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Tech Tuesdays: How Online Conversion Rates Changed My Expectations of Success (and Failure)

Success is measured in a variety of ways throughout our lives.  We are trained at an early age that winning is of the utmost importance and losing is for losers.  Straight A’s were expected on each report card.  So were perfect scores on every math standardized test.  When I got to college, I stopped focusing on grades (read: going to class) and focused on experiencing life.  Then I realized sophomore year that the best life experience would be going abroad to Ireland, so grades started to matter again to meet their requirements.  If you look at my grades in grad school in chronological order, it looks something like this:

A, A, A, A-, A-, B+, B, B, B-, C

Somewhere along the 2.5 year program, I realized that I was NEVER going to show anyone my graduate school report card.  I got the degree (on time, barely), that’s all that matters.  There’s no difference to me between a 3.5 and a 3.3.

I followed this mentality for most of my life, but over the past couple years I began to reevaluate my expectations for success while learning about online marketing, landing pages, calls to action, and conversion rates.  Life as a full-time entrepreneur is cluttered with countless failures.  You don’t get to change the world just by doing the same thing each day and getting the same result.  You need to challenge the status quo and learn new things by experience some (epic) failures.


If your goal is to be perfect, then you are going to fall short in almost every aspect of your life.  No one is perfect, so it is a fruitless effort to strive to do so.  Instead of trying to be perfect, you should strive to be just good enough to succeed, which implies all you need to know is what the definition of success is for each of your actions.  Don’t lament your failures, but instead find ways to learn and grow from them and change the way you approach future similar situations.  Analyze results.  Think analytically.  Don’t


I remember my first report card at Archbishop Spalding High School. I got 5 A’s and 2 B+’s in Biology and Literature. I had a parent/teacher conference the next week with my bio and lit teachers, so my parents could understand why I was “struggling” so much in those courses. It was clear what their expectations were, success was defined by earning straight A’s, which I had failed to do. Later in my high school career, I remember getting straight A’s on my report card, but in Honors Spanish 3 I had gotten a dreaded #16 in the comments section, which stated that I “talked an inappropriate times and my behavior was a distraction.”  Despite perfect marks, I remember feeling ashamed by the report card and not wanting to put in on the fridge.


Now that I’m in the real world and running my own company, I realize that the most important thing is how you define personal success in your career and in your life. If a QB completes > 60% of his passes, then he had a good day at work.  If a baseball player gets a hit > 33.3% of the time, then he should be considered for the all star team. If a website converts > 2% of its visitors into customers, then it is very successful. 2%?!?  There’s an aspect of my business and my life where it is okay to fail almost every time?  That’s incredible, and it taught me a few things:

·         I don’t need to be successful in everything I do

·         If I do enough things, then some of the successes will balance out all the failures

·         I need to get much better at accepting, dealing with, and learning from failure


·         I need to tell others that it is okay to fail