Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before perfecting the incandescent electric light bulb. And if you’re like any one of us, you have likely heard that a million times. It’s a cliched and, frankly, an outdated example. Here are few new-age failure-to-success stories:
· Have you heard of Odeo? Before co-founding Twitter, Evan Williams developed Odeo, a podcasting platform, that failed miserably.
· We all know about Jeff Bezos and his mammothlike success Amazon. Very few people really know about his many failing ideas, including an online auction website.
· Co-founder of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington had a struggling start. Her second book was rejected by 36 publishers.
And we need not even talk about the rollercoaster life story of Apple’s Steve Jobs. Or even that of Sir James Dyson for that matter.
All these accounts underline one simple fact—before you taste success, you’re going to have to taste failure many times. Or to put it more bluntly, failures are important for success.
So, if your business ventures have failed over the course, it is, in fact, a great thing. It simply means that success is right around the corner. Of course, taking this bitter pill optimistically is easier said than done.
Keeping your chin up and staying motivated is difficult. But for all those brave entrepreneurs who gave up the traditional path, risked it all and failed multiple times—they certainly do not know how to spell difficult. Do you? Likely not!
That being said, if all your business ventures have failed till now, here are 4 simple ways to keep yourself motivated:
1. Focus on creating a legacy
“When you start to think about legacy, you develop an enormous amount of perspective and patience,” says Gary Vee, the Michael Jackson of entrepreneurship world.
A product or company cannot define you and who you are. Take the example of any of the top business owners. You will definitely find that they are known for what they have created; but what they are really respected and recognized for are their vision and ideas.
Warren Buffet isn’t known for Berkshire Hathaway; he’s known for his intelligence. Bill Gates isn’t respected for Windows, the idea of which is allegedly stolen from Steve Jobs; he is highly respected for what he’s doing with Gates Foundation. There are many other such examples.
It’s important that you change your perspective. Ask yourself deep down and you will find that you’re working hard not to create a product but to build yourself a legacy. And when you’re building a legacy, success or failure never matters. It’s what you really do stacks up at the end to define who you are.
Entrepreneurship is about solving problems. But on a personal level, it’s all about building a legacy.
2. Outline lessons from each failure
Yes, I am guilty as charged. This tip is incredibly boring. But it’s important nonetheless. Every failure, along with disappointments, comes with lessons. And lessons, if used well, can turn up to be one of your greatest assets.
Learn from others’ failure, you’ll succeed. Learn from your own mistakes, you’ll not only massively succeed but also be happier.
So, go back to the failures of all your past business ventures and contemplate what went wrong. Identify what mistakes you made, why things didn’t work out, and how you can use this experience in the future.
Believe me, it’s boring. But it’s very simple and highly rewarding. Once you start learning from your mistakes and let-downs, you simply improve the chances of success in the next attempt.
3. Enjoy the journey
It’s not the destination; it’s the journey that matters the most. Your journey to create a product/company and to create a legacy is what you should look forward to. Because believe it or not, the other side of the top of the mountain, after you have succeeded, isn’t very exciting.
Take an example from your own life. Recall one of your past successes. Say, you scored great in one of your important tests. Now, when you recall that, do you feel happy because you got high grades, or do you cherish the hard work you put into it to make that happen?
If you’re like any of us, it would be the later one.
Similarly, in entrepreneurship, successfully creating something is not the important thing. How you covered that distance, how you created that product/company, how you defeated the setbacks—it is all these things that matter the most.
So, train your mindset to enjoy and look forward to the journeys you’re going on AND not necessarily the end goal.
Now thinking about it, all the failures have you have experienced in your business ventures, each of those journeys were thrilling and much fun, weren’t they? Why would you then be afraid to experience the same thrill and fun one more time? Buckle up and start again.
These are 3 simple holistic ways to keep yourself motivated after multiple failures of your business ventures.
So, stop moping!
You’re an entrepreneur—so many people dream to be this person. If you had the courage to pop your safety bubble and take a brave path, you certainly have it all to take failures on your chin and move forward like a complete badass.