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4 Tips and Tricks on Facing Failure to Survive a Journey of Entrepreneurship

Lets face it. The entrepreneurial journey is a long path paved with stress, uncertainties, victories and failures.

Failure, a word that fills us with the emotions of shame, pessimism, disbelief and discouragement. But what if failure could mean something different? What if we could actually use failure to boost our self-confidence, strengths and success? What if we could change that negative bias into a positive one? Are you ready?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss. Isn’t he right?

Don’t we all have that power within us to steer ourselves and overcome any challenge? In my series of articles on surviving a journey of entrepreneurship, here are a few handy tips and tricks on failure and what you can do about it.

  1. Take calculated risks to anticipate failure. In Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman states that being self aware of your strength and weaknesses allows you to improve your calculated risks.

  • While undertaking a task or a project, focus all your energy on the successful outcomes, while still keeping in mind the potential factors which could undermine your success.

  • Ask yourself whether you have all the skills, trainings, and abilities for this challenge.

  • What are all your inner resources and inner obstacles?

  • Do you have full clarity about external factors, which can deviate you from the expected results?

2. Turn it into an intelligent failure. Learn from your mistakes. You decide whether or not failure is the end of your journey if you choose not to learn a lesson from it.

  • Time matters: switch to your learning mindset immediately

  • Keeping in mind a Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) mindset. Tell yourself this is part of my improvement journey by asking yourself: what specifically will I improve for the next time?

  • Reduce waste by turning this mistake into an investment of your time and energy. Tell yourself, ok it did not work out, what are the factors I can control, I cannot control, and how can I work around the latter?

  • Create a weakly log focusing on the lessons learnt only…not the mistakes you did. Remember to always show compassion towards yourself and stay in a positive mindset.

3. Optimism is the best motivator: Martin Seligman says it best: “What you need to know about someone is whether they will keep going when things get frustrating. My hunch is that for a given level of intelligence, your actual achievement is a function not just of talent, but also of the capacity to stand defeat.” To explain a challenging situation, your reasoning is essential:

  • Don’t take things personally: there will be other opportunities.

  • This is not a permanent situation: things will change.

  • This is not a pervasive situation: it doesn’t happen frequently.

Optimistic people achieve more, have a healthier life, and lead a more enjoyable life as long as they balance it with realism.

4. Your positive mindset grows your strength. When your strength contributes to a positive experience, that experience itself aggregates and builds up your inner strength. For example, if you wish to boost your self-confidence, have more experiences of accomplishments. That positive experience aggregated to other similar ones, will build up that strength.

I like to finish with two motivational quotes from Dr. Seuss:

“You are off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way! You’re on your own. And you know what to know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go!

“Kid. You will move mountains today!

Because I am so humbled and inspired by my entrepreneur friends and clients, there are more self-help articles on entrepreneurship on the way…stay tuned!

In the meantime, let me know your feedback, what didn’t work and what worked for you.

Last but not least, I have other helpful articles on my blog

Wishing you a lovely entrepreneurial journey!

Shermeen Zeidan

Certified Master Coach, Entrepreneur and Blogger

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