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5 Ways to Turn Life’s Disappointments into Advantages

All power-charged entrepreneurs can tell some harrowing tales of heartbreak, despair and failure. From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs to J.K. Rowling, the big guns never fail to emphasize the power of failure.

When you are down and out, it doesn’t really seem like there is anything particularly powerful about failure. But think about it: failure can strip away everything that matters the least, and what’s left is the essence of you as a human being. It is the true test of a person and lets you know who and what really matters in the long run.

Everyone has their skeletons and when failing, everyone thinks of the worst possible scenarios i.e. never being able to make it and never succeeding. One common denominator among successful entrepreneurs is that they direct all their energy into finishing the work that matters the most, not paying heed to the voices in their head. People build the solid foundation of their lives, once they have hit rock bottom, provided they learn their lessons and don’t give up (to the sound of reason or anything else for that matter!).

Entrepreneurs are risk takers by nature. Risk is always accompanied by failure, but so many don’t expect it and don’t have the necessary ammo to help them deal with it. As an entrepreneur, wear your badge of failure proudly; show it off just like your heroes who never gave up in the face of adversity. Do try to avoid failure, but when encountered with it finally, embrace it, grow with it and put it to work for you.

A little chit chat with some investors led us to an amazing fact, investors are more prone to fund in ventures started by entrepreneurs who have failed at least once. So even they accept that entrepreneurs often learn more from a disappointment than they do from a success, so don’t be in a hurry to remove a failure from your bio. But remember, we aren’t talking about serial failures.

So, all in all, a failure is just a pit stop on your road to success. But a pit stop is only good when it’s taken advantage of fully. Here are our top tips on things to do when you are down and out. All these points were brought to you by world-famous failures who have mentioned these time and again in their speeches and biographies. Read, learn and pay it forward:

Accept responsibility, don’t spread the blame

When you blame others for your mistakes, you don’t learn anything from them. You are an entrepreneur and not a victim, so quit playing one! Yes, the partners, investors, customers and economic environment might have something to do with it, but since you can’t do anything about them, there is no use crying about them.

Examine the reasons behind your failure

You may use some introspection right about now. Statistics show that the real reason any entrepreneurial ventures never make it off the ground is because of over-zealous entrepreneurs. Inexperienced, overly-enthused entrepreneurs are usually the only most important reason for business failures early on in the life of a business. So start off by identifying what the problem is. It could be wrong motivation, poor management, no experience, failure to adapt with times or a number of other reasons. Think on it!

Capitalize on the relationships established

There is always that one person who reminds you of the good times you had when launching your own business. A partner, client or a supplier; anyone you knew to be with you on your road to making millions. Keep in touch with them; they might be your key to better opportunities.

Study and profit from your mistakes

Yes, the age-old adage is true, mistakes are lessons in disguise! So don’t run from them, but learn from them and get better. The smart entrepreneur makes mistakes, it’s the 9-5 employee who can’t and shouldn’t make mistakes.

Moving forward

Once you have done everything outlined above, move on! This is an important step. Review your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats when moving on.

Failure is a powerful learning tool if you utilize it effectively. When we do not learn from our errors, we are predestined to revisit them again and again. Failure does not need to be an eternal state that will hold us down forever. But it is a temporary condition we should learn and grow from.

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