most of the answers. – somebody has gone through that crap already.
Dee Braun: We keep talking about the [Facebook] group, but the one thing it has shown me, and this is a testament to the people in our space. If you go any day over the past month and look, there are two, three, five, seven posts of people going, “I’ve got this integration problem, or I need to find an ESP that does this, or I’ve got to, you know, I’m looking for this, I’m looking for that.” And within an hour, multiple people are going, “OK, this is how I solved this. Have you seen this?” Everybody wants to help.
Dee Braun: Let’s say you have a mortifying big failure. So you’ve had a really bad day, you pop off, and you say something really stupid in a public forum. How do you handle that?
Robby Amaro: There’s not a way to avoid it. Anytime I’ve done something like that, I’ve ripped off the bandaid. You ripped it off you, you said sorry, you admitted fault.
Dee Braun: Because the minute you own them and go, “OK, I screwed up. So sorry, will not happen again,” you have just turned from, “This person is an idiot that I never want to do business with,” to “This person has got integrity, and I respect that.”
Robby Amaro: Yup, there’s no way around that one. That’s exactly how you have to deal with it. It’s your reputation. It’s your life. You don’t want ever to leave that wound open either because it’s going to bother you so much more. I think we are so much harder on ourselves about our failures than anyone else can be. So, get that person out of your mind so you can deal with your own failure internally, which you will get over.
Dee Braun: The other thing is, don’t make excuses, even if you have a really good reason. You will have a better relationship and level of respect from coworkers and supervisors if you simply own it, learn it and move on than you ever will if you try to explain it.
Robby Amaro: I agree. That’s another thing when we fail, and we feel bad, we want to explain and have a lot of explanation about things. It’s not necessary most of the time. It happened. OK. What are we going to do differently? Move on. But that’s tough. Especially when you’re a beginner, you’re going to want to explain all the reasons it went wrong.
Dee Braun: Is failure more of an action, or is it more of a viewpoint?
Robby Amaro: It’s a viewpoint. I think it’s a word we use to define something that didn’t go with our intended plan. So failure is really, I think, intention. I’m thinking about it as a triangle. Almost like we have our intention in the middle, and our intention could go one of two ways. It can go to failure, which is not good, or it can go to success. I think it’s just a word we use when things aren’t going well.
Dee Braun: I think the general consensus from this is that failure, we need a new term for failure.
Robby Amaro: I think failure is a good word because people can identify it, but failure is opportunity.
Dee Braun: We could call it flopportunity.
Robby Amaro: That’s a great word. It’s a flop, and it’s kind of fun. You know, “I’ve got to go through flopportunity.” And you’re like, “I flopped.” But then you kind of laugh because if you don’t laugh, you’re going to go insane and get super depressed. So you’re just like, Oh my God, what the hell am I doing with my life? And then the opportunity comes after that. You get over the flop. It’s kind of funny. It’s a funny word. So you laugh a little bit and then the opportunity comes. I like that a lot, actually. Flopportunity.
Dee Braun: You gotta learn to laugh at yourself. I mean, I posted one time, or no, I called a JV manager and I’m like, your dashboard is not working. I can’t get the stats, and she’s trying to help me. And five minutes into the conversation, she’s like, Dee, and I’m like, what? And she goes, what program’s dash are you having problems with? And I told her and she goes, honey, that’s not my program. And I had called the wrong JV manager and I’m like, okay. You know, it’s like, Whoa, “Maria, it was really awesome talking to you. I hope you’re doing great!” We all do some of the dumbest stuff. I mean, I have a post on my timeline where I was actually reading the Bible and I was trying to tap a word because I had been reading on my iPad a lot and I picked up an actual Bible and I wanted to know what the word meant.
Robby Amaro: Oh, see you tap it on the iPad.
Dee Braun: And, I mean, I tapped it two or three times before it dawned on me that nothing was going to pop up, you know? And so we all do stupid, dumb things. And if you cannot learn to laugh at yourself, you are gonna have a miserable life.
Robby Amaro: Yeah, that’s for sure.
Dee Braun: And I share the stupid crap. I do. I’m like, okay, yeah, I’m an idiot. Everybody thinks I’m so smart. Nope, nope, nope. I’m a dummy. You know, because I’m just me and I’m human, just everybody else. And we forget that about ourselves and we forget it about others. There should be no such thing as pedestals, right? There’s no pedestals, there’s no trenches. We shouldn’t keep ourself in a trench and we should not put anybody else on a pedestal because at the end of the day, we are all human, and we all screw up, and we all grow and learn – and we can either do it alone or together. And doing it together, with humor, you’re going to get further faster.
Robby Amaro: Oh yeah, 100%. And if there’s somebody on a pedestal and they clearly want themselves to be, I advise you not to model that person because honestly, most of the time it’s an act and it’s a big insecurity.
Dee Braun: Yes, it’s a cover for insecurity. And we all have those insecurities. Right? We all do. It’s how we handle them.
Robby Amaro: Oh yeah. 100%. Yes, yes, yes. Oh yeah.
Dee Braun: I tend to make fun of myself.
Robby Amaro: I do too.
Dee Braun: But I hate to think where I’d be without the flopportunities, you know, cause I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be where I’m at. You know, just even getting into online marketing was a flopportunity.
Robby Amaro: Yeah, exactly. I know Chris Hadad and I talk about that all the time. Yeah. Anytime we do get-together it’s always the same conversation. How the heck did we get here and we just stayed. We just kept going, kept going. Cause a lot of stuff will break and not go well. And some days – they’re amazing. Some days are horrible.
Dee Braun: Yeah. I mean, I know there’s college courses and stuff now where people actually intend to get into online marketing. When I started, anybody who got into online anything, it was pretty much accidental.
Robby Amaro: Yeah.
Dee Braun: You know, because it was in the 90s and it was the wild, wild West and you just kind of accidentally started doing it.
Robby Amaro: Yeah. Well that’s the biggest motivation behind, The Marketing Mercenary course with Ron and I. Like my whole thing when I met Ron three years ago, when I talked to him one-on-one, he’s like, “if you could do one thing and money didn’t matter, what would you do?” And without thinking, I said, “change the education system.” And so that’s what we’re attempting to do.
We don’t like what a lot of people are teaching others in terms of marketing. And so what we want to teach people is from our perspective… I’m not going to name names, I don’t like calling people out, but I know three people right now doing seminars, courses and all that stuff where I have some personal bad experience where they have totally screwed people over. And Ron and I, in our entire careers, haven’t done that and don’t intend to. And so we think we’re coming from a place of integrity and we could actually leave a real mark on any student that we were able to get and go through that course. It’s not going to be advertised like that. We’re not going to put anybody down or anything, but we think that the integrity will outshine the people doing it wrong. Or who have screwed people over.
Dee Braun: So any last words? What didn’t we cover? What did I forget or miss?
Robby Amaro: I think we killed that one. I think what’s going to come out in the transcription, like there’s actionable tips. There’s scenarios, there’s stories. Yeah, that was a good one. I think we killed that one. I don’t think there’s anything we missed.
Dee Braun: Awesome.