Think Different Theory

My Biggest Failure in Life


In this episode, I’m going to tell you the story of my biggest failure in life thus far. This is the story of my webinar flop. (Flop might be an understatement)

It wasn’t just a webinar flop in that we didn’t achieve our objective; my partner and I invested $30,000 into a coach that completely flopped. I embarrassed myself in front of 2,700 people and it was the worst day of my life.

Most importantly though, I’m going to talk about how I overcame that.


We are all going to face failures in life and business, and the most important thing about these failures is how we overcome them.  By being transparent about what I consider to be my biggest failure so far, I hope that you will be encouraged to take action to not let failure keep you down.

Here are the key topics discussed in this episode:

  • The big mistake story (2:57)
  • Our first mistake – a $30,000 coach (7:00)
  • The lead up to the webinar (13:00)
  • The freak out after one sale (15:30)
  • Throwing my phone against the wall (17:00)
  • Focus on the good (24:30)


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February 20, 2019


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This was a $30,000 mistake and I had roughly $2,000 in my bank account at the time and by the way, I had a business partner. So combined, to pay bills and to move forward in our business, we were pretty much screwed and let me tell you, if there was ever a day I was going to quit, this would be the day.


Here’s my issue. I wanted to find the answers to life’s biggest questions. Things like how do I become happy and live with purpose? How do I make more money doing what I love and what does it mean to be truly successful in all areas of life? My name is Josh Forti @joshforti on Instagram and I asked life’s biggest questions and share the answers with you. My goal is to help you find purpose, happiness, and open your mind to new realms of possibility by helping you think differently about everything you do know and understand on this podcast. We think different, we dream bigger and we live in a world without minutes. This is a new paradigm. Welcome to The Think Different Theory.


What’s going on guys. Welcome back to another episode of The Think Different Theory. My name is Josh Forti and in this episode I am going to share with you my biggest mistake in business so far, the biggest failure that I’ve ever had in business. And let me tell you, it was a big one. Not only did it cost me money, like a lot of money, like tens of thousands of dollars, lots of money, and also costs me embarrassment. It costs me time and it sent me into a really miserable depression that I didn’t know how long it was going to take me to get out of. And thankfully I was able to overcome this, but I, you know, at the time I didn’t know how long it was going to take me to overcome this. And I honestly didn’t know at the time if I was going to be able to really bounce back from it or really overcome that fear.


Honestly, it was probably the worst day for sure, one of the worst days, but quite possibly the worst day of my life thus far up until that point. And I want to share that with you because I want to show you not only what it was and how it happened so you can learn from it, but also how I responded to it and how I allowed my mindset to overcome it and really get back up on my feet and get back to where I’m at today. Now. And you know, in the last episode we talked about quantum physics and then we kind of dove into the you know, what that meant and what that is and we’re going to be diving more and more into that as I continue to learn and grow, evolve, uh, you know, with learning about that. But a lot of that applies in this as well when it comes to mindset and when it comes to what you focus on and when it comes to the energy that, uh, you know, you have and where are you put your energy, where you choose to focus, then how you overcome things with your mindset.


So I’m going to dive into it. Is, is a true story. And, um, some of the things, you know, I’m going to withhold names or whatnot because I’m not here to, you know to shift blame or push blame on absolutely anyone. Uh, it was a learning experience for sure. So, I mean, I’m not gonna say names of all the parties that are involved, but there is a true set of circumstances. This is a true story that happened to me. And, uh, this was about, gosh, I want to say two years ago now in business, I can’t believe it’s been that. Yeah, it’s been about two years since this happened and a little over two years now, about two years and two months. So let’s dive in. So let’s back up. This would have been about two and a half years ago now, two and a half, three years ago.


I was in entrepreneurship and for those of you that don’t know my story, I got started on the Instagram platform. All right? I got started by you know, growing Instagram accounts, first off for myself and then ultimately doing it for other people. I had an agency. And so about seven months in, this would have been march of 2016, I believe. Yeah. So March of 2016, about three years ago now is when I got started in entrepreneurship and on the entrepreneurship kind of platform or the Instagram platform I should say and about six or seven months went by, or maybe not quite that long, about July of that timeframe, I ended up partnering up with um, uh, someone that was also my age. His name was Jose. And together he and I went and we, we had an Instagram agency together and so we know we grew and we managed followers for a bunch of people and uh, you know, had different clients or whatnot, did a little bit of training here and there and we got really, really good at what we were doing.


We were able to consistently pump out in pretty much any niche for any client. We were able to pump out like 10,000 followers a month per account. And we got really, really good at this. And so we got to this point where we wanted to sell a course. Now at the time, like I knew nothing about funnels. Russell Brunson was a very new to me, right? I had just learned about him, had picked up Dotcom Secrets. And so, um, we wanted to really make sure that our funnel just kicked off and did it right. We wanted to make a bunch of money and you know, we knew that we were, we were broke, but we were pretty much broke. We had a little bit of money in the bank at the time saved up from our agency work and of course I didn’t have a job at this point.


Um, and uh, I had, you know, had quit my full time job and it was kind of all into this. So, you know, this income, the business that we had was supporting me, was supporting my business partner and a, you know, we wanted to really do this right, but we were willing to invest in ourselves and we were willing to invest in mentors and coaches and programs to help us succeed. And so we knew we wanted to do a webinar. All right. And Russell Brunson a really put that into my head right from the beginning, right from the get-go, you know, and, uh, we knew, uh, and my business partner and I were like, this is the answer. We want to do this right. But we knew that we didn’t know what we were doing. We knew that we had a lot to learn during this time of building this webinar and building out this funnel and ultimately selling this course.


And so we worked really, really hard on this course and that’s what was our focus was, is we did it like a really good job on it. And I remember even host sway and I would like fight back and forth about like the quality of it because, you know, he would want one angle and I want the other, and then we’d like doing both and then decide which one was better. But we really worked together and I’m very appreciative of him for this to bring out the most high quality product that we possibly knew how to do at the time. And, uh, you know, still to this day, I think it’s one of the best courses, um, you know, on the planet or at least back for, you know, that I had made her, that I had seen at the time for Instagram.


Right. I’ve since sold the company, so I’m not sure what’s in there now, but it was really good quality and we spent a lot of time on this and so we were very excited. We were very passionate about this. We wanted to bring this to the marketplace. And, um, you know, we had built up a following on Instagram and so we knew we were going to have a lot of people that attended this webinar because we had the network, we had a Facebook group of a few thousand members. It was nothing crazy at the time, but, uh, you know, enough to where we knew that there was going to be traction around this. And we’re really excited about this. And so we went and we did our research when we started studying, when we started looking around and we were like, who is it? Who is it that has the best platform?


The best training or the best coaching are the best, you know, a done-for-you service to help us build this webinar because we really wanted to do a really good job. And I had never done a webinar before. I was young, I was very familiar with Facebook lives and a lot of people were starting to get to know who I was. A host way was kind of a little bit more behind the scenes at this point. Um, and I was a little bit more of the face. We worked together though, you know, very closely, but I was very comfortable on camera and I was like, you know what, I want to make this right because if I know that if I mess up and it’s not that good that you know, that’s going to really take a hit to my reputation.


And I didn’t want that. And so we found this guy who told us, he’s like, yup, I can help you do it. It’s awesome. We’ve done, you know, seven-figure funnels. We’ve worked with tons of clients and you know, he showed off all of his results when we were super excited about this. Now this is something that we can talk about in another episode, but when it comes to knowing who you should work with, it is very, very important to know who your ideal client is and that you should work with them and who your ideal client is not. And when you should not work with someone, I’m going to tell you right off the bat, this guy should have not worked with us. We should have not worked with him. We were brand new, had no idea what we were doing. And this guy was a seasoned expert that was charging a lot of money.


So his package was $25,000 or two payments of 15 grand – so at $30,000 in investment. And so, you know, we sat down, we looked at it, we did not have the money at the time. All right? There’s no way, you know, even when we piled all of our money together, but we did, we came up with enough to make this $15,000 down payment. And so we went and we’re like, you know what? This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to go all in. And uh, you know, our goal was to put the money down and then make enough money back to ultimately, uh, you know, pay for the second payment. Not necessarily what I would encourage people to do in business, but for some people that works and you know, when you’re all in and when you’re young and don’t have a of responsibilities and can take risks, then you know, it’s a fine thing to be able to do.


And that’s what ultimately I decided, you know, what we decided to do is to go in on this. And so we went in and we worked really, really hard and you know, we were trying, we were really good at teaching, right? We had just built this whole course. So we were in this teaching mode, teaching people how to do it. Then, you know, we didn’t want to be those spammy, fluffy marketers that just, you know, did a bunch of BS and you know, pitch something at the end so, you know, we really thought that this guy would be the best fit for us. And so we worked hard and we tried the very, very best. We knew how hosts way put his heart into it. I put my heart into it. We really built this thing up and we went and we went and I was going to be the one doing the presentation.


And so this would have been, I think we started working on it in late September, October 2016 now. I think it would have been the end of 2016 that we actually launched. So I think it was the end of 2016. Uh, don’t quote me on the exact time, but I think that’s what it was. Um, and so the end getting towards the end of that year, we were going to launch it right around the beginning of the year. I think it was like the actual launch date of it was like January 29th or something or I mean, sorry, December 29th or something like that. Um, but we were really, really excited about this. We’re like, you know what, this is going to go well. And we told our coach, right. And once again, I’m not trying to bash anyone here, this is just what happened. And uh, there was a learning experience, a very, very expensive or very big costly one, but we told our coach, we were like, listen, we’re going to have a lot of people on this webinar, right?


Like we have a big Instagram that work, we have a Facebook group, we have an email list. Like there will be a lot of people there. And he didn’t believe us. He literally was like, yeah, a lot of people think that, but you know, it’s actually harder to get registrations and I think you guys realize blah blah blah, which you know, in the back of our minds we’re like, okay, yeah you might be right. But like I feel like we’re really actually going pack this out. We’ve got, you know, we have over a million followers on Instagram at this point, you know, across all of our accounts. And I was like, I really think we will be able to pack this out. And so we go and we start talking this thing up and we’re pouring our heart and souls in it. We’re making the slides, we’re going in, I’m down at my business partner’s house, I’d taken time to, you know, drive all the way down there and we’re working on, we’re working on it, we’re putting on the finishing touches of it all.


And the time comes, and we have talked to this webinar up like it’s going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. And for good reason, we thought, right, we had just committed to a $30,000 contract. And put every last penny that we had basically down, uh, outside of like basic living expenses, we had like less than $2,000 to our name. It was just insane. Right? And you know, like we’re kind of freaking out a little, being a little bit panicked. We can do, have some client stuff coming in, but like there’s a lot of money, right? And so we’re, I’m sitting there and I’m going, we get closer to the date, closer to the date, and we end up having some, and I don’t remember what the exact number was, but it was like 2,700 people or something like that, register for the webinar. Like it was just an astronomically large number for a first Webinar, like totally more than anybody expected.


And we ended up having, well, I’ll get to the exact number that actually showed up to the webinars. We had like 2,700 people. And so we’re like, in our minds, like doing the numbers in our head, right? Dude, if we close, we close 10% of the Webinar. And you know, we got, because we rented out or we were using, I forget what software we were using, but they only allowed a thousand people on the Webinar. And so we’re like, dude, it’s gonna, we’re gonna pack it out. It’s gonna be like a thousand people that are going to be there. If we close one, we call it 10% like industry standard on a Webinar. Like do we, we’re going like $100,000 that’d be a hundred people that bought it $1,000 and he said, be $100,000 a day and then we’re gonna be rich, right? There’s going to be, this is going to be, our break is going to be a big thing.


I’m gonna give it to the clothes. I present this still have $50,000 a day. And we were so excited for it and we poured everything we could into it. And let me tell you, it was stressful. It was hard work. It was long nights, it was late nights, some nights were all-nighters. We did everything we possibly could to know to like put work in and grind and sweat into this. And then finally the day came when we, uh, you know, we’re going to have the Webinar and, you know, not everything was done or a right, like we’re, we’re kind of like freaking out a little bit because the coach wasn’t really being all that interactive and he was having us make adjustments to end. And we’re like, well, you know, like, do we have it right? Do we not have it right? Like, you know what’s going on?


And he’s like, just go with it. And we, we did. And so like, we held the Webinar, but you know, it went and, uh, I remember setting up behind, like behind the scenes, right? We’re sitting there and I’m like, my hands are all sweaty, right? I’m super, super nervous. We don’t know how many people are in the waiting room yet. We had 2,700 people register, but you know, for all we knew no one was going to show up. But we’re like, okay, there’s gotta be some people that are going to show up. You know what I mean? Like, like maybe, you know, like we’ve worked really, really hard at this. And so I had like two monitors go in and one I was looking at and my business partner was on the other monitor so that I could see the next slide and was made in the audio in the comment section and we were ready to rock and roll.


And that night I think, I can’t remember the exact time, I think it was at like 6:36 or 7:30 at night, um, that this webinar, so I think it was 7:30 actually. So there’s 7:00 to 7:30 at night. This was going to go live. So we get there, I say a prayer and it goes live and we clicked the button to see how many people are inside the waiting room. And there’s like 998 people on the Webinar live. And I remember my heart just started racing with excitement. Like all of our hard work’s going to pay off. This is going to be amazing. We’ve got, you know, we’ve got the funnel in place, this is going to be awesome, right? And we go through and I start the Webinar and I start going through and I start doing the slides and there’s, you know, I can see the comments just racing by, there’s a thousand people in the room, right?


Like I can’t even read all the comments. Then Josue goes in there and we get further and further and further. And I get to the pitch and I go through the whole pitch and then we’ll go through the whole presentation. And I remember right as I was like in the middle of the pitch, I remember thinking and having this like gut feeling in my gut that went, this Webinar is not me. It’s not us. This is like, I don’t know if this is going to go well or not. We’re trusting the process, but it seemed too fluffy to me, you know, and like I was like, we, but you know, he met the back of my head. I’m going, we paid a guy a lot of money, $30,000 contract, it’s gonna work. It’s gonna work. And I had zero doubt up until that moment that this was going to work.


Like I had absolutely zero doubt. I was like, this is going to work. We paid the guy just money. That’s what’s going to happen. But I remember in that split second moment as I was going to the pitch, I was like, I don’t know if this going to work and, but I can’t. I kept going. I did through my fault, every single slide I went through and uh, we close down the Webinar. I did, I did the Q and a at the end and uh, you know, turn it off. And I looked and I started looking at the comments and it was just tons of hate. And it was people saying this is the worst webinar that they’ve ever seen, that there was no value, that it was all fluff. And like this is me, like the value king. Like I give and give and give and give and give.


Like I give 99% of the time. And ask for a sale like 1% of the time, right? Like that is what I’m known for. It’s what I do. And I remember turning and looking around how sway and I went, how many sales did we make? And we logged in and we had made one one sale with over a thousand people on the Webinar, $997 minus the processing fees. And I remember thinking, oh my gosh, is this normal or did we just completely ruin everything? And I remember like texting the coach and was like, dude, like how fast your sales come in. He’s like, dude, you know, you’re going to make most of the sales on the Webinar while it’s still alive. And I’m like, dude, we’ve only, we’ve only made one like what the heck is going on? And I started getting emails and messages and so many people were like, you’re a scam artists.


F you, go to hell, you’ll never gonna make it like worst webinar ever. Can I have, you know, money for my time back. Like just awful things. And like there was some people that like newest that were like, that wasn’t the best Webinar, but there was some good information on it, but overwhelmingly just like dozens and dozens and dozens and probably hundreds of messages that came in and were like, f you go to hell, but like all this stuff. And I was like, I failed. No. And I remember literally just looking at the screen and just starting to cry. And I sat down on the couch and was like holding tears back because my business partner was around, there was a couple other people that were there helping us and I was like, I don’t know we’re going to do. And I remember looking at overhead has sway and just like, like this feeling of just like desperation and this feeling of like, I like, what do you do?


Like it failed. It was awful. And there was absolutely nothing that we could do. And I remember going to sleep that night. I went out into my car, I just bawled my eyes out and I came back in. I was spending the night at my business partner’s house and I laid on the floor and I looked at the ceiling and I was like throwing a ball lest up in the air and catching it. Thinking is this it? Like, is this where my, like my entrepreneurship career of social media ends? Like I don’t even know what to do next. Now I don’t even want to look. I just turn off my phone and literally took my phone and threw it across the room and hit the wall. And I was like, I’m so done. I am absolutely so done.


This cannot be like this. And, uh, sure enough, like woke up the next day, breathe. Uh, I looked at all my messages again and I was just like, oh my gosh, this is insane. And so I sat down and, and uh, this was a defining moment in my career and my character and who I was at this point, because I have just gone through, I’ve had 2,700 people registered for a Webinar with my business partner, a thousand people show up. We made one sale. Everybody thought it was terrible and the people that were nice about it, it’s simply just said, ah, it wasn’t great and we have no idea what we were doing. We had nowhere to turn. And I remember feeling so upset and so angry at this coach and I was like, you know what? I can’t blame him. I am fully responsible for my actions.


And I remember sitting there thinking that and going, this is a determining factor in my life. How I respond to this is going to play a huge role in my future success. And I knew it at the time. Oh, and the best part was we forgot to turn off the replay and the replay went out to everybody that registered all 2,700 people. So now it was like 2,700 people had gotten this. And it was just awful. And so I remember sitting there and thinking, okay, how am I going to reply to this? How am I going to respond? How are we going to respond as a company, as a business, as a team? And so we did. The only thing that I knew how to do. I wrote up an email apologizing for the webinar and I got on a livestream and I went into the group where are really warm audience that knew us, was a couple thousand people and I just apologized.


I said, you know what guys? Listen, we did a Webinar last night. Obviously it did not go how we wanted it to go. I’m really good at Instagram and clearly I suck at webinars. Clearly this did not go how we wanted it to. Clearly there was a miscommunication of sorts of, of what was going on here. And uh, you know, we were, I was just honest with them. I was very, very truthful and transparent and I said, you know what, you guys to make it right. We want to host another training for you on Instagram. Completely free, no pitch, nothing to sell you at the end, just breaking down the behind the scenes nitty-gritty of how everything works. And I took that and I also wrote that in an email form and I sent it out to everybody on the list and I did it in the group.


I did it to everyone that registered for the Webinar. Everyone was there and you know what? We got not as many messages but a ton of messages from people that said, you know what, the Webinar was awful, but I’ve never seen anybody take responsibility for their actions like this. I appreciate it and you’ve earned my respect back. And I’ve had people that watch that Webinar that are still my friends to this day that watch me completely mess up, completely fail. I messed up in front of 2,700 people. I messed up in front of a thousand people live on a Webinar. I had dozens, if not hundreds of messages saying that I was never going to make it, that it was a scam artist, that I should go to hell and f you and that my career was over and it was a $30,000 mistake. How do you respond to that?


Well, I just shared with you how I responded to it and it earned back the trust of so many people because I took responsibility for my actions. We both did. I didn’t blame somebody else. I didn’t go and say, oh, it wasn’t our fault. We simply went and did the next right thing. We focused on the positivity. We focused on what we did have left. And you know what we realized at the end of the day, life goes on whether this happened or not, whether we like it or not. And so how we choose to deal with this, we want to deal with it in the best possible way, not blame anybody else. Take responsibility and continued to move on. And we did. And that’s how I handled it. And let me tell you, for like six months afterwards, I never wanted to do another webinar. It scared the crap out of me.


Every time I would get on live streams even I would have like memories and flashbacks back to that day because it was so awful. Like I like I can still, when I talk about it, like I, I feel in my heart. Like I literally like I’m looking down at my, my arms right now and there’s goosebumps on them. Like I can feel the pain and the agony that I went through that day. And I never, ever, ever, ever, ever want to go back to that day. But I, I remember it and I learned from it and I chose to rise above to focus on the positive, to do the next right thing, to take responsibility for my actions and to own it. It could have, I could have very easily gone on there and gotten on a livestream or sent out an email that said we paid $30,000 for a coach.


And he sucked. Right. Could have done that. But we didn’t, I took responsibility and to this day, I don’t blame the coach to this day. I went, you know what? I should have done my research more. I should have not gone into something so blindsided. Was it the coach’s fault? Yeah. I guess if you look at it that way, sure. He shouldn’t have taken us on as a client. He should have known better. He should have refunded us our money. He didn’t, I mean we didn’t have to make the second payment, but he didn’t, you know, like there’s sort of an things there, but nope. You know, and I could be mad about that and I can, you know, I could dwell on that, but that’s not what moves you forward. Dwelling on the past isn’t going to do anything for the future. Getting upset about things that you can’t change isn’t going to change anything.


And so focusing on the positive, taking responsibility for your actions and going out there and just owning it is going to earn you a lot of respect. And I know it did for a lot of people there. And, uh, can moving forward with the next right thing. Is it going to suck? Yup. You’re gonna lose some money over it. Quite possibly. I know we did, but you’re going to learn so much from that. And I have learned so much from that event and so much from that experience that I wouldn’t go back and trade that experience. If I could go back and remove that from my life and have that $15,000 back, I wouldn’t because that taught me such a powerful lesson and it really helped shape me into who I am and who I’m becoming. You know, as a person and as a business owner and as someone that understands the agony.


When people would tell me, they’re like, you know, Josh, I bought into a $5,000 coaching program, you know, and I didn’t see any results. Like, do you have any idea what that’s like? I’m like, yeah, I bought a $30,000 one but $15,000 down and didn’t make any investment back. And I worked my butt off for two straight months. Believe me, I know what that feels like. All right. But it’s how you react to that and it makes you just a better person and it makes you better understand your customers and other people that have gone through a similar process like that. All right. I wanted to share this story with you guys here today because I think it’s very important for us as entrepreneurs and us as people in general, and this, this show is, and this podcast is definitely not just for entrepreneurs, but for people in life, for anyone, whether you’re, you know, you’re in college right now or you’re just graduated out of college, maybe your younger 18-19, maybe you’re in your late twenties how you react to situations defines who you are and will ultimately control the outcome of who you become and what you know, what success that you have in life.


So focus on the good, focus on the positive. Understand we all have failures. Mine happened to be a $15 – $30,000 in three months. A mistake that made me know Roi from a money perspective and completely changed my life. It embarrassed me in front of thousands literally, of people and gave me the ability to earn their trust back. There’s something that was very, very, very hard and difficult to do, but it made me the person I am today. All right. I hope you liked this episode of you resonated with this or you know, if you have questions about this or you want to know more details, please feel free to hit me up on Instagram and I would love to hear your worst nightmare story. So hit me up on Instagram, let me know what you know your nightmare story was and uh, we can have a conversation about that.


Love hearing your guys’s feedback there on Instagram and if you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe, leave a five star rating and review them and um, let’s keep making the world a better place. All right. As always, hustle, hustle, God, bless. Do not be afraid to think different because those of us who think different are going to be the ones that changed the world. I love you all and I will see you on the next episode. Take it easy fam piece. Yo, what’s up guys? You’ve been listening to The Think Different Theory with myself, Josh Forti, which I like to call a new paradigm of thinking. And Real quick, I’ve got a question for you. Did you like this episode? If you did, I want to ask a huge favor. See, the biggest thing that helps this podcast grow and that will spread this message of positivity and making the world a better place is if you leave a review or rating and subscribe to the podcast. What that does is it basically tells the platforms that this is out on, that you like my stuff and that I’m doing something right. So if you could take like three seconds out of your day and subscribe, leave a rating and review, I would be forever grateful for you. Also, I want to hear from you. I want to know your feedback, your ideas, and your questions for future episodes.


So be sure to hit me up on Instagram in the DM @joshforti or via email