How to pick yourself up after a small-business setback
6 RULES TO REBOUND FROM FAILURE
There are different kinds of failure, and most of them is always a moment in your life that you will always remember. Specially entrepreneurs – I think, among everyone else, it us who gets the most share of failures in life.
Take my life story as an example. I didn’t finish schooling because I dropped out of college, that was before I failed passing the entrance exam of my dream school, the University of the Philippines. I resorted into different addictions – including drugs. I believe I have failed more than anyone else I know in business. I have lost countless money, I have launched a lot of businesses – and have closed most of them with a declaration of bankruptcy. Man, I even wrote an article about my failure.
Sounds devastating, right? But despite these failures I have been able to pick up the pieces and come through it all with a strong self-image. I attribute that to having a healthy perspective on what failure should and should not mean to me.
When faced with any setback, here are five rules that have helped me recover from all the failures I had over the years and can help you, too.
- DON’T PRETEND IT NEVER HAPPENED
Some people are afraid to admit failure. They act and even think that it’s as if it never happened – denial. It is common among first time failures, denial comes handy to save face. But little do they know that denial usually results in a host of other problems. Denial creates internal stress and sometimes, it delays any effective remedy. “When you’re quick to admit that you screwed up, your peers will stop holding your feet to the fire and actually begin to comfort you,“Dale Carnegie. It’s easier to admit a failure than to pretend it’s not.
- STOP MAKING EXCUSES
Some people jump past the truth by admitting to a problem they ‘sugarcoat’ in excuses. When my photo studio ( SHMILE STUDIOS ) closed down – I was telling everyone it was because I had little to to do it because I was doing well with my other businesses – but the truth was, I barely had clients. My situation only improved when I stopped making excuses and admitting my failure and focused on a new business and setting a productive goal. Make an effort, not an excuse.
- DIFFERENTIATE A FAILED GOAL FROM A FAILED PERSON
Don’t confuse a failed goal for a failed person, sometimes people often confuse this and change the one out of the other. They blame themselves for any and every failure, creating a pattern of negative self-reinforcement. Worst thing than business failure is blaming yourself for everything. Assuming you’ll invariably screw up is dangerous thinking — and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of setting up a mental pattern for failure, ask yourself how you can improve. Focus on the lesson – not on the failure.
- YOU ARE NOT ALONE
People fail to reach goals all the time. Take “His Airness,” Michael Jordan for example. He missed 9,000 shots in his career, he lost almost 300 games. For 26 times, he has been given the ball to take the winning show but he missed. Those are the numbers of his failures, and he did it in front of millions of TV viewers. The point is that we’re not robots. Everyone’s bound to stumble every once in a while. He actually once said, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
- FOCUS ON THE LESSON
I think every successful entrepreneur had made one or two or more bad calls in his or her lifetime. But the only difference that they have from those who didn’t make it is that they decided to learn from the lesson. The term “charge it to experience” is one of those phrases you would commonly hear from them. I would rather call it as a “tuition fee” – because every failure or mistake in business always ends with a lesson. Never a failure, always a lesson.
- WEAR THE LEARNING HAT
Since we’re at it, let’s not just admit that we failed – let’s also admit that we lacked knowledge about that failure. More than the lesson that the failure taught us – might as well we learn more. When was the last time you read a book and learned something new? When was the last time you attended a seminar? Do you have mentors (experts who are in the same field as you are)? Always wear a learning hat. Learn something new everyday. Be an eternal student. The richest man in the world and poorest man in the world has 1 thing in common – the ability to learn new things (the rich man just chose to use it) – the moment you stop learning is the very moment you start dying. You want to be part of a group of people who are dedicated and ‘addicted’ to learning? Join me and my friends at the Truly Rich Club!I have borrowed a few photos from the 530AM CLUB to inspire you even more (they really post nice stuff over there)
PS. Take control of your finances and save up for your future the safe a proper way.
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