7 Important Lessons I Learned From My Failures
7 Important Lessons I Learned From My Failures
...and how you can learn from them too.
Shortly after Hurricane Andrew took out south Florida in 1992 I found myself wondering what I would do if I was still living in South Florida. I was struggling to make a decent living.
There were no social media platforms to speak of. No Facebook, no Twitter, no YouTube...no nothing. Just the Internet in its infancy.
As I was exploring the "new" Internet I discovered that in the "income" magazines that some other people were using it to advertise products and services. I saw dollar signs and dug in. My intention was to escape from the clutched of the federal "job" and make money on my own.
Fast forward to April 2011, I officially finished my first book and registered my business name as a corporation. I was in business! Yahoo. Pretty good for a 40-year old guy who didn't even own a computer!
My goal was to make a decent living using the Internet and not have to report to a boss ever again. EVER AGAIN!
It was a goal achieved...eventually
I would have never imagined what would follow that glorious day. I started to make more money than most people would ever see in a week, a month, or a year for that matter. My first lesson was when I took on a partner. Let's say that after a few months of partnership, it ended abruptly.
"The best lesson learned are the hardest lessons earned"
- Mark Zupo
I got burned badly, financially. An eye-opening lesson. My hope is that by sharing this story that you will avoid the same mistakes as you search for your independence as well.
I expect that you will never settle for mediocre while pursuing your dreams of success because it has deep meaning for you. If not...it should have. What I've gained is a huge dose of wisdom in the process of my failure experiences. These are the most important of all the reasons. There are 7.
7 Important Lessons I Learned Fro My Failures...
and how you can learn from them too.
1. The first lesson: Accept Responsibility for my Actions and Inaction.
Ignoring one's problems is wrong. Simply wrong. Failure to accept that inaction is as wrong as the incorrect action can be devastating. It's somewhat naive. The failure to recognize my inexperience led to unsound decisions that ultimately cost me a fortune.
I failed to measure my success and the specific marketing strategies, demographics and general business idiosyncrasies of my best buyers.
When it boils down to fault, It was mine and my inaction was costly. Therein...no excuses. I owned it.
2. Lesson 2: I Must Have Rules for Goal-setting
As important as EVERYONE has EVER said, goals are of supreme importance. Why we people fail to believe it is beyond me but I am as guilty as anyone else. But...not anymore.
Today I live by the calendar and set hourly, daily, weekly and yearly goals. However will I (or you) ever attain anything if (we) never have a goal to strive for?
Clarity is the key and action is the engine that drives goal-driven success.
How much money do you want to make?How much do you want to make this year? This month? This week?How will you do it?What plan will you follow?What action will you take to make it happen?What action will you take if it fails to happen?
More importantly...What will you do to get to that ultimate goal?
...and so on and so on.
My primary goal was to replace my current income. I was making just under $5,000 a month. I was also struggling to keep my family fed, clothed, and housed.
My goal was to make $10,000 a month for 3-months in a row. I achieved that goal even though it took me about 5 months to do so.
Do you think it would ever have happened if I didn't have a hard and fast definitive goal? I don't think so. P.S. I resigned six months to the day that I almost doubled my salary.
Can I get a Yeehaaw here?
3. Lesson 3: It Is Necessary to Develop a Support System
Once you become an entrepreneur, pride is often your worst enemy. It becomes your next barrier to a success-driven mindset. You begin to think that you don't need anyone else and can do it all alone.
Not because you are greedy just that you become independent. You become defensive to criticism, even from those with more experience. It becomes necessary to fall back on an independent system of support people who are impartial to your dreams and aspirations. Build relationships.
Sometimes you have to let your ego take a back seat and listen to someone else make creative criticism...on your behalf.
It's for your own good.
It is powerful if used correctly. Your mastermind, a self-imposed group of like-minded supporters and confidants with your best interest in mind. People who keep you accountable and provide backing when you need it most.
I was resistant to support, outside influence but it was in error. In fact, I that is when I needed it most.
This past year was revealing. It let me better understand just how important a mastermind group is and it was proven when my business really started to flourish because of it.
4. Lesson 4: Know The Business
As I stated just a moment ago, it was a business. My business. What I needed to learn and well understand is that it was a business and it required the respect of a true business.
Now, when we talk about the Internet, it becomes even more important because of the intangible nature of online business. In the past, businesses were and still are brick and mortar representations of someone's labor and enterprise. Today it is very different.
As is the idea of a brick-and-mortar business, all the systems are the same. Taxes, insurance, customer service, materials, supplies and service.
So why not online as an Internet-based business. The typical one-man one-stop-shop is frequently how Internet businesses run because of the digital tools available today.
Now I have developed trust and delegation as key attributes. It has paid off too.
Now I use my resources, tools, and assets to my advantage. I work less and get paid more. That's the best formula ever!
5. Lesson 5: Share and Share Alike
Someone once said, "The hole you give through is the same hole that you get through". I think that it means a form of reciprocity. A statute of business ethics and generosity.
I am always rewarded but I don't act to reap the reward I act to provide benefit to others. It is the law of reciprocity. What you give always comes back to you.
The lesson is to provide value, significance and quality. Value rules.
6. Lesson 6: F.O.C.U.S.
F - Follow
O - One's
C - Course
U - Until
S - Successful
No better statement was ever made. one system, one action, one model, one plan, one goal and one intent. Learning everything to be great will undermine anything to be good.
Adjust your goals to achievable exercises. If it isn't achievable in the time allotted then it isn't the right focus of your energy. Taking the first step is more important than building an empire overnight.
"Every travel starts with the first step"
- Mark Zupo
7. Lesson 7: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER Quit!
Don't ever stop trying or experimenting. The biggest failures in history were also the same people who are known for their success. Be persistent, never accept no for an answer, and endure failure to be treated as a learning experience or opportunity.
It's not easy to fail because it eats at your very being.
Persistence is one of the fundamental traits of an explorer!Practice, Practice, Practice!
Your results are the most valuable of lessons whether they are good or bad! Either way you learn the best way to succeed.
My journey is just that...mine. Yours is as important to you. Well defined, specific and personal. No one else can claim it but you.
I can only hope that you've learned something from this that will help you on your journey too.
Be brave, be safe and be generous. Here are:
7 Traits of Explorers
FocusPreparednessConvictionPerseveranceCreativityCuriosityResilienceRisk-takingIndependenceA sense of higher purpose
When you unlock your desire to succeed you unlock your inner-explorerto champion your expedition for success and adventure.
Go For It!
Dr. Mark ZupoThought Leader – Entrepreneur