How to Fail: February 19th 2018, Monday Money Check-In

Have you ever heard of Jim Rohn? He’s like the cutest little 1960s inspirational speaker, the granddaddy who spawned everyone from Dave Ramsey to Tony Robbins. You can find all his old, blackboard-backed talks on YouTube.

One of the things he said that stuck with me is that most people think failure is one big event. But it’s actually the product of little failures, repeated. This week, I failed. I failed to make enough money (I made $800 out of the $1,000 of gross income I need to make per week to keep my business running.) I failed to stay within my budget. I ran out of fun money on Friday and refused to miss out on the submission group I go to, held at a cafe, the dinner party I got invited to last-minute on Saturday, or the mastermind group I go to on Sunday evenings. Both the later required a bottle of wine be brought, and because the dinner party was a few miles away and I knew I wanted to enjoy that wine, I Ubered for a total of $22.

Here’s how I would have handled it before my Amanda Clayman month: I would have sat down for a PowerPoint presentation with myself about why I am the worst. You suck, I would have said. You’ll never get better. Here’s an infographic about how much I hate you and hate being you.

None of this, you may notice, would have actually helped the situation.

So here’s what I’m doing instead: re-examinging and adjusting. Adapt and overcome.

With fun money, I make the transfer on Monday of $100. This gives me a chance to screw myself over spending over the week, and leave myself with zero dollars for the weekend, when there are more tempting opportunities to spend. To respond to this situation, I changed the automated transfer from $100 on Monday to $50 on Monday, $50 on Friday.

You have to examine your little failures, stop them in their tracks, so they don’t become that big failure in the future.

  • Earned last week: $800
  • Saved last week: $200
  • Personal Checking level: red 
  • Business Checking level: red
  • Fuck Off Fund Level: $1,400
  • Weekly wins: Got a sweet gig for a travel company, negotiated for more $$$ and got it! (Always negotiate!)
  • Look at all bills due this week: Shit, my bank account is $253 and I have $205 worth of bills due in the next week. Gonna be tight! 
  • Update and review budget (I’m changing to YNAB): Still working on this. 
  • Look at any social events where I might want to spend some of my Fun Money: Lots of little things throughout the week – a show, writing workshop, writing event, so have to keep it minimal at each one. 
  • Transfer 10% of money received last week: Got no money last week!
  • Transfer $200 to Fuck Off Fund: I did, even though it only left me with $200. I’d better get this big check I’m waiting on for work I did in December!
  • Transfer 20% of earnings to Tax Savings Account: 0% of 0 is $0. Wee!


Fail Alert.


For the first time this year I failed to make the $1,000 I’m supposed to earn a week. My business is getting more and more expensive to run, so I need to hit those numbers. Luckily I worked my butt off during December for work I haven’t invoiced yet, so I can add that in.

From what I’ve learned from Amanda Clayman this month, I know it’s important to get past the feelings of it: I’m disappointed, I feel like my systems aren’t working, I feel like I’ve got too much on my plate and it’s all equally important to me.
Ok, now quantify. I fell $450 short of my goal. Might there be another month where I’m $450 beyond my goal? Yes, maybe. I can feel other feelings: Happy that I have a cushion in my bank account that will allow for this, once, for right now. Resilient in that I’m just going to get back up and reschedule my $1,000 for this week. Determined to re-examine what didn’t work last week and get back in there with a different strategy this week.
Let us fall down our thousand times. Let us stand back up one thousand and one.