Failure is an almost inevitable part of business.
In fact, it's an inevitable part of life altogether.
We all experience failure at some point in our lives, and everyone has their own ways of facing that failure.
While most people shy away from failure and let it push them deeper and deeper into their comfort zones, entrepreneurs have no other choice but to embrace failure and keep going.
Over the past two years, there have been a dozen businesses/side hustles that I have tried.
Following my first eCommerce business, I gave up after realising I'd made an investment that did not pay off.
These failures I experienced would stack up and become part of who I was. With every new business I tried, I started to expect failure while holding onto a tiny glimmer of hope for success.
It felt like every failure could have been the final blow I needed to ultimately give up hope.
However, the world's most resilient entrepreneurs, millionaires, and billionaires have a habit of embracing failure because it's all part of success.
People like Elon Musk understand that to reach their pinnacle of success and build the future in which they envision, they would have to conquer failure without letting its bitter sting kick in.
In this article, we're talking about 5 ways that millionaires bounce back from failure.
Don't overthink it
Whenever I failed a business venture, I would start to get these harrowing thoughts and feelings popping up.
They would tell me negative things like, "You're not good enough." "You're not cut out for this," and so on.
Eventually, I started to play into this negativity and believe what it was telling me.
I started to believe that I wasn't good enough or that I wasn't cut out to build a $1m, $10m, or even $100m per year business.
And it's true, I wasn't cut out because I started to believe it - see, you're only as capable as you think you are.
If you believe that you're able to build the next Amazon, you could.
However, when your thoughts and feelings cloud your judgement and make you rethink or even overthink any and every decision you make, you'll start to doubt yourself.
This self-doubt started to bleed through into any and every business I decided to start thereafter.
The first time I failed in eCommerce, I dragged the negativity with me into forex.
When that ultimately failed because I realised I didn't have the stomach for risk, it added extra baggage to the negativity I was holding which I then took into the next business, and so on.
I started overthinking everything I did, and started to feed into the negativity I heard around me.
My parents, grandparents, and family would make fun of what I was doing, treating it as a 'phase' I'd eventually snap out of - and everytime I did something, I had that thought in the back of my mind, "Maybe they're right."
Although powerful, our mind is very easily swayed by the things it sees and hears.
Our minds are like sponges, they soak up anything and everything, which can make it very easy to get discouraged when you get criticised.
That's why I've written an article about handling business criticism.
It's difficult to just say, 'I'm going to stop overthinking,' however, there are things you can do to slowly get into a better habit.
Firstly, you must start to be aware of what triggers your overthinking.
When does it happen? Why does it happen? What are you doing when it happens?
Next, start to actively see and understand what is happening when you start to overthink.
How do you feel? What are you telling yourself? and so on.
Write all these things down, because when you make it tangible, it's a lot easier to fight off.
Learn from failure
Did you know that some of the most legendary athletes in the world rewatch every game they've played where they believe that mistakes were made in order to avoid them in the future?
Giannis, one of the best power forwards in the NBA at the moment, watches over every game in order to see why they lost, why he missed, or to see what he or the team could have done in certain situations.
Another example is arguably the best basketball player in history, Michael Jordan.
Michael Jordan would always be the first in and last out of the practise facility.
He would practise harder than anyone else on the team, and was not afraid to embrace failures so that they never happened again.
See, when ordinary people like you and I lose a game, or fail in general, we tend to shy away from the truth.
We hide ourselves from the fact that we failed by ignoring it, or trying to avoid it altogether.
It takes strength and resilience, along with a powerful willingness to succeed to relive that moment so vividly in order to tackle the root cause.
However, that's the simple difference between a winner and a loser.
See, a winner is someone who doesn't shy away from a bit of failure.
Instead, they do everything in their power to make sure it never happens again - failure is pointless when you fail without reason.
Nobody likes to fail, however, it's inevitable and so winners make the most out of it by squeezing it until all the juice is out.
They make sure that they learn every possible thing they can from failure or else it would have just been a pointless loss.
On the other hand, losers give in to failure and let it consume them.
It's what happened to me, but it's something I've managed to fight off in order to keep going.
Losers let a simple failure define who they are, instead of take advantage of it to reshape who they could be.
Similar to overthinking, learning from failure is simple.
Remember the events that ultimately led to the failure - for athletes, it's simple because they just rewatch the game.
Now start to analyse what you or your team did and how it eventually led to failure.
Did you do something you weren't 100% sure about?
Did you jump into something knowing that there's a high chance of failure?
Did you simply lack the knowledge?
Or maybe you let your emotions cloud your judgement?
When my partner and I failed at running the marketing agency, I understood the reason behind it.
I understood that we were far outside our comfort zone, and the longer we tried to stay inside it, the longer we would fail for.
I understood that we let our emotions guide us, rather than doing what we knew was right.
We didn't take a lot of measures to keep improving our scripts and strategies in order to ensure we are maximising our outreach efforts.
Finally, we didn't spend time and resources putting together an A-team who would take the things we didn't like to do into their own hands and let us lead the overall operations of the business.
How could I improve next time?
Focus on building a team - not a one-man circus.
That's how you bounce back from failure.
Reframe your mindset
"I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work."
This is by far one of my favorite quotes because it shows how different people's mindsets influence their success.
This was a quote said by the late Thomas Edison, the man known for inventing the lightbulb.
It took Edison over 10,000 'failed' attempts in order to finally strike gold.
For many people, this would seem like a doing of a nutjob.
"How can one fail over 10,000 times and not give up? Doesn't he have anything better to do with his time?"
These are the same people who would have tried no more than 10 times before giving up all hope.
However, for people with the growth mindset, those of us who understand this concept I'm going to discuss, they understand that this is all an expected part of the process.
Either way, failing 10,000 times without a glimpse of success can seem crazy, even to those who understand that failure is inevitable in business and success in general.
However, the quote at the start of this section sums it up perfectly - "I have not failed."
In order to do things no others have done, you should be willing to try things no one has ever tried.
With that, there's a 100% chance for failure, and Edison understood this.
However, he knew that with a close mindset that shied away from failure, he would not make it far and so he had to reframe the way he thought and felt about failure in order to succeed.
As humans, it's only natural to believe that any resistance we face is a sign of failure, but what if it's not?
What if we make a small, yet subtle shift in the way we think that can make an exponential shift in the results we get?
Instead of seeing failure as something going south, or something going against what we expected, what if we saw failure as just giving up?
That means that you only fail when you ultimately choose to give up?
See failure is inevitable, however, giving up is not - that's completely our choice.
Therefore, when we associate failure with giving up, it becomes harder to fail, because no one wants to give up.
This change in mindset doesn't happen overnight - it's something you're going to struggle to keep up with unless you stay consistent.
Whenever you hit a brick wall or face some sort of resistance, you'll want to make sure that you don't associate this with failure, it's just something you will learn to get over.
The real failure comes when you make the decision to stop pursuing what it is you're pursuing and give up.
Put an action plan together
By now, you've learned about 3 *real* ways you can bounce back from failure, ways that actually work and not something you read anywhere else on the internet.
However, before you can really bounce back from failure, you need a roadmap to help you implement the things you're going to try.
You may have tamed your mind and stopped overthinking any and everything you do.
You may have learned a lesson or two from the failures you've had.
You might even be working on making that mindset shift in the previous point.
However, before you can start putting everything into action in order to start seeing real success, you'll need a plan that helps you get there.
No matter what it is you're doing in business, you need some sort of plan to follow.
If you're starting a new business, you may want to learn about the 1-page business plan that can take you from 0 to $1m.
However, we don't need a business plan in order to bounce back form failure, we need a plan to help us implement the things we've learned and make sure we don't hit the same dead ends that led us to failure in the first place.
This can be a few bullet points outlining what it is you're going to do differently, and how it's going to lead to a different outcome from before.
Let's track back to the example I shared when my partner and I failed at running the marketing agency.
Let's take one thing we did wrong:
We tried to do everything alone while ignoring the fact that we need help
What is our plan to change this the next time?
- We will read Mohamad's article on building an A-Team to scale your marketing agency
- We will go on Upwork and open 3 different job roles - VA, mediabuyer, and sales person
- We will interview these candidates together, and make a decision on who to hire within 3 days of interviewing all candidates
- We will forgive ourselves if we come up short, and just keep going until we manage to build this team
This is already enough to take us from where we were to the mid six-figures per year.
The plan is not overly long and tedious - it's a simple 3-step plan that can help us add 100s of thousands in annual income.
On top of this, it takes into account the lessons we learned from failure and how we can avoid overthinking in the event that we do come up short.
Now it's time to really bounce back from failure.
Start taking action again
I could spend another hour writing all about these pointless things other articles mention, such as:
- Revisit your WHY
- Don't throw around blame
- Use your emotions to get stronger
However, we're not Power Rangers, and so we're going to leave it with this final point.
You've done everything you need to do, and you've written a plan of action that you're going to follow from here on out.
There's nothing left to do other than put on your running shoes and get back on the field.
For many people, failure is the final blow that knocks them out of the game, however, we're different and we're stronger.
We've just learned that failure is nothing other than a lesson, a way to improve - the real failure comes when we decide to give up and step away from what we were striving to achieve.
It's important to understand that no matter what, you're still going to face some resistance and failure in the future.
We've only learned how to bounce back from one failure, we don't have a bulletproof strategy that avoids ALL failures.
Therefore, when failure eventually comes knocking once again, remember everything you've learned in this article to ensure a quick bounce back.
When the next failure comes around, you're going to learn from it, you're going to stop overthinking it, and you're going to come up with a plan to avoid it the next time.
So get up and get out on the field - no one else is going to do it for you.
Those were the 5 ways millionaires bounce back from failure.
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