We all know that handling failure like a champ is a very difficult task. As entrepreneurs we are involved in every little detail and, of course, that means we become attached to our business. But if we stumble upon rough times or maybe even reach an ending point, it’s hard not to react emotionally about it.
STARTUP FAILURES ARE THE SCARS OF OUR PAST THAT WE USE TO GUIDE OUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
Colin C. Campbell
As we go through these tough times it is important to remind ourselves that even though it is a business, we are still human and it is very possible that we will take failure personally. Even though we don’t have a special secret to avoiding failure or taking failure personally, we do want to share some tips on how to use failure to our advantage and make the most out of it.
Have you heard of cognitive reframing? Reframing is a technique used to change the way you perceive a situation, which will inevitably change the way you experience that situation. As humans, we react physically to stress, as you may already know, but these responses are triggered by perceived stress, meaning, the way we interpret the situation will affect our physical response, so if we perceive failure as a terribly stressful and defeating moment, our response will naturally be negative.
On the other hand, if we recognize our thought patterns and we replace negative thoughts with more optimistic ones, our entire experience will shift toward a positive one, helping us handle this difficult situation better. It is definitely easier said than done, but once you master this habit, your stress management skills will improve significantly!
Here are some tips to start reframing your thoughts:
- Notice your thoughts, are they negative?
- Challenge those thoughts, are they even true?
- Replace those thoughts with kinder ones.
Putting it into practice… If you notice a negative thought such as “I had to close my business, I’m a failure” challenge it and ask yourself, are you really a failure? Or did the business take an unexpected turn because of several factors that may even be out of your control? Then replace it with an optimistic perspective such as “I made the decision to close my business. I know it is the right decision for now, and now I know what I can do better next time.”
Usually, we forget that we are human beings, too, and under a lot of pressure! Talk to yourself the same way you would talk to a colleague or a friend. Listen to the full episode to learn more about the impact of our response to failure and how we can turn it around for the better.
Complete Entrepreneur EP40
[00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the complete entrepreneur. We’ll be getting started in just a moment. If you’re here listening to the replay, just hang tight. It always takes a few moments from when we opened the room to when the audience and the rest of the guests started flowing through. So just bear with us for another moment and everyone should be here, including the host of the show.
Michael Gilmore. Who’s here right now. Michael, I’m just talk to the replay listeners. Cause they might be hearing this before the people flow in. So I’m just letting everyone know to hang tight as people flow into the room. Hello, Michael. Hello? Colin’s. Hi. It’s good to see you. Here you, anyway, Jeff is fabulous being here at my favorite time of the week.
You know what my wife said to him? Why are you doing this? Week’s complete entrepreneur. I’m sure someone else could do it. And I said, what are you talking about? She said, it’s good for us. So it’s 7:00 AM on a good [00:01:00] Friday. And you know where I am. I’m the complete entrepreneur. Why? Because I have so much fun.
I said to her, you know what? I get so much out of hosting the complete entrepreneur because of people in the audience because of my wonderful moderators. And it’s just, that’s why I’m here on a good Friday on a public holiday. Sharing and listening to one great entrepreneurs all about their journey in life.
Anyway, Michael, just to say, yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s funny because we forget you are joining us for those who don’t know Michael’s joining us from Australia. So you’re actually speaking to us from the future because actually where I’m sitting here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it’s not yet good Friday.
So you’re way ahead of us as always Michael you’re way ahead of us. Yeah, that’s true. In fact for those of you who want to read wanting the lottery results those numbers I’ve already gotten, just send me 50 bucks and I’ve got the numbers and I can pass them on to you [00:02:00] because I live in the future.
Of course that’s the ultimate scam. So I wouldn’t really take that
anyway. So has it been going with you Colin? Dealing with stress we had been having. Startup club and a number of the larger clubs and club has to have an act and they’re trying to restore access for everyone. I think today, I think everyone here in the audience is very lucky because it’s a very small session and, put your hand up, get on stage and let’s learn from each other because it’s going to be an intimate session today.
This the app was hacked or something like that. We talked to the clubhouse team. They’re fixing it. They’re restoring it as fast as they can. But let’s move forward, right? The show must go on and I have to say, this is a topic Michael, that is very uncomfortable to talk about. And I don’t think we often do that is talk about failure, but I think you’re taking it to another level here in that we’re talking [00:03:00] about how we emotionally handle that failure.
Or how we, as people handle that failure, not as a business, not how we handled our business failure from a business perspective, but from a human perspective. And I think that’s going to be very interesting. Yeah. I agree with you. And we’re sad of dead. Like I didn’t realize that a club has been hacked more, more in particular, the stopped.club being hacked that’s not good at all.
That’s for sure. But anyway, so it’s great to have those people managed to make it. It’s been great. It’s great to have you here. I’ll tell you what and you’re right. Call it. What do you mean tackling this? But just before we do, I’d love to hear from Michelle, how’s it been going with startup dot Clive and yeah, it’s an amazing week.
Like we just talked about, there’s been a few challenges, but some amazing sessions over the last few. We had [00:04:00] Joe Foster, who was the founder, literally I’m not kidding you. Like back from the fifties, him and his family and his brother who are the founders of Reebok, he came on and shared such an inspiring story.
And we just continue to have these amazing speakers. In the first quarter, we also had Jeffrey Moore who is an iconic business author. He wrote crossing the chasm, which I highly recommend to anyone. It really talks about how people adopt new technologies. For us here, back at HQ, we’re just like doubling down, trying to bring, good speakers, good experiences to all the members.
That’s what we love for. So we hope you enjoy it. And we also ask you to please join our. Email list and said www.startup.club. We won’t spam [00:05:00] you and we always send out emails for important things like alerts about cool speakers and just highlights the shows. So please do join and please, follow each other and follow the club.
We really appreciate everyone taking their time. Thanks so much. Yeah, look, obviously things are going from strength to strength which started got quiet, but it’s really is great to hear all the things that been happening other than hearing the club ended up getting hacked and everything like that.
And those techies at club hash, our prayers and salts. So with them, cause dealing with something like that is never a fun experience. I know myself, I’ve had to deal with that in my life with different businesses along the way where people hack your website and everything, and it is a very big challenge.
It can be incredibly difficult to manage, but yeah, Michael does. So what happened was all of start-up club, community club O G club talk club, they all [00:06:00] got hacked and they swapped out the name, the logo, the, all the admins. We still don’t have our admin access back. On, on a start-up club, but they’ve been restoring it.
And they’re, they responded almost instantly. The club has team have been doing a great job here. Really appreciate that. And but it is stressful when you’re, you’re being hacked. It’s unbelievable. These actors. Yeah, that’s right. It’s they’re incredibly destructive for businesses where people go along and they put their heart and solving something, then discover in minutes, something can be completely wiped out.
And thank goodness for backups that’s for sure. But anyway, you’re listening to the complete entrepreneur and entrepreneur is different to other rooms about entrepreneurship because in the complete entrepreneur, we look at not just the business aspects of what does it mean to be an entrepreneur, but we take a look at the life of an entrepreneur.
How do you handle things emotionally? How do you deal with [00:07:00] family and loved ones? As you pursue your business vision, all those sort of things. We try to unpack because you know what, we’re not just robots as entrepreneurs, we’re people, and yes, we have great dreams and w we’re pursuing those dreams and things like that.
But we also have feelings. We also have other aspects to our life. And so how do you handle that? And today we’re looking at an incredible topic and dealing with failure. How do entrepreneurs deal with failure? Because let me tell you all entrepreneurs experience failure from time to time. Yeah. Every single entrepreneur.
And if you’re a serial entrepreneur, you will experience value. And the question is, how do you handle it? Do you go long, handle it by looking for alcohol or other substances and say drown your sorrows as such, or you take a fight or flight mentality.[00:08:00] What do you take it out on your family?
You kick the dog or the cat when you come home from the office what is it, what are the things that you do to handle that? And I’ve been through a very long. Business collapsed. So I remember about 25 years ago or nearly 25 years ago. Yeah. And I went from here to zero, literally one day to the next I was worth millions and millions.
And I woke up the next day to discover I was worth negative and to cut a long story short of what actually happened with all of that. And by the way, it was actually not my fault. I had no control over it. My company got caught up in a global merger between massive corporations. And so I the question I began to think about as I consider this topic was what did I do?
And I did some right things [00:09:00] and I did some wrong things. And on that journey and the right things I did was just put my head down and work the problem. And that was really hard. I remember going up in the elevator to my offices and I used to put my head down and I would say almost like a mantra into the breach.
I now come and that’s the guns breach. And because I’d step out of the elevator, it’d be like, you just trust into chaos instantly to chaos in situations like that. And it was really difficult. And I was there in the office. I’ll be leaving home at 5:00 AM and I get home about 900.
And I didn’t see the family. I did that for probably for four months. Before we had that, before we had to make the decision to finally close the business and it was a really difficult [00:10:00] time and I’m sure I worked the problem and everything like that. And one of the things you gotta make sure you do everything right.
Legally in those circumstances, that’s for sure. But I did some mistakes as well. I found myself getting more and more isolated, isolated from loved one. Lighter from friends and so forth. And I remember my wife told me, and by the way, my wife was absolutely amazing. She really helped me through this time.
And it’s really important to have people like that who can help you through this time? My son used to go along to set the table for dinner each night and just hot. She used to sit at the table for dinner each night, and then my wife told me he would ask like his dad coming home and she’d say no.
And then she told me one time, she said he stopped asking.
And the [00:11:00] emotional impact of that was like a sledgehammer. And it was one of the most difficult things. I’ve ever had to deal with in my life was just, I suddenly realized that my, my son had stopped asking if I’m coming over again, or you may say what’s the big deal and all that sort of stuff and everything.
But for me, it was a capital, a catalyzing moment where I realized I had to make, not just try to live the business along and try to solve it and put things back together, everything it was that point in time, I said it needs to finish. It was the emotional stress and where I was having to find great friends there to cut expense lines, the lecturer staff, and deal with all sorts of circumstances.
And, but it was that catalogs. Of that question no longer be that. And it can take you [00:12:00] off guard sometimes and you think, yeah, I can handle this. I can move forward. I can get things happening. I can piece together the bits and pieces back together. whatever the venture is in the process of collapsing, then something right at the sort of left-field comes and just slammed you.
And that’s what happened to me. And in the end I said, that’s it, I’m making some dramatic decisions. And we closed everything. Yeah. And it was it was a really challenging time. When I think back on it, in fact my wife and I were talking about this the other day and the fact that we actually still bear the.
From that time, but we bear the scars in a different sort of way. When we hear of other people going through difficult times, we feel it emotionally for them. And my immediate reaction is what can I do to help? Yeah. So if you’re [00:13:00] in the audience right now, and you’re saying, you know what, I have some stories and I just need to share these, my attitude towards you is what can I do to help?
It’s not going to be a judgment or anything like that. It’s not going to be, oh yeah, that was bound to fail. What can I do to help you as a person? And I know the other moderators here on the platform have been through similar sorts of things and I’m sure they’ll share some stories as well. And our modus operandi is of the complete entrepreneur is what can we do to.
So if you’re in the audience and you’re saying, yeah, I’ve got some stories that please put your hand up, but I can do it. Some people already have, we would love to hear from you hear your stories of could be failures on how did you handle that circumstance. Maybe it was that thing that came out left field for you that really fondly capitalized, your decision-making process, whatever w whatever is the, it could be you’re going through [00:14:00] right now, or it could be, you’ve gone through many years ago.
We’d love to hear from you. But anyway, before we jumped to the king, Jim and Muhammad, Colin, you have any thoughts on that? It’s just interesting because you had me thinking there about my failures and when we begin to reflect back on those times, we begin to think about, how do we handle ourselves?
So it was all about at that time, We were very depressed. We were angry we’re this or that, but we really didn’t think at the time we didn’t think about the people around us and how we behaved or acted or dealt with it with with our spouse or kids or those around us. And they were affected by those failures to yet.
We always say, it’s our failures. It is our failure. We are the ones responsible for it, [00:15:00] but everybody around us was affected by that
call it . I actually think it’s almost worse for them because at least we’re in a position to hopefully be able to make some decisions. They’re not even in that position. They’re just receiving they’re there in the boat and with you, and they don’t even have any. I owe that all they could do is put their arms around the the captain of the boat who steering at power, whatever that’s it.
But th they, they actually do not have any control over the situation other than to express love. And what do they get back nine times out of 10, buy us from us, circumstances. They get vitriol back. Why we just letting emotions out or something, our frustrations, our anger, as you said whatever is, and they’re giving back love.
And we even see it due to the circumstances we’re in. And [00:16:00] it’s a loved ones, which actually many respects bear a lot of the costs. And that’s a challenge. Sorry. I call them keeping on. No, I think that’s what it is, Michael. And then you talk about Scott. I think the startup failures are the scars of our past that we use to guide our future endeavors.
So it’s those failures that allow us to thrive when we launch those new startups. And I’m not talking about, startup failures, I’m talking about any failure in our life. I’m talking, going back, even to our childhood, we’ve all failed and we’ve all had those scars. And if we can use those moments in times and those lessons to learn those lessons, to improve our chances of success at the next venture, that’s the key.
And I think actually, if we can share those scars, [00:17:00] let me describe them as scars. That’s why I’m using that, Michael. But if we can share them as scars and we can talk to others about those things. Then hopefully they can learn from those scars as well. So I think there’s positive things that can happen from that failure.
And that’s something that we all need to internalize. That’s so true. I must admit when I look back at my own experiences during that difficult time, my life there’s a major international investor in my company who just said, oh, by the way, that chunk of money is coming, it was supposed to be coming and we’re contractually obligated.
No, it’s not going to come. And y’all know we’re legally obligated, but yeah, I would just not going to pay it anyway. And we’ve got like $300 million allocated to legal fees. So go for it. Yeah. It’s just, I was summarized very low, longest thing to thing. It [00:18:00] was really quite difficult. But there’s a whole lot of small investors and got quarterly.
As well, and after we finally I made the decision to close the close, the company and all that sort of stuff. I knew this small investors obviously lost their shirt. They lost everything. And it was bad a couple of years later I was doing some, another daresay, another interesting startup, which is, and you’re right.
You become a lot wise along the journey. And I actually spoke with a number of the small investors and they went along and they invested some money into the, into this thing I was doing at a time. And when they said they were going to do that, I must admit I broke down. I bawled my eyes at, and the reason why is because.
It’s almost like you don’t know really how much oh, what a person thinks of you [00:19:00] until they come along and say they’d best in investigating this case. And they said to me, Michael it’s okay. You just trusted your circumstance. You had no control over it. And you did everything you possibly could do.
Did you drive, therefore we’re happy to stump up some more cash and it just it, that’s the other thing that really floored me and boys I’d make sure they made a lot of money on that investment and they did, but it’s interesting that it’s interesting you saying that the failure, like for me, when I failed and I failed in a very dramatic way in 2000 our company.
I sold the company. So I was no longer in control, but our company went over a billion dollars in market valuation and the, at $15 a share and then collapsed to 6 cents a share off of the dot-com crash and everyone who was involved in it, all the employees, everyone lost everything. And it was [00:20:00] very hard to take.
It was, ah, I can’t tell you, but I’ll tell you this, the shareholders that invested in me, I failed them and I felt that I worry more about losing money for shareholders or for employees than I do for my work, my own money. Like I can handle it. If I go in a stock market, I make an investment it’s bad.
I lose money, move on, whatever it happens. But, when you lose money for your team, the team that spent 10 years building this company and you screw it up on exit or you lose, my mother was one of the shareholders, you’re losing your mother’s money and it hurts. It hurts. It really hurts.
And that nothing. Yeah, it’s just, I can’t say how bad that is, but yeah. Yeah, I agree with you by the way, Colin, just look and know we’re getting some feedback on your audio for some reason. So I’m not sure the reason [00:21:00] why, but despite that, I’ll tell you what I can hear. The, almost the pain in your voice as you’re remembering back to those times, but you have listen to the complete entrepreneur and we’re tackling a topic, which is a challenging one for most entrepreneurs.
If you go to other sessions and clubhouse and nobody talking about yes, you could do a yes, you are going to be a success and you’ll always going to a success, but we’re tackling the topic of dealing with failure. And the reason why is because of the complete entrepreneur, we look at the life of an entrepreneur and whether we like it or not, if you do enough entrepreneurial activities, eventually you are going to fail at some point in time.
And the impact that has upon you and your life can actually be quite sure. That being said, I would love to hear from king, you’ve had your hand up you’re on the stage. And by the way, we would like love to invite other people to put their hand up so they can so we’d have them up on the stage [00:22:00] to hear your story.
What was it like for you to deal with failure? So king, welcome to the complete entrepreneur. Thank you, Michael. The topic of failure in entrepreneurship, I think go hand in hand. Because I look at entrepreneurship as taking generally speaking, a calculated risk and as all know, with risk comes opportunity for success, but then there’s also the counterbalance of failure.
And when I think about failure, I could tell countless stories of such. I’ll just tell to one is, were faith gentlemen that I know who I won’t give too much information away out of respect to his privacy, but he is a very senior level executive. Let me put it that way at a [00:23:00] multi-billion dollar law firm.
Part of a five person board that handles the operations and executive decisions of a law firm. At one point his law firm represented it was the co-counsel for the Michael Jackson estate handling massive transactions. And he, the guy who was the, one of the co-counsel for the Michael Jackson estate reported to the guy I’m talking about, and I was invited to meet with him and talk with him and we really just connected and had a terrific conversation.
And generally when I’m in rooms like that I don’t talk much. I just listen, I’m here to listen. I’m just here to soak it all in and learn, take notes and see how I can apply that to my situation. And as we were talking and he was sharing about his life and sharing about. His perspective on business granted [00:24:00] in the legal space we turned to him and I don’t want to say this in a way that makes a bad picture, but he yelled at his assistant his executive assistant who was outside in the other, clearly in another area.
And he said, is that check ready? As he yelled. And the assistant responded back and and he said, excuse me. And he said, my name, he said, excuse me, We got to get a check to the governor. And I was like, oh, please do tell. I, don’t mind me. I’m just sitting here watching how you do business around here.
But after we talked and he was explaining how the governor was coming over his house, I said, I was surprised. I said, wow, you’re not going to the governor’s house or the governor’s mansion. The governor is bringing his folks to your house actually. I guess I am in the right room. [00:25:00] And as we were talking, he shared with me, and this is tied to failure, how he said, with all of what people see and what they come.
And when you know this particular law firm has 30 offices around the world, but anyone who knows anything about lawyers, they’re all, they really have to build their own book of business, including senior partners and things of that nature. They’re very entrepreneurial. Perspective and as successful as he is, he lives in a beautiful home, beautiful family.
He travels the world. Most of the time when I’m talking to him, I asked him what cities again, what countries again, but as we were talking in his office, he said, you know what most folks don’t know is everyday. I’m afraid that I’m going to lose it all. And again, I just sat there silent. I wanted to hear more because from my perspective, looking in, I said, you’ve got everything.
You’ve [00:26:00] worked hard and you’ve accomplished everything. He said, it can all go away. That’s how I stay motivated. I never think that this is how it will always be. He said one bad court case, one bad court ruling. Could jeopardize a lot for the firm and for my standing in it. And as we talked, he really shared with me, frankly.
And that’s why I said, I want to protect his privacy, his insecurities, even though he quote had risen to one of the top, five folks who runs a law firm with, I think now a thousand or so attorneys around the country representing some of the biggest names. You would probably know if I were to quote, name, drop them.
He still was paranoid of failure, still paranoid of one bad court [00:27:00] ruling from one of our biggest clients. And we would cut our billings in half and have to consider letting go of staff. Even though that might not be as dramatic as he put. He put that pressure on him to always push for more. Yeah. It’s an interesting there’s a story that king I’ll tell you about it.
It was an Andy Grove said only the paranoid survive. Didn’t that? And I’d love to come back to you in a minute with the here’s. Here’s some more about that, but it is. Is that true though? Colin, is it only the paranoid survive and as entrepreneurs, we need to have that sort of paranoid mindset to avoid failures and things like that.
Is that true?
Yeah. I think asked and answered, Michael asked and answered, it’s sometimes like only the paranoid survive. [00:28:00] I lived by that my whole life, every company we have. Look, if you build something and if one day it all gets taken away from you, like it did today in a way we spent Michelle, Jeff, myself and Jack started to join us here now, too, which is awesome.
But we spent a year not working on startup club and it was hacked today. And we were removed as a bins and the logo was changed and all the rooms were packed and, we reached out, thank goodness. We had a relationship with Rowan and Paul Davidson and we were able to communicate with them and get the th the rooms.
Some of the stuff restored. Most of our clubs have been restored. But let’s start up. Club has not. And we paranoid enough that we could have a security breach. Now we know where it came from, and I won’t mention. Right now on obviously for good reason, but we know where the breach [00:29:00] came from. And a question becomes, where we paranoid enough look, paranoia reduces potential failure down the road.
And we, willing to do a better job on security when it comes to startup club and talk club. And I know a lot of other clubs, community clubs, oh, G club. There were a number of the largest clubs were hacked today. And we’re gonna, we’re going to improve that. So I don’t know if that answers your question.
Yeah, but it’s only the paranoid survive. It’s I actually agree with you. I have that mentality as well. Like we had a best week ever in one of my businesses this past week. Like it’s just going gangbusters, but it’s funny, and I we have a great sort of potty as such with a team and a sort of celebration and all that sort of stuff.
But inside I’m saying but what. It’s that, what if the drives me? And it’s the, what if the king was talking about, or it’s almost what if this [00:30:00] happens? What if that happens? And asking all those sort of questions, what if you suddenly a major client leaves or something all these sort of things going through my mind constantly because I’m paranoid.
So this came back to you to yourself king with your story, and I know and I interrupted it along that journey. I’m happy. It’d be great to hear anything more. You need to add on the topic of dealing with failure and how this particular gentlemen deals with failure. And he deals with the potential of failure by having that paranoid mindset.
So over, do you keep certainly, and so when it comes to. A person who is someone like him, right? Entrepreneur, and a business executive. You have to look around the corner. You oftentimes your staff, your team. They’re so focused on the moment that when, for the moment [00:31:00] the, we opened the store on time, we hit our goal for the month we hit, the taking care of this particular customer.
That’s an important customer today. But as that business executive, you’ve got to look around the corner. Two, three weeks ahead, two, three months ahead, two or three years ahead to plan for the what ifs, because it’s your job, unfortunately. Or I actually look at it as fortunately the responsibility to the eyes on you to maintain that business.
So tying it back to him and his, how he handles it. He said, but I wouldn’t change it for anything because frankly, look at me now. And I’ll just give this little description of this particular gentleman. He is a an African-American gentleman who made it in a law firm, a white shoe type of law firm.
All of the big names, I’m sure those who are in the legal space where you don’t see many [00:32:00] at his level making it to where he’s at. And he said, so I’m always mindful of the fact that I have a special responsibility, and this is his perspective for those who I am helping shape the pathway for others, for women.
So for instance, has been pushing in the firm now to create executive positions and singer partnerships for women doing these types of things. He has tackled this challenge of failure because yes, there’s actually some partners under him. Who’ve had better success. Yet he somehow was still able to climb the ladder.
When the clientele that brings in the revenue to the firm and thus, even though his record is not perfect in the courtroom. And granted summertime is just based on what your clientele brings. As far as the case, he was feeling able to handle all of these balancing act of, I still got to focus [00:33:00] on what the longterm objective is while also being aware every day in.
The jury may rule against you. The judge may rule against you. Your client may want a scent when you think they shouldn’t settle all of these variables, a something that I think entrepreneurs deal with on a daily basis, dealing with sales, dealing with marketing, dealing with HR issues, dealing with legal matters, dealing with governmental regulations, dealing with customer issues, all of these, if you will, oranges, you have to juggle or what have you while also maintaining your sanity.
And I think that in his case, what I learned from him was even though he has risen to incredible levels in corporate America, invited to the white house, this third, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. He still stays paranoid and he has had challenges, right? As you can imagine, any attorney at that level has yet, he [00:34:00] still has prevailed.
And I think when you deal with the topic of failure, what I learned from him was, is even though there’s opportunities for regular failure, because again, his clients could be sued at any time, dealing with, for instance, he sometimes has to deal with labor issues, right? Workers’ compensation issues where you’ve got to settle with an employee who had an accident at one of the plants or whatever the company’s issues are that his clients or his firm has to deal with.
They still tackle this matter of how do we handle this, if you will set back for our client, this setback for our customer, while still making the best of it. That’s what I learned from him. Taking a grain of salt of even though we’re going to have challenges, they’re going to be setbacks. And I know sometimes entrepreneurs will only want to hear the pie in the sky.
Everything will be as, okay. Yes. But you have to understand the angle will be okay because you made it through [00:35:00] the setbacks. Not because there are no setbacks. How true you’re saying. Yeah. Like you’ve made it through those setbacks. And one of the things that really struck me from what you were just sharing then king was the myriad of things that entrepreneurs have to actually deal with.
There’s just so many things. And I sometimes wonder whether the precursor to failure is actually doing way too much. And expecting way too much on yourself. And Michelle is going to come to you to to share on this and also other aspects of what king has really highlighted there in a second, but just, I know with myself when I’m finding my time is so frightened mented, that I’m chopping from one thing to another, and I’m not getting things done or completed.
I’m just chopping across so many different issues, everything like that. I know I’m on a [00:36:00] wrong path and I’ve actually got to go along and culled the list of things I’m doing very quickly. If I don’t do that, then that’s going to be, there’s going to be really bad. The other thing I’ve learned from the complete entrepreneur room is the concept that I learnt this from co Colin is always resigned to responsibilities, not time.
Sign responsibility. Not that’s really helped me out, but anyway, Michelle, just coming back to you, do you have some thoughts to share on what Kim was talking about or just on this topic in general? Wow. There’s so much to say about this topic, I guess one thing that I think about is, I think there’s degrees, we’re talking about paranoia, and that kind of stuck in my head. ’cause, it’s like your human brain just wants to go down that drain and it could be such a trap and it can be so detrimental, but I think we have to [00:37:00] use that paranoid to our advantage. So my point I’m trying to get to here is I think there’s degrees of paranoia.
I actually think it’s being smart and looking forward so that you can make plans so that you can have, tactical moves. And I think people shouldn’t think of it as failure. They should actually think that things are going to happen and not to be, everything.
but it’s really being smart and thinking about what are all the scenarios? It’s almost a game, Michael it’s. So it really is a game. And what can we do if X happens? What can we do a Y happens? I think that puts us in a different mind frame rather than, oh my God. And retreating. And that’s a very dangerous position to be in.
Thank you. Yeah. Thanks for much for that, Michelle. Really appreciate what you just shared there. Yeah. It’s so true that there’s some dangerous mindset. So I’m going to come to [00:38:00] Jack in a second to get his views on this topic, but it’s a dangerous game. That we can play, you can end up in a mental black hole if you’re too paranoid.
And it’s almost that all the adage where you need to smell the roses on the journey of life. Yeah. And don’t focus on the fact that every single rosebush has thorns and just look at the thoughts, realize there’s actually a rose on it and celebrate some wins celebrate the joy of what it means to be so creative as an entrepreneur.
There’s nothing like it. I find myself, I just come on fire on the inside. When something that didn’t exist, suddenly that. And more than that, somebody that didn’t exist, it now exists. And one that someone then put money down to buy that thing that didn’t exist before. That is the most incredible thing and incredible experience in my life.
I just love doing that. It’s such a joy, but [00:39:00] Jack, what have you got to share on the topic on dealing with failure? Love to hear for you, Jack. Michael, thank you so much. And I love what you said there. Roses and thorns, they say some people complained because, roses have thorns.
I’m just glad thorns have roses, and I think what failure we’re talking about failure today. And I really, I want to say thanks for you guys for putting this conversation on, because failure is something that a lot of people try to shy away from, but what I’ve found in my life and my journey is that failure is necessary.
It’s failure is basically data. It’s just the wrong data. And what you want to do is you want to embrace failure. You want to not shy away from it. In fact Edison, he failed many times before he was able to ultimately, turn the lights on for everybody. And so you’re going to fail.
The question is, are you going to stop? Are you going to quit? Are you going to give up on your dream? Are you going to give up on building your business creating that life that you want to create, whatever that is for you. And what I know is I know that we’re all gonna. [00:40:00] And what we have to do is we have to learn from our failures.
We have to grow from our failures. I remember a time in my life and I have worked all types of different jobs along my journey and transitioning to entrepreneurship. And I’ll never forget. I had a boss one time I used to work for, I used to work at like cell towers. I used to build like Verizon networks many years ago.
And one day I go to pull out of the office. It was Greensboro, North Carolina. I go to plow the office and had a big trailer hooked up to a bucket truck. I was going to go out there. I was going to build this fiber optic networks and took the turn a little bit too hard to the left and the trailer got caught on the fence, end up ripping the whole fence down.
And it was really embarrassing. As you can imagine, rip the whole fence down. And I was, I must’ve been probably 19 at the time. And My boss come out there at a time and let’s just say he wasn’t necessarily probably, he was probably a big reason. I [00:41:00] decided to go into entrepreneurship. I put it that way, but he had some advice for me that day.
And it really always stuck with me. Always stuck with me. He said, if you he said mistakes are proof you’re trying. He said, but if you make the same mistake twice, that means you didn’t learn from the first failure. And that message really stuck with me. And that made a lot of failures in my life to get where I am today.
And it’s, you’re going to fail. The question is, do you learn from your failures? Do you grow from your failures? Do you take that data that you got and do you begin again? Are you willing to try one more time? And that’s really just about what I believe as well is it’s about realizing that, somebody, sometimes what we got to realize is it just takes one.
Yes, it takes one conversation to have a breakthrough in our business, in our life. And I know it again in my journey. I can only teach you what I’ve learned in my journey. And I also learned that in my journey, I learned that, failure is necessary. It’s a [00:42:00] necessary part of you growing and but the key is also to keep a positive attitude as you’ve, as you fail.
I, one day I get on the elevator and I was, I, my, this is a time again. I was probably 22 years old. I’m out there living in Los Angeles and the wild west and going forward, going from my dreams and everybody back home, I’m from North Carolina, everybody back home said, oh, he’ll never make it.
He’ll never make it. And I said, oh, I’ve got a dream. And I get out there to LA and I go to try to build a dream and build a business and it’s tough. And I failed miserably. Next thing I’m behind on my car note, next thing you know they repoed my car. Next thing you know, my parents are looking at me like, Hey, are you okay?
You want to move back home? Like you, I don’t think you, are you’re getting you’re failing a lot out there. So are you okay? And I let them know, Hey, listen, it’s part of the journey. And one day I get an elevator right after my car got repoed. About two [00:43:00] weeks after my car got repoed.
I’m at the time I’m selling Toyota’s Westminister, California Elmore Toyota. I’m selling Toyotas and I’m working really hard. I’m the first one. They’re the last one to leave, working hard, trying to create my own luck, trying to get that breakthrough. And it just seemed like I was failing it, no matter which way I turned, every way, every direction I turned, I was failing and.
One day I get an elevator, so your life can change in a moment. Your life can change one connection, everything can change. And I went in the elevator and it was a guy in there. He was dressed suit and tie, but I could tell his tie was a Gucci tie. I could tell he had a Ferragamo belt. I could tell he had some money.
I said, sir, what do you do as that was one of the thing you want to deal with failure? Ask for help. A lot of us are today in entrepreneurship. We’re afraid to ask for help. I met this guy he’s was a, he was a finance manager at Porsche and his name was Lamont. Lamont Davis, God bless Lamont Davis.
I hope I pray everybody in this room [00:44:00] ever finds a Lamont Davis in their life and Amman. He looked at me and he said, what do you do? I said, oh, I see. I would love to work at Porsche though. And I told him my dream. I said, meatless, I moved out here. I’ve been going through it. And I’m just looking to see, I’m going to make a name for myself, ask for help.
I got the interview. He said, now, listen, it’s up to you to sell yourself. And I went in there and guess what? I’ll be dead gone if I didn’t get the job. And not only that, I actually became the youngest brand ambassador in all of north America, selling Porsches. And I don’t tell anybody to do that to impress you, but I tell it to impress upon you that your life can change.
In a moment, you can go from my, in my case, I went in a state for a period of time. I went from living in my mother’s basement in North Carolina to experiencing failures along the way, lots of failures along the way, every for eight months, I had every opportunity to give up and quit and go back home. But I kept believing in myself.
Like I believe in the [00:45:00] fact that I had this vision for my life of something more. And maybe that resonates with somebody. And I’ve, one of my mentors grant Cardone, he said, life will pay you any price. You have the courage to ask of it. You have to have that. You have to have courage though, because life is going to do some blows is going to do some things that you don’t see coming.
And it’s really about how do you respond? The power belongs to the person that realizes failure is an indication. Number one, that you’re trying to pat yourself on the back, because most people don’t even do that. And so if you’ll try, you’ll fail. But what you’ll find is you’ll be like me and you’ll get a little success.
If you don’t quit, if you don’t give up and you’ll learn every step of my journey. I’ll tell you what, I’ve made a lot of failures, but I’ve learned every step of the way. And that’s how every failure has led me to what’s next? I heard somebody say the word. I believe it was king said the word earlier.
He said setback. And I don’t like that word king. I’ll be honest with you. I call him set ups because every, and when it’s funny, we’re in the startup [00:46:00] because every. Setback that ever had was actually a setup to something much, much better. And so what I always tell myself, when I run into those quote unquote setbacks, I always tell myself that I’m protected and I’m promoted and that something better is on the way.
So I hope that helps somebody out there. And this is amazing room. You guys are amazing. Let’s go, wow, Jack, what a great story. What a really wonderful story it really is. And you, you write so many issues in that story with entrepreneurship. And I know, I sometimes think the difference between an entrepreneur, as someone who’s isn’t entrepreneurs and not entrepreneurs, they all measure up risks.
They all these measure up ah, what’s the risk of failure, but our entrepreneur says I’m going to go. Yeah, I’m going to go and pursue it anyway, because they know 100% of the time that if you don’t try it, you happy, you will fail [00:47:00] a hundred percent of the time. But you know what an entrepreneur says, you know what?
This business may only work. They have a chance of working 20% of the time, maybe successful 20% chance. Yeah. But I’m going to have a go at it and I’m going to pursue it. And let’s see what I can do to make it increase that to 30 to 40 50, ultimately to a hundred percent. Yeah. It’s a great inspirational story.
And I think you said something else there, Jack, which was ask for help. And I love the fact that people in the room right now and the complete entrepreneur and they’re here because they want to go along and get some wisdom. Some from some people have been there and done that. They want to hear the stories.
And it’s all the people, all of you in this room right now is the reasonable. We do what we do. It’s because our desire is to go along and help you along your journey. You’re the hero of your journey. We may build a [00:48:00] B some tools, or be a guide along the way at the complete entrepreneur anyway. Great, Jack, thank you very much for that.
Just so you know, Michael, I really want to you to, to me Jack is now doing the show, manifest your destiny on start-up club. You can see this, guy’s a celebrity and good things happen. And he’s got a lot of great wisdom. And I’m going to say, I’m going to ask a question of Jack and king and maybe David as well.
So when we have the failure in our business, or maybe a deal, we lost a deal. We lost that sales. We lost the contract. I don’t know what it is, but we had that failure. Do we. Dust herself off and get back up and go at it and forget about that. Or do we try to internalize why we failed? I’m curious how you, each of you would re answer that question.
Oh, I will. I would definitely think that it’s about, it’s definitely about how do [00:49:00] you pivot? How do you learn? How do you grow? What, what’s your next move? I love Patrick Brett, David, which is a lot of people out there know him. And, one of the things that he always says is your next five moves.
That’s one of the books that he wrote and your next five moves. They determine really where you’re going to go. And we’re all going to get knocked down and it’s really. The learning from the data, taking the data, switching right. Growing and saying, all right, what happened? Go into the whiteboard, have a whiteboard moment, and lay it all out there and be honest with yourself. I think the key is to be honest with yourself, that’s the key is really to look at it from almost like a 30,000 point of view where you’re almost take yourself out of it. Look at the situation. Cause I think sometimes especially being an entrepreneur, we can, we, because we’re so in the day-to-day invested we can take it personal when things arrive and you should take it personal.
I’m not saying don’t take it personal. You should take it personal, but you also should take a step outside, look at your whole situation, look at what’s going on. [00:50:00] And really I always, I believe is you’re only as good as your worst. Where are the weak? Where are you? Where’s your, where’s not the, where are you strong at?
Where are you not proficient at? And that probably the things that you fear the most hold the base of the treasures that you seek. So what you need to do is you need to not run from those things that scare you, but actually to learn and grow, keep expanding and keep looking at it again. Like I say, if you don’t, I always believe if you don’t see what you want.
I love what the quote that they say. They say the people that really get on in this world, they look around and if they don’t see what they want, they create it. You’re going to have some moments where things aren’t going to go your way. And the key is what do you do? How do you look at it?
What’s the story. It was all about really self-belief. Are you willing to look at things from a new perspective? Sometimes especially on being an entrepreneur. I always think about Blackberry, right? Blackberry. They were like, man, I’m going to have my things my way. I want the keypad. And everybody, all, everybody around the world, right? It’s we want smart phones. And Blackberry was like, no, we want keypads. We want to keep heads. [00:51:00] And guess what? Blackberry, they no longer they’re gone. They’re outta here. And so you got to take that data and you got to listen. A lot of times the things that your customers or the feedback that you’re getting most of the time, what I’ve found is that data they’re there.
They’re actually telling you what they want. But what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to, you’ve gotta take yourself out of the picture, look at it and really address a situation there. That’s what I would say. Yeah. I know Jack. I love my Blackberry. Let me say that one too. You talk about the weakest link.
I think that as entrepreneurs, as startups, we need to surround ourselves with a solid foundation. We need friends who understand that when we fail it’s okay. That we don’t have to be embarrassed by our failures. We need a spouse and a family that understands it’s okay. We do not have to be embarrassed by our failure because that’s what it’s all about.
Really. If you [00:52:00] think about it. Yeah. We might’ve lost money, but we’re afraid of being embarrassed. We’re afraid that our idea didn’t work. We’re afraid that we screwed up and you talk about the weakest link, creating a foundation around us. That is key.
Yeah, I have true call it. I think that the key is that here is is defining what is failure as well. And Jack, you mentioned this a number of times is the whole issue around learning and learning from the data and so forth. I think the other thing is this. Are you prepared to destroy your own success for greater success?
Cause, cause I’ve seen this in many businesses where you entrepreneurs, they get a successful product and they just keep on repeating that successful product until when, until it fails. So you can have someone else impose failure [00:53:00] on you and that someone else can be a competitor or something like that.
With which case you go there and you experience value because they’ve innovated. Or you could decide, you know what, I’m going to cannibalize my own success in order to go along, generate my next sort of iteration of being successful. And that’s actually a really dangerous and scary proposition.
I know one of my businesses right now, we’ve taken a completely different approach to working with. And the thing we’ve ended up becoming is very hard to go to bat. It’s not about our business. It’s about them, the heroes, and this whole sort of approach means we potentially may be cannibalizing what we do in our business.
And it’s it’s a big challenge to take those steps forward. So we’re releasing a new service in a couple of weeks time, and it’s potentially going to cannibalize what we have.[00:54:00] But we believe, and this is an interesting thing for an entrepreneur. We believe the future is better because if we create a future, rather than let someone else impose a negative future on us, then it’s going to be a better outcome.
But, I just want to jump down to David. David’s been very patient. And it’s great having you on the complete entrepreneur, David and love to hear from you, your thoughts on this topic of dealing with failure. Welcome to the stage, David. Thank you, Michael. Good to see everyone’s faces and hear your voices.
I just, actually, I think a week or two ago came out of a pretty massive failure, but one that I didn’t create, but that I was a part of because a lot of the clients we work with are focusing on accelerating third exits and oftentimes they don’t make it. And in other words, they don’t make it to where they think they need to be.
They don’t make the acquisition. They don’t make the IPO. Their [00:55:00] event becomes a liquidity event, something that they weren’t expecting. And in their mind, they think of that as a failure. In my mind. I think of that. It’s just a different kind of opportunity, depending upon who’s sitting behind which desk the CEO did quite well, the CMO didn’t and, but he learned a lot.
They both learned a lot. And I think the biggest lesson learned was in the humility of, who’s really behind the wheel. At what time, as this process unfolded being on the outside and having been on the outside for 28 years for these kinds of companies, I could see that at what point it was time for the CEO to accept failure in his own position and stepped down and hand the keys to someone else to drive the car.
But that’s not where his mind was. He was thinking he would just keep it going. He would take a different route. [00:56:00] He would bring on different passengers and it didn’t change what kind of car he was in. Didn’t change the overall feeling or the theme or the direction of the company. And so at the end of the day, most of the people that left the company thought that they had failed the company.
They took it personally, and I told them they had accomplished a lot. Many of them were there eight months to a year. I was there for four years as an outside consultant. And, they learned a lot, but unfortunately at the top there was this lack of humility and this lack of focus and this drive, which I think was mostly driven by ego, which ultimately took out the entire company.
I think a lot of people will have benefited from this experience. Like we talk about failure all the time and start [00:57:00] a right, but only if they’re able to put their ego aside, they’re able to not think about themselves. And they focus on the service that they provided to others and what they learned when they were serving others and how they can take that service to another company and to another team.
And I’ve seen so many fantastic technologies, just poof go away. When these people that have experienced these failures, didn’t take those lessons. Didn’t approach this as a service to others and they were in it for themselves. So I’ll say one last thing. Most of the people I talked to after this company went south.
This thing? I was hoping this would be my golden goose. I don’t have much retirement and I don’t want to sell my house to live on the cash I get from it. So I just have to go to another startup wrong way to think [00:58:00] wrong way to think that is not the way we learn from failure. That is when we get stuck on ourselves and stuck on our ego and they’ll just experiences.
Same thing all over again. Thank you. Thanks a lot for that. David, there’s a lot of wisdom in what you just shared then and that story. And it can be very challenging. You’ve been listening to the complete entrepreneur and we’ve been tackling the issue of dealing with failure. And I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface of this and call it.
I think we should. And Jeff and I think we should actually tackle dealing with failure. Next week, because there’s so much on this topic. W what’s your thoughts on that jet? Yeah, I have 10 things that we could talk about so many great points were raised. And plus, when you initially launched the room for an entrepreneur, the complete entrepreneur dealing with failure, I think most people thought about it from business failures perspective, which is certainly part of the entrepreneurial journey, [00:59:00] but then there’s also a whole different angle that we can approach when we take this up again next week, if you want, which is personal failure, as an entrepreneur. So as someone who in earlier in the earlier parts of my career put too much emphasis on company first to the detriment of my family, which eventually led to divorce and stress on my children, et cetera, et cetera. I’d look at that as, as even. Some of my businesses may have succeeded in some also failed.
I felt that when I look back at it now, older and wiser personally, I failed my family. I failed some of my other obligations because I put, the business first to too much of a degree. So that’s a whole different angle on the complete entrepreneur dealing with failure that we haven’t even scratched the surface of how true Jeff and Colin.
Do you want to just say something? I think we should do this next week column. I agree. I agree. I don’t think we touched [01:00:00] upon some of the negative impacts of failure, like substance abuse I’m not, it’s hard for me to say this, but we often see, when a stock market crashes, people jumping out of buildings, there is a psychological, emotional component.
To failure that I don’t think we really have gotten deep enough into and talked about. I do applaud this room because this room failed from the very beginning in that since we were hacked and for whatever reason, they were not able to get the audience. But yet we all came together as a community and created a great room.
And I know it’s gonna, as we go into the recordings on startup.club and, obviously a 24 hour radio station, which we want to launch down the road to, this is the kind of content that, every startup should listen to. I think too often, we spend too much time on how [01:01:00] to get rich quick and not enough time on our emotional states and Michael you’re killing it with the complete.
Thank you very much for that call on. I really do appreciate that because it’s, I think it’s one of the challenges as entrepreneurs. We all experience is it’s not just the challenges of a business. It’s the challenges of our life, the challenges of who we are and tackling this a little bit deeper, I think next week, I think you’re right.
We need to get deeper into this topic of dealing with failure. How do you deal with failure? Like serious failures in life and that as an entrepreneur, it’s so easy to skim across the surface and actually never learned from those failures. And I’m looking forward to the next week. So we’re going to all that, Michael, we have to invite king Jack David, and by the way, Noel in the audience, right?
I know you must’ve had some failures, Noel. You’re the [01:02:00] queen of e-commerce. So we got invite you all back next week and let’s really hit it out of the. With that show next week. Yeah, I agree. I’d love to have you all back. I’ll tell you what for next week. Cause I think that this is a topic, which is it’s time has come to discuss, to be quite blunt with you.
The time has come to discuss and each one of you in the audience right now has, will have a friend who has gone through some sort of failure or a loved one, gone through some sort of value or your guys through failure, bring them into the room, invite them in because we’re going to be really unpacking this.
I I really want to pursue this issue because it’s at the heart of so much heartache and it’s something that we need to go along and really open up and unpack all the issues and let it all hang out there in a safe source space like this. So if you’ve been in the audience, you’re saying, you know what.
Some of the people on the stage or have [01:03:00] really said some great things there. Don’t forget. Go ahead and follow us. Just click on the profile, click on follow. So you can learn from that particular person that you really want to hear from a bit more and reach out to them. I know each one of us would love to be able to engage engage with you.
So next week, we’re going to be opening up this a lot further on the complete entrepreneur. It’s at 5:00 PM Eastern time, and we’re going to have a great time doing so I think we’re going to have a very heartfelt time as well. I’d like to think all my co moderators I know Michelle had to leave early for another event.
But also Jeff and Colin. It’s wonderful having your wisdom and your insight upon the complete entrepreneur for those who came to the stage king Jack. Fabulous having your thoughts on this topic as well. It’s been great having you up here really do appreciate your thoughts as well. And most particularly [01:04:00] you and the audience.
You’re the reason why we do this. We don’t get paid buckets of money and all that sort of stuff. In fact, I don’t get paid anything. I do it because I want to go along and help other entrepreneurs. And it’s fabulous having you here with us. Thank you very much for your time. And I look forward to seeing you next week on the complete entrepreneur at 5:00 PM Eastern time.
God bless you. Thank you.