September 09, 2019

Embarrassment Is A Great Teacher

So I stood there like a dumbass pondering, did I REALLY need to do it that way?

Was it worth it?

What the hell was I thinking?!

It was truly one of my most embarrassing moments.

If you're curious about what it was and how I used it as an opportunity to make an important decision that significantly improved the quality of my life, keep reading.

Early this year, I snatched a last-second opportunity to offer our services from a big stage.

It was one of these 3-day events entrepreneurs attend to learn strategies to make their businesses more successful.

I could address 500+ of them to tell them more about the importance of trademarking their brands and explain the benefits of doing it through Trademark Factory®.

The event was in L.A. and as always I had my daughter Masha helping me.

She's been my “booth babe” at events like this since she was 11.

She's really good at talking to people about their businesses, their brands, and our services.

Anyway, up till now it was business as usual.

Until I went on to book our hotel and plane tickets.

That's where everything went wrong.

First, I chose not to book a room at the hotel where the event was held.

I had a few good excuses for it.

First off, the event group rates were no longer offered.

Second, the hotel did not have rooms with two queen beds available.

Third, I wanted to make sure I would be able to keep my unbroken streak of days when I walk 8,000+ steps.

But of course the real reason was that the room I booked was twice as cheap.

I thought, hey, we're only going there to sleep.

A bed is a bed.

We don't need anything fancy.

Right?

And then, the plane tickets.

Yep, you guessed it.

I got us the cheapest tickets in economy seats I could find.

A plane is a plane, right?

It will get us there as quickly as any other plane.

We're both “vertically challenged.”

We don't really need the extra legroom.

After all, it's just a 2½-hour flight.

Made perfect sense.

Then we finally got there.

The hotel was a shithole dump.

Granted, it would give me my daily 8000+ steps of walking to and from the hotel of the event.

Everything else about it sucked.

I tried to play cool and make it look like it didn't really matter, but Masha wouldn't let me off the hook so easily.

She kept finding things she hated about our cheap hotel, our cheap room, and our neighborhood.

She was pretty vocal about it.

This made me feel like a total failure.

As a dad and as an entrepreneur.

I tried to compare this situation to the story of Chris Gardner depicted in The Pursuit Of Happyness but even I wasn't buying my story.

And we were to spend 3 days there.

My mentor Dan Lok often talks about the importance of surrounding yourself with wealth triggers.

Things that make you think in terms of abundance and success.

Well, our hotel room was the dictionary example of what surrounding yourself with poverty triggers looks like.

If you ever want to program your mind for scarcity and failure, book your room at the Value Inn Worldwide LAX.

As you know, our trademarking services are not cheap.

There are many trademarking companies that charge a lot less.

Well, guess what?

It's virtually impossible to have an abundance-driven conversation about trademarks when you've just walked from Value Inn Worldwide LAX—and not look desperate.

I felt totally out of place.

To add insult to injury, on the last day, as we were breaking down our booth, one of our clients, a super-talented woman entrepreneur I love dearly, came up to me to have a little chitchat.

She asked if we were flying home first class.

I lied, “Yes, sure.”

She didn't look convinced but didn't say anything.

Still to this day, I remember the embarrassment I felt.

To her.

To my daughter who stood next to me and knew very well we weren't flying first class.

But most importantly, to myself.

That's when I made a decision.

But before that, I did some math.

I realized that flying first class and staying at the hotel of the event, or even a better one, would have cost us less than an extra thousand dollars.

It was supposed to be an event that I planned to sell our $3K services to a lot of entrepreneurs.

If I didn't think I could have a profitable event if I spent an extra thousand dollars to fly first class and stay in a decent hotel, why the f&#k did I even go?

Why did I choose to spend 3 days of my life at an event that I didn't think would generate any sales to cover the extra cost?

And if I thought it would generate good sales to justify the three days out of office, why was I so focused on saving a few hundred bucks at the expense of feeling like a bum wearing a rented tuxedo?

That day I swore to myself and Masha that I'm not doing any more business events unless I fly business or first class and unless I stay at the hotel of the event or better.

Yes, it makes travel more expensive.

But it also makes me more selective at where I go and what I do.

Most importantly, it doesn't create the dissonance between my abundance mindset and the scarcity-based environment.

It's one of the best decisions I've made—albeit I would prefer to not have to suffer the embarrassment that had led me to it.

But without it, who knows how much longer it would have taken me.

Still to this day, I can see the room we stayed at and the look on my client's face when I lied to her about flying first class.

Every time my brain offers me a scarcity-based option, I tell it that I'm not interested in living through the same embarrassment ever again.

So, I guess, it served a purpose.

One thing I know is that failures and mistakes that we're keeping to ourselves no longer have any power over us as soon as we've shared them with the world.

Which, I guess, is one of the reasons I wanted to share this with you.

Now that I got this off my chest, I'm wondering: have you had a situation when embarrassment caused you to make some great important life decisions?

Reply and let me know—I personally read all your emails.

Look forward to hearing from you.