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15 Ways to Stay Resilient and Beat Failure

15 Ways to Stay Resilient and Beat Failure

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

Entrepreneurs are known to be resilient people who fail fast and fail often. Where does your ability to get back up come from?

1. Know the Statistics

    Growing up, my dad told me, “Nine out of every ten businesses fail within the first five years…which means you have to s tart ten businesses.” That sentence, and the knowledge that he’d support me even if I fail nine times, has made all the difference in the world.

    Sean Johnson, Digital Intent

    2. Learn From Each Failure

      As long as you’re learning from each “failure,” it’s not really a failure. My advice: keep a record of all of the lessons you learn as you go. In our business, we use Basecamp to record our big course corrections and lessons learned. It’s always eye-opening to look back over the notes and see the twists and turns over the months and years. Keep a record and you’ll see how far you’ve come.

      Pete Kennedy, Main Street ROI

      3. Watch the Olympics!

        Watching men and women who are the best in the world fall, fail and get right back up is my inspiration. They train harder and longer than anyone and still have setbacks. Knowing that you’ve done your best and can pick up and start again is a great model. Even those athletes who fail to place can come back and win gold!

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        Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

        4. Stock Up on Support

          Surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs, change makers and, by general rule, with people that are smart er than you can be a great help. There is always someone else who has been through a similar struggle, and sharing experiences and resources will help you both deal with failure and rise back up to success.

          Christopher Pruijsen, Letslunch.com

          5. Don’t Be Afraid

            Mark Twain said, “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” If you’re afraid of failure, start by putting yourself out there for something small where the failure won’t hurt as much. With practice, the failure will become easier to handle, and your fear of it will lessen.

            Allie Siarto, Loudpixel

            6. Revert to Your Mission

              When there are setbacks or challenges in the day-to-day, I find that our mission brings me back to focus on progressing. It showcases the importance of having a strong sense of the value of your business; whenever times get tough, referring back to it is invigorating.

              Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

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              7. Inspiration — and Desperation

                When you learn to burn the bridge and take the island, you don’t give yourself any option but to succeed or die trying. I’m driven to take risks by inspiration and, in the event I fail, I get back up driven by both inspiration and desperati on. I’m inspired to make a difference for myself, children, family, clients and world. Desperate to stay alive, to succeed and, yes, desperate to try again.

                Charles Gaudet, Predictable Profits

                8. Not Getting Back Up Is Worse

                  To me, the idea of the consequences as a result of not getting back up are far worse than admitting the failure and giving up. Imagining that I have to wake up and drive to a 9-to-5 cubical job with florescent lights has been one of the biggest mental images underlying my motivation for success.

                  Nick Reese, Elite Health Blends

                  9. Take Advantage of Every Opportunity

                    If you’ve been lucky enough in life to be given an opportunity to make a difference, then not taking every possible advantage of that chance is failing. If you get the chance to take a pitch, how can you not swing?

                    Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

                    10. Maintain That Trust

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                      I trust that the universe always has my back and I look at every situation as an opportunity to learn and grow. I trust that I’m always where I NEED to be, even if that’s not always where I WANT to be.

                      Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

                      11. Salute the Sports

                        From the time I started walking, I had a baseball bat in my hands. Honestly, I was never interested really in business until my senior year in high school, but my entrepreneurial foundation was built on the playing field. As a baseball player, you can not get on base 70 percent of the time and be a success. But to get a hit 30 percent of the time, you still need to step up to the plate.

                        Trevor Mauch, Automize, LLC

                        12. Adjust Your Perspective

                          Failure helps shorten the curve to success. When you realize something isn’t working, it allows you to revisit your strategy and shift directions. Think about it like this, would you rather walk through a maze endlessly, not knowing if you were on the right track, or run into a wall and know you’ve got to change direction? Relentless optimism is an entrepreneur’s best friend.

                          Raoul Davis, Ascendant Group

                          13. School of Hard Knocks

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                            I grew up painting houses with my dad. Money was always tight — for a couple months in high school, we literally lived out of a van. Life was tough, but I was always dreaming big; I always believed that my suc cess was in my control. When I get knocked down now as a CEO, I remember those days, and I remember that success is a choice, a commitment, a lifestyle. I simply choose to get back up.

                            Glenn Clayton, Appleton Learning

                            14. Keep Sweet Emotion

                              You have to believe in what you’re doing. It’s part intellectual and part emotional. When you fall, that emotional part makes you fall harder, but it’s also what helps you get back up and keep going.

                              Melissa Kushner, goods for good, nonprofitshare

                              15. Because You Have To

                                I do it because I have limited options. As an entrepreneur, you seldom have the luxury to sit around, sulking and crying. You are the master of your own destiny, and your desire to reach your goals should be your most powerful tool.

                                – Nicolas Gremion, Foboko.com

                                Featured photo credit: Top view of businessman holding his hands up to temples via Shutterstock

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                                Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                                10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

                                10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

                                Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

                                You have to work hard to develop the right skills

                                If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

                                1. Make your presentation short and sweet

                                With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

                                JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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                                2. Open up with a good ice breaker

                                At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

                                • Joking
                                • Tugging on their heart strings
                                • Dropping a bombastic statement
                                • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
                                • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

                                You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

                                3. Keep things simple and to the point

                                Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

                                4. Use a healthy dose of humor

                                Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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                                It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

                                5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

                                Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

                                6. Practice your delivery

                                Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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                                7. Move around and use your hands

                                Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

                                8. Engage the audience by making them relate

                                Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

                                9. Use funny images in your slides

                                Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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                                10. End on a more serious note

                                When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

                                As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

                                Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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