One of the fundamental concepts of 220YL is the willingness to seek out and embrace failure to build confidence, resilience, and Second-to-None leadership skills. That's why we want to consistently share our failures as Co-Founders with you.

Joseph and I set up a table last Sunday at a local basketball facility to catch parents on their way in/out to talk with them about our 1-on-1 and group coaching programs. This was the first time we had marketed in this kind of setting. Our goal was to get parents on a free virtual consultation to learn more about their students, explain how our program could help them develop their leadership skills, and get them to sign up for our program.

We talked to a lot of parents in eight hours. Some conversations went well, some not so well, and some were not conversations at all (some parents had no interest in talking to us). At the end of the day, we were very pleased to have 12 parents signed up for free consultations the next week.

By this following Sunday, we only had 2 out of 12 parents even show up for their free consultation (even with follow-ups) and 0 parents sign up for a program.

As always, we start with the Cons from this failure:


  1. We were disappointed with our 0% conversion rate. Especially after being so excited about the opportunity of 12 new students to work with.


  1. We dramatically improved and refined our pitch and our confidence as the day progressed. We also learned how to respond to different initial and intermittent reactions from parents.
  2. We got very comfortable with direct rejection to our faces from parents who were not interested, which is very important. There is no real way to prepare for this rejection, you just have to experience it. And we did.
  3. We learned what doesn't work, including:
    • Offering an unrelated prize/incentive may result in more traffic and interest, but you don't always get the clientele most interested in your product or service. Some are just excited about getting something for free.
    • Counting on parents that we got great feedback from and thought were some of the most likely to enroll their students to be responsive after that initial in-person point of contact. They need as much or more follow-up from us as any of our prospective families.
    • Counting on parents that we didn't get to spend a lot of time with to follow-up with you just by giving them a flyer.
  4. We substantially improved our ability to deliver free consultations through these repetitions.
  5. Based on feedback we received through these interactions and consultations, we changed our pricing and program structure to an hourly model, which has been a fantastic shift for our families and for our company.

Enough said I think... Definitely another great experience through failure. And we're still here! We're alive and well after "failing" pretty hard.

The more experiences like these we have, the more successful we will be.


  1. What did you fail at this week? Hopefully something!
  2. What is the lesson you can take away from that failure? How can you get better from that experience?
  3. How can you push yourself next week to put yourself in a position where you are vulnerable to failure?