Jarrod Holland of Publicity Factory On Becoming Free From The Fear Of Failure
Think of fear as that enemy who you keep close: Get to know it. Embrace it. Then kick its ass. You will need to conquer fear all the time. It’s not a one and done proposition.
The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.” As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jarrod Holland.
Jarrod Holland is the owner of Publicity Factory, a lifestyle-specialty public relations firm based in Myrtle Beach, SC. He has been in the industry for 22 years and is responsible for landing high-profile media coverage for his clients. He specializes in automotive, lifestyle products and corporate publicity.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
I have been an automotive fanatic and news junkie for as long as I can remember. I was fortunate enough to be scooped up by a boutique automotive PR firm straight out of college and have had the opportunity to work with some amazing accounts such as Lamborghini, Bentley, Ducati, Porsche and many more. Upon moving back to the East Coast in 2004 from Los Angeles, where I lived for 10 years, I started my own PR firm, Publicity Factory, and haven’t looked back. We’re now celebrating our 18th anniversary as of August 1, 2022.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
One of my clients built a tribute vehicle for Evel Knievel when he was still alive and I had the good fortune of publicizing it. Over the course of the campaign, I got to know Evel pretty well. He was a heck of a nice guy. One day, he called my office but I had already left for the day, so the receptionist gave him my home number. My mother-in-law happened to be at the house and answered the phone. I wasn’t home from the office yet so she asked if she could take a message. When Evel said who he was, she said “Yeah right” and hung up on him! He was calling to discuss the interview I had landed for him on Jimmy Kimmel, which occurred the following night. I escorted Evel to the interview and sat in his dressing room with him for an hour before the interview listening to him tell stories about how he used to rob safes when he was a teenager. It was a very surreal experience.
They say to never meet your heroes. I couldn’t disagree more! Evel Knievel was way more interesting and gracious than I could have imagined.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Professional Persistence: Always, always follow up. Go after what you want and don’t give up. I set a financial goal when I first started my business. I wanted to make a certain amount every month/year, which required adding a certain number of clients to my roster. Not only did I achieve this goal, but I soon surpassed it. The key is to be professionally persistent.
Always Be Available: There’s nothing more frustrating than reaching out to a company that you’re paying money to for goods or services and them not being available. We live in an on-demand world now and we’re all extremely busy, so we don’t have time to wait around for solutions to pressing needs or problems. I make sure I am always available to my clients because if I’m not, someone else will be. I spent 10 days in the Dominican Republic last year. It was my first vacation in a long time, and I really just wanted to disconnect and relax. However, a very valued client of mine had a pressing issue that was deadline oriented and I had to address it. I ended up working poolside for the entire trip but it was worth it. I have a tremendous amount of respect for this client and they’re still working with us to this day. That might not be the case if I truly disconnected.
Be Honest and Set Realistic Expectations: Don’t promise thew moon and the stars just to land a client. They’ll expect you to deliver them. I recently took on an novelist as a client. It’s his first book and he’s an unknown commodity. I told him what I thought were some reasonable goals for us and he agreed. Fortunately, he’s a pragmatist. Not all clients are.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the concept of becoming free from failure. Let’s zoom in a bit. From your experience, why exactly are people so afraid of failure? Why is failure so frightening to us?
Fear can be paralyzing. Fear can make you procrastinate and cause undue stress. Fear can also make us question ourselves and wonder if we’re good enough. Many would just as soon avoid these scenarios altogether.
What are the downsides of being afraid of failure? How can it limit people?
Being afraid of failure will, in many cases, prevent us from actually trying something. Whether it’s approaching someone you find attractive and talking to him or her, or not going after a lucrative new client because some other bigger, fancier company is already competing for their business.
In contrast, can you help articulate a few ways how becoming free from the free of failure can help improve our lives?
I’m struggling to answer this question because I need my fear. I don’t want to fail my clients. I don’t want to fail myself. I want those I care about to be proud of me. Fear is a great motivator. Perhaps it’s not the healthiest motivator but it can be. Being afraid I may not achieve my goals and then conquering them is perhaps one of the most satisfying experiences for me. I feel a sense of accomplishment and want to celebrate. Isn’t turning a negative into a positive what the human experience is all about?
We would love to hear your story about your experience dealing with failure. Would you be able to share a story about that with us?
I recently had a client who kept moving the goal post. We would agree on a goal and a strategy, and then when it came time to fulfill that goal (i.e: conducting a media interview), the client would turn down the opportunity or cancel it at the last moment, burning a bridge with the media for both him and me.
How did you rebound and recover after that? What did you learn from this whole episode? What advice would you give to others based on that story?
Eventually this client fired me, saying I didn’t garner enough media coverage for him, when all he did was cancel one interview after another. I eventually learned that this client’s products weren’t up to par and he was afraid of being exposed. I learned that it is not a good idea to keep a client onboard when they’re toxic to your career, no matter how good the pay is. I’ll never do it again.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that everyone can take to become free from the fear of failure”? Please share a story or an example for each.
Again, I don’t think people should become free from the fear of failure. Fear of failure can make us better people. It can make us stronger. With that said, here are five steps that everyone can take to take advantage of their fear:
- Think of fear as that enemy who you keep close: Get to know it. Embrace it. Then kick its ass. You will need to conquer fear all the time. It’s not a one and done proposition.
- Celebrate the defeat of fear but don’t rest on your laurels. It will come back. Defeat it again and celebrate again. Celebrating can be as simple as grabbing a drink with a friend or buying a new car. You decide.
- Ignore fear when you can: It’s important to switch off your fears at the end of the day. Compartmentalize them if you can and put them on hold until you need them again. There’s no sense in addressing your fears when you’re sitting down to watch TV for the evening. Enjoy your time off
- Be realistic about your fears: If you’re afraid of nuclear war or getting struck by lightning, you may need to address what’s really going on in your life. We often think we’re afraid of something unlikely when the real fear is something more practical, like not being able to make payroll or potentially losing a client. Ask yourself what you’re really afraid of and then set a goal to conquer it.
- Don’t be afraid to be afraid: It’s okay to admit you’re afraid of something. It’s not weakness, it’s human nature. Again, let it motivate you and squash it like a bug.
The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” Based on your experience, have you found this quote to be true? What do you think Aristotle really meant?
I don’t agree with this. Success is very subjective and one can shift his or her paradigm to determine what constitutes success. For example, in January of 2020, I ended up taking on way more work than I could handle. At the time, I considered it a success because my billings were at an all time high. However, I had no time to relax as I was working an insane schedule and I ended up dropping a ball or two when it came to properly servicing my clients. I learned that scaling back my client load and having a work/life balance was more important to me. So what I thought was a success at the time changed because I don’t want to be overworked. Now I see success differently.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Interesting question. Honestly, I think this movement has already started and it involves not killing ourselves for a job. It’s not worth it. No one has lied on their death bed and said they wished they worked more. Work smarter, not harder, and try to enjoy life more. I’m not good at following my own advice in this case but I’m getting there. I know I said always be available and I meant it, but be selective about to whom you’re available. I love my clients, so it doesn’t feel like work when they contact me after hours.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)
This is pie in the sky but I have always admired Sir Richard Branson. His can-do attitude and absolute devotion to his vision are inspiring. Plus, he’s just so cool. Did you know that when Casino Royale was filmed, the 007 film crew ended up stuck on an island due to a pilot’s strike? Richard Branson sent in Virgin planes to pick them up and they gave him a cameo in the film. How cool is that?!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.
About The Interviewer: Savio P. Clemente coaches cancer survivors to overcome the confusion and gain the clarity needed to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit. He inspires health and wellness seekers to find meaning in the “why” and to cultivate resilience in their mindset. Savio is a Board Certified wellness coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), stage 3 cancer survivor, podcaster, writer, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC.
Savio pens a weekly newsletter at thehumanresolve.com where he delves into secrets from living smarter to feeding your “three brains” — head 🧠, heart 💓, and gut 🤰 — in hopes of connecting the dots to those sticky parts in our nature that matter.
He has been featured on Fox News, and has collaborated with Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, Food Network, WW, and Bloomberg. His mission is to offer clients, listeners, and viewers alike tangible takeaways in living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.
Savio lives in the suburbs of Westchester County, New York and continues to follow his boundless curiosity. He hopes to one day live out a childhood fantasy and explore outer space.