Stop Trying & Start Experimenting

Feb 12, 2016

Originally published April 2013

I was at Andrea Lee’s Midas Camp recently and was reminded of something that I had forgotten:

“Business is an experiment.”

As soon as Andrea said that I felt a visceral weight lift off my shoulders, because I had been doing the exact opposite – trying SO darn hard vs. taking an experimental approach.

So what’s the difference? There are a few keys things:

  1. Trying is really hard work – it usually comes from a place of needing to prove something to yourself and/or those around you and that is very tiring! Experimenting comes from a place of service and is much lighter and enjoyable. Even the word gives me a sigh of relief.
  2. Trying is emotionally based – when we are trying to prove something it bring emotions into play, and if something doesn’t work out as planned we can easily end up feeling really sad, upset, defeated and ready to give up. When we are experimenting we “know” that it may not work out, and can release and emotions around it and get back to the drawing board.
  3. Experimenting leaves room for growth – when we come from this scientific mindset of “I wonder” vs. “I must!” I believe it opens up many more opportunities and options that we would otherwise be able to see. Experimenting opens doors where trying tends to close them.

I came to realize how much I used to experiment in my business and how much i’ve been missing that lately due to my own expectations. Heck, the entire world of being an Online Business Manager didn’t even exist when I wrote that book almost 5 years ago. That whole world was one grand experiment and I loved it every step of the way.

I’m getting back to a place of experimenting and having more fun. How about you?


  1. Ally E. Machate

    Love this, such a great reminder. As you know well Tina, I’ve recently re-thought my entire approach to how I offer my services, and it’s a big change. I’ve struggled with the fear of “what if it all fails!” But I’ve been reminding myself that it’s an experiment. So far it hasn’t made it less scary but I have been able to let go and allow myself to play around a bit more here in the early stages.

    • tinaforsyth

      Yes! And an ongoing experiment as well – test & tweak, do it again. Repeat 🙂

  2. Kristie McDonald

    This was an amazing insight!! Thanks for sharing – it is truly life pivoting!

    • tinaforsyth

      I’m with you Kristie – so simple but makes a HUGE difference

  3. Allaround VA

    This is great! I have been a VA for over 13 years and If I have learned anything, it is to experience new things, expect challenges and plan to grow as you go. When I first became a VA my first thought was to get big and do it fast. I ended up trying so hard that I had clients I wasn’t happy with, I was losing money and work a boat LOAD of hours! It was insane! I have learned to leverage what I do, not settle for less than my ideal clients, put processes in documents and stick to the schedule that works for me and my family. Today, I have time to experience new things, create more profits, automate my programs and work with clients that compliment me and vice versa! I also make more money now than ever before and I am doing what I love!

  4. Carolyn Ellis

    Greetings!…! Loved your video message Tina and it’s a great reminder for us to keep the fun and curiosity as we grow our businesses. That brings a lightness and nimbleness that is infectious and conveys a lot more client attraction to our peeps than we realize. I appreciate this!

  5. Petra Fehring

    I’m always trying so hard, it is exhausting. Thanks Tina, I needed this too.

  6. Tracey Lawton

    You know Tina, seems we’ve both through a similar cycle. When I was a VA I loved my business. I had no trouble attracting potential clients, and turning them into paying clients. Then I got caught up in all the “leverage your time” ; “you must make six-figures to be successful” brigade … so I moved in a different direction and tried really, really hard to do implement all of this “stuff” that was coming at me. And you know what, I didn’t enjoy it.

    So, I took a look at what worked before … and I realized what it was. I didn’t try. I just went with the flow. I enjoyed talking to clients. I wasn’t attached to the outcome … and business was fun. So guest what I’m doing now … and business is fun again 🙂

  7. Andrea Cinnamond

    The scientist in me LOVES the idea of experimenting!! Thank you for the reminder 🙂


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