“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin


Today I have a definite answer to the sign in my office that simply reads:

“What did you fail at today?”

I stole this from and interview I heard with Sara Blakely, the CEO of Spanx.

I didn’t fail because I’m writing this in Spanx. I like to think that I’m not old enough to need those yet. Even though they do have Spanx for men.

I digress.

I failed at preparing for an important, upcoming task.

Today, my buddy was sending his first email out to his followers. He asked me to handle it. I set up the account in Mailchimp downloaded the list, put together the blast, tested it, everything looked good. Send!

Next I received an email from MailChimp Compliance. Apparently gambling websites are against the TOS of MailChimp. Bollocks!

So I quickly put together the email in VerticalResponse. Pressed send. 30 minute delay until sending. Checked back 30 minutes later. It was going straight to spam.

0 for 2.

Next I set up a campaign in my GetResponse account. Uploaded the list. “Please wait 7 hours.” Contacted support to expedite the process. “I can do that for you, check back in a couple of hours.”


All the time I’m receiving frantic texts from my buddy asking, did you figure it out? did it get sent? where is it? what the *@*$ is your problem? Get a #(#($*@) clue!

Ok those last 2 I made up, but I’m sure he was thinking it.

I ended up just manually sending them from his email account and bccing everyone. We’ll be fine for tomorrow’s blast, but today’s took two hours too long to get right.

It was my fault. I screwed up. I didn’t test the email before I sent it, check to ensure MailChimp was the proper medium for sending his genre of email.

In the end no one lost their life, a job, or any money. So it wasn’t the end of the world. Going 1-4 won’t get you a job on most major league rosters, never mind any meaningful job.

Going forward it’s imperative that I have the correct answer to the test before I show up. That means doing some additional leg work up front. I didn’t mean to cut any corners, I just didn’t realize the steel fist that MailChimp rules with.

Regardless, if I can leave you with anything, it’s that putting in an extra 30 minutes beforehand will allow you to keep some hair on your head and your business partners confident in you.

I was average today. Don’t be average.

4 comments on “Prepare or Fail

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