One Success > Many Failures

“I have failed more times than I have succeeded but my successes outweigh my failures because I didn’t give up. Count it all joy.” — Deryle A. Daniels, Jr.

Sometimes we get down on ourselves because we see (and feel) our failures much more strongly than our successes. And we count our failures more than we celebrate our successes. Seriously, do you celebrate every e-mail response you get from a potential client or only those e-mails that notify you of a payment being made? Do you jump for joy with every passing day that you keep a job or only when you get a new one? But we sulk every time someone responds saying that they decided to go with another candidate for a position we interviewed for. We feel that much more. But we don’t have to.

Let’s start celebrating our small victories. Enjoy the moments that aren’t usually enjoyed. They matter too. And, let’s be honest, isn’t that one exceptional victory, like getting the right job or finding your life partner, worth all the minute losses, like getting passed up for the wrong jobs or dating all those incompatible people?

 

Make counting your victories a priority.

Advertisements

Fear of a Unicorn

“Yesterday is a memory. Tomorrow is a dream. Right now is all there is.” — Anjan Basu

We cannot allow what may or may not come to hinder us from greatness. Like every unicorn, every tomorrow is something every living person imagines but no living person has ever seen.

The world could end tomorrow. Or, tomorrow you could find a mega millions lottery ticket. Aliens could invade the planet tomorrow and prove everything you think to be true wrong. What I’m saying is your idea could succeed or it could fail. But it will certainly fail if you don’t put in the time right now required for the former. Any combination of 8 million things could happen with every second that passes. All we have is right now..

I’m not saying don’t fear unicorns. There’s nothing wrong with fear. But when that fear prevents you from experiencing right now, you’re letting your imagination beat you.

 

Make living in reality a priority.

Love Yourz

“There’s beauty in the struggle.” — J. Cole

No one wants struggle. No one wants pain. No one wants to lose people, either to the circumstances of life or to the inevitability of death. But know that there is purpose in the pain. Today, as I sat and met with the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce of one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States of America, I had to thank God. 18 months ago, I was working for minimum wage (at that point in the retail season, there was no way I was making my commission mark). I never foresaw myself having the freedom to expense not only my caffè latte but also my guest’s just a year and a half later . And, then, after that minimum wage job, I still went through another struggle with equitable compensation before landing in this role. And now, I see that it was worth the struggle. All of it, from loss of family members to fighting for equal pay led me to this point. All of it was a part of a greater plan; His greater plan. I wouldn’t have met the people I met who put me in the position to get this position without being in the challenging situations.

Stick with it. You never know when you’re going to meet that person who will change your life in the blink of an eye. Keep putting in applications. Keep putting résumés out there. Keep putting positive vibes into the atmosphere. Keep going to networking events. Keep investing in your ideas. Keep keeping on. Giving up is the only way you can fail.

I’m happy. You will be too if you believe you can be.

 

Make professional development a priority… and don’t quit on that journey.

Toxicity

People don’t want to discuss their failures but that is such a backward way of thinking. If you don’t observe and evaluate your shortcomings, there is no way to ensure that you will make a better decision when the problem arises again. Failure in itself is not true failure. Fear of acting on failure, however, is toxic and will overcome your professional progress.  Stop making the same mistakes over and over again.  Realize that you made a mistake.  Address it (with your team if it was a team effort).  Move forward with the knowledge of how it can be handled differently if the situation presents itself again.

 

Make professional development a priority.

So You Want to Own Your Own?

Since I began speaking to groups, I’ve spoken to thousands of young people and many of them say they want to own their own business one day.  After doing some probing, I find that most think this will free them from having to work for anyone, or have a boss.  Sorry to burst your bubbles but I’m going to take a phrase that one of my big brothers said to me regularly when I was given the opportunity to become a member of our fraternity: “It gets a lot worse.”

successNow, like joining the fraternity, the benefits to owning your own business are very visible. But what you don’t see is the grunt work that goes into it. I wrote in a post quite some time ago that “No one sees a brand being made.” And it’s true. As you’re developing your brand, you are going to have days that make you want to give up. And one major aspect of those days are going to be those bosses you thought you wouldn’t have. Yes, I said it: bosses.  Another word we like to use for them is “clients.”

When you work for yourself (at least at the beginning), you don’t set your hours. Your hours are “I’m going to be up until I get this project done for the client.” If you’re a coffee drinker, invest in a reliable but inexpensive coffee machine and some good creamers (I suggest Coffee Mate’s Pumpkin Spice during the autumn). If not, fruit also helps me stay up.

When you work for yourself, you don’t get paid hourly. You take on a project with the assumption that it will take x-amount of hours and you base your rate on that. But then you find out that you must multiply that x by y because of unforeseen complications which you did not factor into your already-negotiated  amount. So, I would recommend charging a rate that is fair but that you’ll be comfortable with if you have to put in a couple extra hours of unexpected work. At the onset of your entrepreneurial career, you’re likely low-balling your prices anyway so it is alright to inflate them a bit. You’ll still be far under where you should be for the quality of work you’ll be doing (I hope).

When you work for yourself, you are your support system. You can’t go to human resources and say “My boss is a pompus, incompotent nincompoop.” You know why? Because, once again, your bosses are your clients and to call them that would be to burn a bridge. Whether you like working with them or not, you have to give your all to the work you’re doing for them. Word of mouth always spreads. If it’s good, it spreads slow. But if it’s bad, sooner than later, you’ll know. (I’m trade marking that so don’t even try it). And, if you’re doing great work, eventually you’ll be able to turn bad business down. Not only are you HR, you’re the accounting, marketing, and adminstrative departments. Shoot, now that I think about it, I’m my own intern too. This means you have to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and wear many hats at all times. Sure, your family and friends will support you when they can (quick thank you to my best friend/girlfriend for being the proofreader of my blog and catching typos from time to time), but it’s not their responsibility to push your business. It’s yours and yours alone.

When you work for yourself, especially if you’re testing out the waters and haven’t put in your government paperwork yet, you are fully liable. Be sure that you are not putting out anything that will land you in a legal bind. Everything can be taken from you. For instance, if I were building someone’s résumé and lied on it, that lie could result in him losing his job. He could, in turn, take me to court, requesting that I pay 5 years of his projected salary. So, whereas I encourage you to act with integrity at all times, especially do so while your earnings are attached to your personal bank account.

FailedWhen you work for yourself, you will fail. But know that failing does not make you a failure. The person who succeeded only succeeded because, after falling, he got back up. You may fall only once and, if that’s the case, I’m happy for you. But most of us fall over and over before we really get our bearings. And, really, what makes a great story: A kid who was born knowing he will inherit the rights to his family’s company at the age of 18 or the seemingly average Joe who broke through barriers to realize his dream?

I started this post out and, initially, it was titled “The Entrepreneur’s Boss,” because I wanted to focus in on the fact that your clients are truly your bosses. But there are so many other misconceptions that I had to redirect the focus. And I don’t want this to deter anyone from being an entrepreneur. Please keep going after your dreams. But know that it’s hard and that the character you’re building right now by enduring hardships are going to put you in a position to appreciate your successes.

And he was right.  It did get a lot worse… until it got ten times better.  Don’t give up.

#TrendingThursday Week 86

Good morning/afternoon/evening/night!  I hope you’re having a wonderful week and that your weekend is relaxing and fun.  Here are a few articles for you and yours to skim through over the next couple days and then apply to your professional development.  Make today great!

#TrendingThursday Week 79

I hope everyone is having a great day.  One more day until the weekend before Christmas!  Just make it through these few hours of work and you’re home free!  In the meantime, check out these articles.  Pretty good reads over the past week.  Have a great rest of your day.

Two years of failure written out for all to see.