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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 October 18, 2018

                                10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

                                10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

                                When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

                                Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

                                People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

                                These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

                                1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

                                Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

                                To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

                                Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

                                When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

                                Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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                                2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

                                Things go wrong when you run your own business.

                                Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

                                Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

                                Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

                                Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

                                If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

                                3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

                                Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

                                As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

                                Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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                                After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

                                Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

                                He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

                                4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

                                No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

                                It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

                                You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

                                Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

                                An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

                                5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

                                You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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                                As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

                                Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

                                Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

                                You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

                                6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

                                In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

                                Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

                                • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
                                • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
                                • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

                                By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

                                7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

                                Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

                                As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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                                8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

                                No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

                                Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

                                9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

                                Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

                                If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

                                10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

                                Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

                                Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

                                If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

                                The Bottom Line

                                Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

                                Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

                                Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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