The ‘loser’s lap’ tour can be a big win when done right, like Hillary Clinton, Charlie Sheen and Mike Tyson.
Now this is how you earn from your mistakes.
Hillary Clinton is embarking on a 15-stop tour recounting her 2016 election loss to Donald Trump later this month – and VIP tix to her Toronto event run up to almost $2,400.
The reverse victory lap – dare we say “loser’s lap” making the rounds to mull over what went wrong – kicks off on Sept. 18 in D.C., running across the U.S. and Canada to promote Clinton’s new book “What Happened” that publisher Simon and Schuster promises is “her most personal memoir yet.” It delves into the mistakes Clinton made during the campaign, and how she’s dealt with her disappointment. Tickets range from $50 in Florida to $2,375.95 (or $3,000 in Canadian dollars) for a VIP platinum pass in Toronto that includes two front-row seats, a photo with Clinton backstage and a signed copy of the tome.
Clinton has also lined up nine book signing events, beginning with the Union Square Barnes & Noble in Manhattan on Sept. 12, the day that “What Happened” (listed at $30 a pop) comes out. While the financial terms of this book deal have not been disclosed, it’s estimated to be in the millions considering Simon and Schuster previously paid her an $8 million advance for “Living History” in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. And “What Happened” has been the No. 1 most sold book on Amazon’s nonfiction chart for the past two weeks, in presales alone.
“When Hillary Clinton loses, she wins,” marketing expert Chuck Welch, founder and chief strategy officer at Rupture Studio, told Moneyish.
“Her political career may be over, but she can write books, go on the speaking circuit and give a speech for a few hundred thousand dollars,” he added, noting that the Clintons have already banked about $153 million in documented speaking fees between 2001 and 2016, averaging $210,795 per speech. Hillary raked in $1.8 million for at least eight speeches to big banks alone.
“This tour gets her back out there,” he added. “There’s going to be anecdotes and talking points that come out of each event that are going to be all over the news.”
It’s already started. Leaked book excerpts, including Clinton calling Trump a “creep” for stalking behind her during the second presidential debate, and a new blurb accusing Bernie Sanders of getting into the presidential race just “to disrupt the Democratic Party,” are already drumming up plenty of free advertising.
Clinton isn’t the only one to market her mea culpa. “Two and a Half Men” star Charlie Sheen, infamous for high-profile meltdowns, revealed he’s HIV positive on the “Today” show in 2015. His confession was a ratings juggernaut with 5.5 million viewers, and scored him tons of Twitter support. He’s set to appear alongside Whoopi Goldberg in “9/11” opening this Friday, and recently made headlines for lifestyle changes like going vegan and quitting smoking.
“Charlie Sheen broke the internet of apology or let-me-tell-it-my-way tours,” Mark Zablow, CEO of Cogent Entertainment Marketing, told Moneyish.
Zablow also credits Mike Tyson with speaking candidly about career mistakes. The former heavyweight champ made more than $300 million over his boxing career – only to become a punchline after biting a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear off in a 1997 fight, as well as serving prison time for rape and filing for bankruptcy in 2003. Now he’s putting on a show at the MGM in Las Vegas and working on a book.
“He’s turned his fall from grace around into a movie career with ‘The Hangover’ series, and it comes from being very positive about what he’s been through,” said Zablow.
Not everyone can fail upward. These celebs had the benefit of millions in the bank to cushion their fall, or they could leverage their A-list personal experiences into books and media interviews in a way few others can.
But Zablow says that anyone – including workers without bold-faced names – can benefit by falling back on their proven strengths if taking a risk doesn’t pay off. “Michael Jordan – one of best basketball players ever – decided to go play baseball. That didn’t go super well,” Zablow said. “He could have harped on the fact that he failed at baseball, but he remembered he was already great at something – basketball – and returned to that.” In fact, Jordan went back to the Chicago Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships between 1996 and 1998.
And while it’s fun to watch celebrities point fingers – excerpts already show Clinton’s book slamming Sanders’ interference and Trump’s unconventional campaigning – the rest of us should just own up to our mistakes. Address it head-on the next time you’re meeting with clients, or interviewing for another job – but highlight what you learned from the experience, and why you won’t fail in the future.
“When you do take a risk and it doesn’t go well, I always tell our clients to go through what you learned from taking that risk, and chalk that up as a learning experience,” said Zablow. “Then go back to the basics. What are you good at? And use that as a platform to explain what the challenges were, what you learned and how you have built upon them.”
Clinton didn’t break the ultimate glass ceiling, but she’s been a successful author and speaker, so she’s playing it smart by returning to her roots.
And since she’s freed from worrying about running for office again, she can say whatever she wants now. Plus, she lost the election with almost 66 million votes supporting her – so as polarizing as she is, she’s still got the popular vote.
“If you have 60 million people thinking about you, you monetize that,” Zablow said. “Go through what you learned from taking that risk. Go back to the basics of what made you great, what got you those 60-plus million votes. There’s still a lot of time left in life to take what you learned from this and turn it into something amazing.”
© 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved