Self 04 January 2017
Failure is a very heavy word. In fact, this is something that entrepreneurs struggle with feeling, overcoming and beating on a daily basis. It's a fear that we hold deep within us as we power through each day. These failures can come in many forms, and don't have to be notable failures to throw us off course or ruin our week. We may be a business that's small in numbers, but we are building an empire and anything that messes with that can feel like a gut-wrenching setback.
But it doesn't have to be this way. While these moments can indeed weigh us down, it's really how you look at these experiences that will set you apart from the rest.
What is failure anyways?
It really comes down to your own definition. Most of the time, it's nothing that anyone would ever be able to notice from the outside looking in. It's knowing that you didn't live up to expectations that you had for yourself - which makes it that much more devastating. But, don't be so hard on yourself. We promise, it's not something you want to waste time on in the long run.
Use failure to learn from
“After four tumultuous years of building my startup with the wrong partners, I was determined to find a way to take my business to the next level … and what better way than to apply to ABC's Shark Tank? In September of 2013, I found myself walking down that scary shark infested hallway into a stare off with 5 of the harshest millionaire investors in the world. I'd never been more nervous in my entire life. When I proclaimed I was going to change the population with my reverse engineered online dating business, serial entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, rolled his eyes, called me delusional and immediately snapped, “I'm out." After getting shot down by all five Sharks, I looked them in the eye and said, 'Trust that you'll all see me again.' Although those final bold words of mine ended up on the cutting room floor (adding insult to injury), in the 48 hours after the broadcast, Cheekd.com received a record breaking 100K unique visitors and our inbox filled up with thousands of emails insisting that the “Sharks" were “out of their minds" for not investing. A little under 50 of those emails were from interested investors. Since the Shark Tank aired in February of 2014, I found the missing links from years before. We've raised 5 times the amount I'd sought on the show and I've gotten a CTO on board who's helped facilitate and finance the new face and technology behind the new Cheekd. The newly launched dating app allows users to solve missed connections with a new technology that was not available when the patented Cheekd idea was launched in 2010. It was only a matter of time and I'm thankful I didn't take the Sharks advice to quit and move on." Lori Cheek, Founder of Cheekd.com shared about her crazy experience on Shark Tank.
Use it to gain resilience
The more you are able to overcome, the stronger and more resilient you become. At this point, you are well aware that your business is going to take work, every single day, in order to get to the end of the finish line. You need to learn to overcome challenges in order to get to that point and that means dealing with some letdowns along the way. These experiences will teach you how to carry yourself and build character. Failing will help make you who you are.
Don't dwell on something you feel you missed out on
Even something like losing a client can put us into a tumultuous state. “I used to think that it was the worst thing in the world to lose a client. We prided ourselves on doing whatever it took to keep everyone, and any time we'd lose a client I would beat myself up. I have since learned that not all clients are good clients or the right clients for us -- it's important to make sure that you find the right people to work with. And I've learned that businesses grow and change - so do we. Since I started being willing to lose clients (and not doing work for free trying to keep people), I've been able to charge more, our revenue and profit has soared, and we're getting more business than ever." - Reva Minkoff, owner of DigitalGroundUp Inc. and Digital4Startups Inc.
Hello, we've all been there. Every single business empire wasn't built in a day nor achieved perfection overnight. It takes some time and some struggle before we get to fulfill our goals. But the struggle is part of the journey, it all depends on how you use what you've learned along the way.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist