Even the GOAT has to lose, you know

When I say GOAT, I don’t mean a “goat”.

I mean Roger Federer! Hailed by (most of) the tennis world as Greatest Of All Time. (The GOAT!)

He’s won 97 trophies, including 20 Grand Slams (20!)…and till this week, he was still world number #1. At 36!

Even a Murray fan like me has to admit it. Fed outstrips everyone who’s ever picked up a racquet. Sampras. Borg. McEnroe. Laver. Djokovic. Rafa. Everyone.

And yet…you know what? He still loses. A dozen times or so, every year. And this week, he lost to a guy ranked outside the world’s top 100.

It happens. Because, even the GOAT is gonna come up short once in a while.

And here comes the big cheesy tie-in…copy is no different.

True. Despite what you hear from self-labelled “kick-ass copy ninjas”, no copywriter on earth can serve an ace every time.

Failure happens. Promotions bomb – or at least disappoint. It’s part of life. Part of marketing. So get used to it. And start turning the fails to your advantage.

Take Dan Kennedy – many would call him the Marketing GOAT. He’s certainly up there. And he proudly admits, his promos often fail. BUT – he still makes money, because he takes every fail as a lesson. Uses the intel to go big next time.

Because? Well, um…that’s how marketing works!

It’s not about getting lucky with a “this’ll do it” hunch. It’s about elimination. Taking out ideas that didn’t go to plan, and making better judgement calls next time.

We all have to do that. GOAT or journeyman, it’s all the same.

So – two points here:

ONE – If you think a copywriter has a magic wand, think again. We all fail now and then. GOATS included.


TWO – If you’re willing to test relentlessly, success becomes inevitable. (Assuming your copywriter is “competent” at least!)

Because you’re closing down options. And charting a course to the Magic Money Tree. Just as Edison did, by noting every “D’oh!” in his quest for the leccy light. And just as Fed does with every lost point, as he susses out an opponent.

So that’s my Easter message (hey, the pope gets one – why not me?)

Winning is great and all…but failure happens. And when you embrace it, it’s priceless.

Meet the Author

James Daniel

You might not know who James is...but you've probably read his copy. Through high street clients like Hidden Hearing, or big gun marketers like Jonathan Jay and Chris Cardell. His words are out there, pulling in new business every month. What else? Well his books, Do You Talk Like That at Home? and Direct Mail 101 will help you squeeze out more sales. Oh yeah - and his next book Before You JFDI will help you plan your next campaign. Get on the list for a free advance copy here.

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