The Best Email I Ever Sent with Marc WahWhinney
August 11th, 2009 was the worst day of my life:
That was the date that I closed the doors to my real estate business.
I spent almost a decade building that business, starting at 21 years of age and growing it to 100 agents and employees, offices in several locations and a strong market share.
Less than eight months after an aggressive expansion, it was all over.
When my real estate company closed, I entered a strange new world where I was attacked by former employees, the local media and even strangers who I’d never met. For someone who had almost a decade in business without any major stumbles, it was all a very disorientating and frightening experience.
Although I’ve now had a successful coaching business for the last four years, every year on August 11th I reflect on what happened back in 2009. The scars don’t sting after so many years, but the memories remain.
When the date rolled around again this year, I made a decision: I sent an email out to subscribers on my list telling them about what happened in August 2009 and the lessons that I learned from that experience.
It wasn’t an easy email to write. In fact, it was probably one of the most difficult ones that I’ve ever had to type out (I email my list every single day, so that’s saying something!). But I held my breath, trusted that it would help people and then I hit “Send”.
I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction it would get. I usually get a handful of messages back whenever I send out an email, but this one was off the charts! Within a few minutes, I got an email from a subscriber telling me how much my message spoke to him since he was going through an extremely challenging set of circumstances in his life at that exact moment. He poured it all out to me (a complete stranger). A few minutes after that, another one arrived. And they continued to roll in throughout the day. I got more messages back from that email than I have from any others that I’ve ever sent out (and I’ve emailed my list over 1000 times the last few years).
Not one of those messages was negative or an attack from Internet trolls. They were from people who appreciated my honesty, and like that first person who messaged back told me about the challenges that they’ve gone through or were currently facing. I was surprised by the number of people who were slogging their way through their own version of Hell and told me how my email came at the right time to give them the lift that they needed.
Here’s the thing: people are tuning out the BS in the coaching world from coaches who play it off like their lives are perfect. They don’t resonate with those who claim to have been millionaires since they were 20 or who played it off like they have everything figured out (nobody has it all figured out). They yearn for coaches who are comfortable expressing vulnerability because it makes the coach more empathetic and relatable.
Nobody has a crystal clean background with no stumbles (if they do, it means that they didn’t take any risks). Don’t be afraid to show the skeletons in your closet. They’ll make you appear more human and they’re good for business.
I didn’t make any sales from the email that I sent on August 11th. I didn’t get any clients from it either. I didn’t expect to.
But it was the best email that I’ve ever sent.
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