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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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                                Published on October 8, 2019

                                How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

                                How to Advance Your Career (and the Big Mistakes You May be Making)

                                The late writer William S. Burroughs once said that “When you stop growing, you start dying.” It might have a morbid undertone, but it’s one hundred percent true in terms of one’s career.

                                The days of finding a job with one company that you can stick with for 30 years, and simply relax as you move up its company escalator are few and far between in today’s world. This isn’t necessarily bad news. On the contrary, it means that you’re the one in charge of shaping your career advancement.

                                By putting these principles and behaviors into practice, you’ll begin to see how to advance your career quickly. Ready? Let’s get started…

                                1. Define What Success Is for You

                                There’s no right or wrong definition of what success in your career looks like. The important thing is to figure out what success looks like for YOU. It might, and probably will, change along the way, but if you don’t have some sort of milestone on the horizon, then you won’t know which direction to go in.

                                Think about success in your career in terms of one year, five years, and 10 years. Once you have that, it’s time to lace up your boots and get to work.

                                2. Learn How to Develop and Follow a Plan

                                Nobody just stumbles upon success accidentally. Sure, they may stumble upon breakthroughs or new methods accidentally, but all success stories have one thing in common — a plan.

                                Establish a timeline for the things that you want to achieve in your career in the next year, five years, 10 years, and so on. Consider the skills that you’ll need to learn to make these things happen and work on acquiring them.

                                3. Surround Yourself With Those Better Than You

                                It’s a rule of thumb among musicians that if you want to get better, then you need to get out of the bedroom and play with people who are better than you.

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                                By surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and where you want to be, you’ll not only see how these people climbed to where they are in their respective fields, but you’ll learn from them and naturally want to push yourself to be better in your own job as well.

                                4. Seek Out a Mentor(s)

                                A mentor will not only be able to help you refine and reach your career goals, but will be invaluable in landing promotions and finding unadvertised job openings.

                                One unique approach is to work on fostering a relationship with a mentor both within and outside of your company. This will help in giving you different perspectives as you rise up through the ranks in your company and career overall.

                                5. Stop Wasting Your Mornings

                                You may not think you’re a morning person, but if you can learn to be one, you’ll thank yourself 10 years down the road.

                                Prepare a to-do list of tasks that you want to accomplish the day before and work on knocking them out for at least one hour before you respond to morning emails. The problem with responding to emails first, is you’re giving your attention to somebody else’s agenda, instead of plotting your own course for the day.

                                6. Arrange or Attend a Networking Party

                                If you’re attending networking events simply because you might get a few free drinks, you’re doing them wrong. These events are great for meeting new people and forming relationships. Your goal shouldn’t be to get hired by the end of the night, but to simply make a good impression by being friendly and authentic. So what’s next?

                                Reach out a few days later via email or on social media to follow up and connect!

                                7. Pick Up Some New Skills

                                Nobody wants to be the old dog that can’t learn any new tricks. To move up in your career, you’re going to likely need to pick up new skills along the way. Maybe your company offers on-the-job training or you have the option of taking online classes at night.

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                                By learning new skills, you’ll not only be able to expand upon what you can already do, but you’ll make yourself more valuable to your employer and future employers.

                                8. Exploit the Benefits Already at Your Disposal

                                Remember what we just said about the possibility of your company providing on-the-job training? Take advantage of these sorts of benefits!

                                If you’re working for a company that allows you to job shadow other employees or has company mixers, you should attend these. They not only allow you to develop your skills within the company, but show seasoned executives within your field that you’re interested in more than just clocking in for a paycheck.

                                9. Make Yourself Indispensable

                                Good help is hard to find and employers want to retain outstanding employees. If you can learn to make yourself indispensable to your company, you’ll not only communicate that you’re successful, but will have a lot more job security. What’s this entail though?

                                It’s actually not all that difficult. By being reliable, adapting to new challenges, and holding your own work and performance to a high standard, you’ll stand out among your peers and others will take notice. Easy enough, right?

                                10. Get Off the Fence

                                People who advance in their careers are those who don’t shy away from voicing their opinion and stand up with authority when the opportunity arises.

                                If a problem arises in your company and you think you might have a solution or are willing to work to find one, then let others know. Employers value and promote problem solvers. Start off with something small and work your way up towards tackling more difficult tasks and projects.

                                11. Don’t Wait for More Responsibility, Ask for It

                                If you want more responsibility in your job, then be open about it with your manager. Your manager may be so busy with their own work that they weren’t aware you were looking for more challenges.

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                                Just make sure you can handle it and that you already show strong performance in your current duties. And if your manager doesn’t seem supportive about offering you more responsibility, well, then it could be time to look for new employment.

                                12. Stop Wasting Time on What You Don’t Want

                                If your career goals start with “I should do this…” there could be a problem. This kind of language in referring to goals can doom them to failure because the want isn’t there.

                                Consider using the RUMBA method (Reasonable, Understandable, Measurable, Behavioral and Agreed) when setting your goals. That “agreed” part should really be “want.” By going after career goals that you actually want to accomplish, you’re much more likely to achieve them.

                                13. Seek Out Feedback and Apply It

                                Simply doing your job might not always push you up in your career advancement. Too often, employees just assume that their bosses will notice their performance strides and reach out when the time is right to advance.

                                Don’t be afraid to regularly seek out feedback and ask for constructive criticism. It not only shows that you value your manager’s opinion but demonstrates that you care about your job and want to become better in your chosen field.

                                14. Pick Your Bosses Wisely

                                Advancing in your career can move a lot quicker if you’re working for the right people. If your boss isn’t any good at their job or doesn’t value you, then moving up could become difficult.

                                A great boss though, will be able to help you capitalize on your strengths and be an advocate for your success. If there aren’t any strong developers of talent in your management chain already, then look around for some and seek them out as mentors.

                                15. Learn to Develop Your Sense of Timing

                                The odds of asking for a promotion or raise are in your favor with over 70 percent of respondents to a survey from PayScale reporting some success. One thing to keep in mind that can make all the difference is when you ask.

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                                Some corporate cultures may prefer that employees reach out about advancement during their annual review, but maybe you work for a more free-spirited startup. The best approach may be to take note of when others advance and ask about how the organization handles employee development.

                                16. Work Hard and Promote Yourself

                                Working hard and delivering a solid job performance are the keys to advancing in your career no matter what field you’re in. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely humble about your accomplishments either.

                                Keep a record of your positive impact within the organization and let others both within your company and your field know that you’re enthusiastic about your role and work.

                                17. Don’t Just Build Your Network… Cultivate It

                                It’s way too easy to add new people to your LinkedIn network and then forget about them for all eternity. Rather than just collecting business cards or social media contacts, you should be cultivating relationships with the ones you already have.

                                Follow up with people that you haven’t spoken to in a while, offer to connect them with somebody you know in their field, or ask about a new job title they may have taken on. Doing so could be the spark that leads to a potential job referral.

                                18. Join a Professional Organization

                                The National Association of (insert your industry here) and other professional organizations can still offer a great wealth of advantages from networking to industry insights, and skill development.

                                Even outside of professional organizations dedicated to particular job fields, civic organizations can also be fantastic for making new contacts. After all, so much about career advancement is who you know, and you never know who you’ll meet who knows somebody else who is looking for someone with your skills and experience.

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                                Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

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