“Here goes nothing.”
It’s a phrase we often use when we’re not sure how something will turn out. In fact, since it tends to come from a sense of desperation, we use it to admit that there’s a pretty good chance of it not working. It’s our little way of softening the psychological blow of failing.
It makes me think of the pass play in football referred to as a “Hail Mary.” The team with the ball is losing, and time has nearly expired. They need a touchdown but they’re so far from the goal line that their only hope is to launch a long pass into a sea of waiting defenders. It’s a pass with a very low chance of success, but at that point, you’re out of options.
Here. Goes. Nothing.
This isn’t a football game.
Trying things that might not work is not nothing.
It takes tremendous courage, vulnerability, and faith. Dare I say it’s the most important thing we can ever do.
Doing things that we are sure will work is safe and comfortable. Chasing guarantees is one way to go about our days, but if this is all we ever do, we will have wasted our life. This is not why we were born.
When you try something that might not work, it’s true: it might not. But in the end, many other good things will have come of it. At the very least, you will have learned something and your comfort zone will have inched a little larger.
And that’s definitely not nothing.
We recently hosted our third Wondernite. Before our first, I had no idea if it would work. I didn’t know if anyone would come. I didn’t know if I even sell one painting. There was a distinct possibility that my brother Doug would go through all twenty items up for auction and not receive one bid and I’d have the exciting opportunity to descend into a catastrophically humiliating shame spiral while sitting in the back of the room. Thankfully for all concerned parties, it turned out well enough that we are currently planning our fourth.
By the same token, we’ve also invested thousands of dollars into trade shows that did not deliver a good return on investment. They drove us deeper into debt. They bordered on soul-crushing. But the lessons we learned in the process, about marketing, positioning, pricing, and branding, were invaluable, and part of the reason Wondernite turned out to be a success.
Tinker. Play. Experiment. Try things that might not work. And when you cast off into the unknown, you can be confident in saying to yourself, “Here goes something!!!”