Thursday, September 13, 2007

Turn Lemons into Lemonade--Make the Best with What you Have

I am writing about a situation I am presently facing at the moment and my hope is by sharing what I did others will learn from my experience and not do this themselves.

I am a facilitator of a workshop. I normally give free breakfasts and invite people to attend and share a brief portion of the workshop hoping they will want to sign up for it.

Well I held my first one at the end of January. It went well, 12 people attended and I had three who had an interest in going through the workshop. In my opinion, three wasn't good enough so I had another luncheon in March. It was a flop with no interest. The problem with that one was targeting the wrong types of businesses. My third one was a breakfast and held in June. I had one more interested.

So now I have four who are interested, all female. So again I think I need a male participant in this workshop so I do not move forward. After running a radio ad I got two more males interested in the workshop. So now I am ready and it is September. What do you think happened?

I start contacting the earliest people and one is still interested but does not want to start until January. Another one of the ladies cannot remember what it was about so she is reviewing the information again, and the third lady is closing her business so not interested anymore. Not to mention the business that was donating the space to hold the workshop now does not return my phone calls. (I really do not know what is up with that).

In my opinion here is a couple of things I did wrong:

  1. My expectations were set to high. If I had to do it over again I would start right after the January meeting with just two people, possibly three. If my hold up was because I wanted a male perspective in the group, I could have given away a free workshop to meet that need.
  2. I did one informational email to the group during the summer to let them know I was still working on bringing it to fruition. In hindsight I should have sent out a monthly just to keep them refreshed on the workshop.

Today, I am working on having another introductory breakfast but in my original plan that would have been my second group. Now it may turn out to be my first group. What I am planning on doing about the original group is to offer to launch it in January but must have payment now to lock in the old price. (Now there is a higher price than when it was originally offered in January).

As far as the business offering their space, I will find another. It is still my goal to contact the business that was offering the space to ensure all is well. I do understand how circumstances change so perhaps something came up that the room is occupied.

What I hope my readers gain from my experience, is to not make excuses for moving forward. Be glad for what was given and turn it into something special. There is nothing wrong with small or not exactly being what you wanted, just make the best possible experience for those at the time.

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisor, Inc.

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