Failure Is Not An Option: Failure vs. Testing

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ITF Taekwon-Do Instructor Business Success Training System - Testing vs. Failure

I’m not talking about belt testing here.  You’re going to have to shift your mind for a moment and focus on what I’m talking about here.

For this article I’m talking about failure vs. testing as it applies to your marketing.

This concept is very simple, just not easy.

You want to stop looking at your marketing attempts as something that worked or failed.  Rather you want to take the point of view that you are testing this method of marketing.  If it didn’t produce the intended result, then tweak it and test it again.  You want to constantly be tweaking and testing and tweaking and testing.

Have you every tried a new method of marketing and it didn’t work out so well?  Maybe you had a new ad or a new event that you intended to generate new students from that flopped?

Unless you have no interest in attracting new students, you have tried something.  Some may have worked and some may not.  I’d also be willing to bet that once you did something that didn’t work, you stopped doing it altogether and probably had a negative impression of it.

At first glance, stopping that would seem like a prudent thing to do, but consider that might not be the case.  I want to look a little deeper here with you and give you something that you can take action on right away.

Most instructor’s marketing efforts are one shot events.  You create an ad, a flyer, a valpak or money mailer coupon, a sign, or something to generate some new business with.  Then if it doesn’t work, if it fails, then you toss the idea and never do it again.  Then if another instructor asks you about it, you tell them it’s a horrible idea because you now have proof that it doesn’t work for you.

With any piece of marketing you are always look to achieve the best message, market, media match.  That means you are getting the right message to the right market with the right media.

If you’re a car repair shop and you are advertising to new car owners in your neighborhood you’re probably going to waste a lot of money advertising to a group of people who have cars already under warranty and don’t need your services.  Then you wind up blaming the method of advertising (the media) for why it didn’t work.

There was just a problem with your message, market, media match.

As a school owner, you always want to be searching for that match.  Does your advertising communicate the right message to the right people in the proper method?

For example we’ve done Valpak coupons in the past with poor results.  Valpak is a mailer that goes out to every home in a certain area code full of coupons for local businesses.  We know that the mommies (market) usually are the ones that open these mailers (media) and they look through every coupon to see if there’s anything that applies to them or jumps out at them (message) that their family could use.

We’ve got the right market and the right media so now we are looking at what message we can use on our coupon that will get mommy’s attention.

We have a message that’s worked well and produced great results in other places so we are adding that to this campaign.

So rather than looking at this as a failure when it didn’t produce the results we wanted, we are testing.

Maybe you did a Buddy Night that didn’t go well.  It wasn’t a failure and something you should scrap, that was just the first test!  What can you add, adjust, tweak or do differently for the next one that will improve your results?

Most people aren’t good at anything the do for the first time, whether it’s Taekwon-Do or marketing.  Approaching your business with the mindset of testing vs. failure takes away a great deal of stress and allows you to get creative with what you are going to do next!


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About the Author:

taekwon-do phoenix, taekwon-do arizona, taekwondo phoenix, Phoenix taekwondo, itf taekwondo, taekwondo itf, tkd phoenix, taekwondo az, taekwondo Arizona, martial arts phoenix, martial arts Arizona, martial arts az, Phoenix Martial Arts, Arizona Martial Arts, Phoenix Karate, arizona taekwondo, karstadt, karstadt taekwondo, ITFJohn Karstadt

Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do

Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt.  He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline,  leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world.  He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do.  He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy.  Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children.  Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at

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