Advertising
Advertising

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!

        Advertising

        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.

              Advertising

              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

                    Advertising

                      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

                          Advertising

                            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

                                More by this author

                                9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

                                Trending in Work

                                1 7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success 2 The Savvy Employees Guide to Asking for a Raise 3 How to Master the Art of Stress Free Work 4 23 Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing for an Interview 5 20 Critical Skills to Add to Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on December 3, 2019

                                7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

                                7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

                                I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

                                It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

                                A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

                                1. Define Career Success for Yourself

                                Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

                                What does career success mean to you?

                                This is about defining your career success:

                                • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
                                • Not what people may think of you
                                • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
                                • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

                                “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

                                When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

                                There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

                                Advertising

                                • Work-life balance
                                • Opportunities for growth and advancement
                                • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

                                Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

                                • What do you mean by work-life balance?
                                • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
                                • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

                                Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

                                • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
                                • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
                                • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

                                Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

                                • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
                                • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
                                • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

                                Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

                                Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

                                What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

                                2. Know Your Values

                                Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

                                There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

                                Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

                                Advertising

                                • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
                                • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
                                • Put the words on your fridge
                                • Add the words on your vision board

                                Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

                                3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

                                When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

                                How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

                                Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

                                • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
                                • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
                                • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
                                • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
                                • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
                                • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

                                Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

                                • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
                                • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
                                • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
                                • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

                                Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

                                By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

                                4. Determine Your Top Talents

                                What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

                                What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

                                Advertising

                                What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

                                What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

                                What do you notice?

                                5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

                                Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

                                I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

                                Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

                                Keep these words visible too!

                                Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

                                6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

                                Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

                                Advertising

                                Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

                                “These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

                                7. Manage Your Own Career

                                Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

                                Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

                                Summing Up

                                For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

                                Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

                                Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

                                1. Define Career Success for Yourself
                                2. Know Your Values
                                3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
                                4. Determine Your Top Talents
                                5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
                                6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
                                7. Manage Your Own Career

                                “When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

                                Good luck and best wishes always!

                                More Tips on Advancing Your Career

                                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                Read Next