Let’s talk about survivorship bias

As Seen In...

In the online business space we’re flooded with success story after success story which can be amazing and inspiring but it can also trick us into not seeing the other side.

We think that all this success is what we should be experiencing 100% of the time, and we don’t acknowledge everything it took to create those stories, or all the people who didn’t make it (and what we can learn from them).

In this episode of Be the change, I’m diving into this topic with Michelle Warner.

Be the change is a mini-series here on The Simply Smart Business Show where I get down to it with leaders in the online business world to talk about the problems facing our industry today and (most importantly) how we can create the changes we want to see.

Listen to this episode here:

Takeaways from this show:

  • How do you choose your coaches? There’s a mindset out there of only wanting to work with a coach who has achieved what you want to achieve, which is understandable, but that kind of choice is not all about the knowledge. For starters, you’ve got to note your gut feelings. And then the coach marketing themselves might not truly understand everything that went into their own success, or might assume that they can get you those same results as though everyone arrives to the door equal.
  • As creators, coaches and mentors we can never ever guarantee the results. Even if we have a high success rate, we can’t promise anything. We don’t know what’s going on for the person, all the nuances.
  • There are many factors that can impact your success story- your formal training, your personality, your network… these are all unfair advantages that can really change the outcome of a particular tactic or strategy.
  • There needs to be personal responsibility on both sides, from the buyer and the marketer. The reason survivorship bias is so insidious is that we don’t even know it’s there. You’re not marketing yourself untruthfully, you just aren’t looking at everything. Challenge yourself to find all the little things that have impacted your success but don’t seem important.
  • We need to get rid of the panic buying. That’s never the right choice.

Listen to this episode here:

More on Michelle here:

Michelle Warner is an online business growth expert who gets entrepreneurs unstuck and back on track to building the businesses of their dreams. She’s the creator of the Springboard Method: a framework designed to nurture resilient, sustainable, growth-minded companies.

The Springboard Method leverages everything Michelle’s learned over the course of building a multi-million dollar startup in the social venture space along with her current company, and the 20+ years of experience she has working in and around digital marketing.

When Michelle’s not obsessing over your business, you can catch her hiking + swimming with Watson, the world’s best rescue dog and spending time in and around her beloved Lake Michigan.

Subscribe to The Simply Smart Business Show on iTunes here and on Podbean here.


For those conscious souls ready to step up and serve. Suitable for established or new coaches.