The Truth Behind My FAILED Course Launch


*Image by the lovely Mikayla Christiansen

As I hit the share button, my heart was FULL of excitement.

I just launched my first online course and made the announcement to my entire online community. All of my hard work, time, effort, and energy was paying off. My business friends were sharing away, direct messaging me with encouragement, and expressing all of their excitement for me. Within five minutes, the first student enrolled. I celebrated their enrollment and waited by the computer for others to come rushing in. 


The hours passed by slower than I’ve ever felt. I worked on other projects, paced around my living room, used all the positive affirmations, and tried to remain hopeful and confident. At 5 p.m. I decided to see who else had enrolled. No one had. My heart began to race, doubt began to surface, and insecurity was screaming inside of me. “You’re a fraud. What are you doing? You aren’t a teacher or a mentor. Clearly, no one values what you have to share. You’re just not good enough.”

My husband walked through the door right around this time, and I completely broke down. I sat on the couch and sobbed. I felt like such a failure. The imposter syndrome kicked in full-force, and I felt nothing but deep insecurity. How was I going to continue to show up for my online business every single day when all I felt was doubt, insecurity, and utter disappointment in myself? 

For three days straight, I cried.

I wasn’t crying solely because I failed. I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself. This little failure made me feel completely exposed, vulnerable, and unequipped for the big dreams inside my little heart. I know it may sound completely dramatic, but releasing a project that matters deeply to you is a very bold and vulnerable act. And when people don’t respond to it in the way you imagined or hoped, it hurts deep. It makes you feel like your dreams don’t matter and that you aren’t capable of making them a reality. Hello, imposter syndrome and inner-critic dialogue

At the end of my week-long launch, I had enrolled three students. Do those students deserve celebration? Absolutely. But does it still sting that thousands of people saw the launch and didn’t enroll? Yes, it does. It was a painful process. For the longest time, I dreaded people asking me about the course. Instead of seeing the project as a failure/bump in the road, I was choosing to see myself as a failure. And there is a big difference here. 

So, what’s the big deal? Why am I sharing this story with you?

1| I believe there is such power in sharing our failures (when the time is right). 

It has been five months since this launch, and I’ve had loads of time to process and release limiting beliefs. I am choosing to share this part of my story, not in an attempt to seek validation, but to show you that failure is inevitable. The people, brands, and online business owners you admire from afar fail big time too. Don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of highlight reels and perfectly curated Instagram posts and start believing that success comes to others easier than it comes to you. Truth: everyone fails. Does everyone choose to share their failures on the internet? No, they don’t. Hey, I get it. That’s a pretty vulnerable thing to do. But when we do decide to get a little bit raw and real and share those moments with others, it shows that perfection isn’t real and failure doesn’t have to be the end of your story. 


2| I don’t want you to let failure (or the fear of it) stop you from taking action.

When I was in the midst of this process, I didn’t know when I would create again. I didn’t know when I would ever launch something again. I was in way too much pain to consider new projects, but the time eventually came. Because the fear of failure will never be bigger than the beauty of showing up for what matters most to you. Don’t let failure steer you away from pursuing the things that light your heart on fire. For the dreams, desires, and longings in your heart are there for a divine reason. Does that mean you won’t fail? Nope. But it does mean that the fruition of the dream will happen. It just might not happen in the way you envision it. Don’t let failure hold you back. Let it propel you forward.

3| I want you to know that failure is never the end of your story.

As I laid on my couch and sobbed, I felt like I was finished (dramatic, I know). I felt like there wasn’t any success ahead of me, but we all know that isn’t the truth. I think it’s important to say that I let myself process. I let myself cry, feel sadness, and express doubt. BUT I didn’t stop there. After processing, I got up, left my pity party, and started creating again. And guess what? Two months later I launched a new product (my 30-day guided journal), and it was the most successful launch I’ve ever had. The failure I experienced when I launched my online course not only strengthened me and increased my resilience, but it led me to release something even better. Failure is never the end of your story. It is simply a part of the process. Know that every failure in your journey is preparing you, strengthening you, and increasing your resilience. It is leading you to even greater fulfillment and success in the days ahead. 

My dear, you must know that your existence matters deeply.

Not only that, but your dreams matter deeply. And in the pursuit of them, failure will happen, but that doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It just means that you have an opportunity to learn something new, become stronger, and create again. Never let failure stop you from showing up for the life that you deeply desire. Give yourself grace, allow yourself to process, and know that you will always have the beautiful opportunity to begin again. You’re a champion, my dear, and good things are coming your way. 

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Author Bio:

Ashton is the founder of The Authentic Woman, a platform that empowers women to live authentically as themselves. She firmly believes that women have the power to shift culture, eradicate unjust standards and ultimately change the world. When she's not working with her husband, she is most likely sipping on a cup of local coffee, swooning over pottery or adding to her succulent collection.

Connect with Ashton over on her Instagram!