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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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                                1 5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do) 2 Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Overcome It) 3 How to Write a Letter of Recommendation (With Templates) 4 How to Mind Map to Visualize Ideas (With Mind Map Examples) 5 How to Write a Mission Statement That Empowers Your Employees

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                                Published on November 12, 2020

                                5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

                                5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

                                What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

                                Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

                                Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

                                While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

                                Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

                                1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

                                When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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                                Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

                                In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

                                • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
                                • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
                                • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

                                While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

                                2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

                                Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

                                Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

                                Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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                                However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

                                3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

                                Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

                                But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

                                It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

                                4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

                                Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

                                Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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                                5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

                                Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

                                For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

                                How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

                                The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

                                If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

                                Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

                                It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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                                Final Thoughts

                                If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

                                If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

                                It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

                                More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

                                Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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