Posts Tagged ‘how to beat failure in business’

Today, I want to start coaching you again on becoming a greater success in whatever you do. I will share with you a simple but powerful truth: “If you want to increase your success, you must:

1.)    Know what you really want in life

2.)    Have the will and desire to go for it; and

3.)    Learn from the experience your journey will bring

So let me ask you: “Do you Really Want to Succeed?”

If you follow what I have to say, I guarantee that you will be successful sooner rather than later.

Tell me if you can relate: Too many times, we get distracted with all that’s happening with everything around us. We run around like headless chickens and most of the time we spend all our energies on things that get us nowhere. It can’t be helped, that is what Life does, it provides you with challenges and distractions which you have to figure out what to do.

What I’ve realized early on and what Life has taught me is that you can’t handle everything without going crazy.

So lesson number 1 to be successful is to “simplify your life”. Every now and then, when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I undergo a “Life simplification” ritual. This basically means, I remove and let go of all the things that are weighing me down. I choose what I really want to be doing and achieving and I focus on (at most) only 3 of them at any given time. I become obsessed with the things I choose to focus on and nothing else matters until I achieve the goals that I set.

Are you overwhelmed right now? Then it’s time to simplify your life and figure out what you want to achieve.

Once you figure out what you want to do. Here comes the next step: Have the will and desire to achieve it.

If there is one thing about me, it is that I will never give up a goal that I set in my head. If I “suck” at that particular area in my life, and I truly want to improve that area, I will keep at it until I get it right. I call it “Stick-to-it-ivity”. In other words, I finish what I start. I guess it was how I was brought up. When my mom would tell me “finish your food”, I obeyed. But kidding aside, it is a trait that you have to develop for yourself, there is one very successful entrepreneur who also has this quality and he goes by the name of Walt Disney. Disney did not start out as a success story immediately, in fact there were huge set backs in his life that if he did not “stick to it”, where would we be?

The trick with never giving up a goal for me is what I learned about life early on. Life will always test your resolve. Life will throw you obstacles and problems that you never thought of. You will be discouraged by people that you love. You will feel frustrated and ignored by the people that you set out to help, you feel that life is hard and are inches away from giving in and giving up. At this point I tell myself 6 very powerful words:

Never give in, Never give up.

Because the true secret about the hardships of life is this: “Life’s purpose is not to make you fail, life’s purpose is to make you succeed. (Even though it does not seem that way). Life is a great teacher, the obstacles are how it teaches you to be better. “when life seems to want you to turn around, it is actually a signal for you to keep going. When things get tough, it is the most critical sign that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.”

Trust me on this because every time I achieve a goal, the larger the success I become.

Are you having a hard time with what you are trying to achieve right now? Remember NEVER GIVE IN, NEVER GIVE UP. I guarantee that if this is what you really want in life and you follow what I say, you will succeed sooner rather than later.

Now the last step is the most practical step of all: Be willing to invest the time and effort in increasing your skills to achieve what it is you are trying to achieve.

I’m a fervent believer that learning never stops in the classroom and that Life will teach you things that you never thought possible. However, the problem with learning with life alone is that it is learning by trial and error. So if you can avoid trial and error altogether and learn from someone who has achieved more than you, then that would even be better don’t you think so?

So before I get into something that I have no clue on, I always make it a point to “invest in myself” first. Meaning, I will never hesitate to buy and learn from books and seminars, learning events, and spending time learning with people more knowledgeable than me. And once I listen to what they have to say, I apply the lessons immediately and start to really learn through a little trial and error of my own. And although I will still make mistakes, I drastically reduce the errors and the time to achieving my goals.

So if you want to really succeed in anything that you want to do, follow the three things that I do. And you will see that you can be a success sooner rather than later.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article entitled “The Best Advice I could ever give you about Money”.  I received a lot of feedback for that article and I thank everyone who read and wrote back. If you were not able to read that article yet, please read it here

This post is the story about how I started in business, the hardships I faced, how my wife was instrumental in making me succeed and the most critical decision I made in my life. If you are in debt right now, facing a failed business endeavor or starting to feel down, don’t give in and never give up.  Instead, read on as I hope that through this, you and others like you may know what it takes to win and succeed in anything you do.

In my “Best advice” article I mentioned that generating money for me was as natural as breathing. But after college, I decided to work for someone else and the pay was very good. I put my entrepreneurial ways aside because the salary, benefits and perks were just too convenient and hard to let go. As a result, I became complacent, over confident and cocky which made me careless about managing whatever I made. I spent it all on useless stuff. I never thought about the future because I honestly never saw that far. I was single, lived like there was no tomorrow and always thought, “I’ll spend my money now because I do not want to scrimp and save and be a slave to money. There is no reason to start thinking of the future. Live today because tomorrow you may die.”

I was a fool. I became careless and my debt began to pile up.

Then I decided to revert to my old entrepreneurial ways to augment my income. I thought that because of my high pay, I now have capital to start a serious business. Never mind if I was getting deeper and deeper into debt, never mind that I didn’t know how to manage the money that I earned, I’ll just do it.  I was young, handsome and stupid.

At that time, I was working full time in a multinational company. Because of the time constraints and pressures of my day job, I decided to just “let my money work for me”. I could not personally oversee the business on a day to day basis, so I hired a general manager and she convinced me to hire her cohorts with disgustingly high salaries. BIG MISTAKE. I ended up putting in 90% of my salary and bonuses into this business. Within 8 months, my debt had soared to close to a million pesos.

During the 6th to 8th month, I was already feeling the money drain away from me. I was always waiting for payday to come, this time not to enjoy the luxuries of life but to pay off whatever debt I had accumulated and the needs of the business which up until that point did not produce a single cent of income. My General Manager and her cohorts were milking me for all that I had and although I knew it, I was too arrogant to admit it at that time.

It was exactly like a dramatic movie scene where the room was dark and only the faint moonlight was peeking in, and in the corner of that room was me sitting, crying, and feeling the world falling apart. I couldn’t even think straight, I was close to a million pesos in debt. My job was my only lifeline and I was getting really tired of seeing all my hard earned money go away. Why and how did I get into this mess in the first place?

I asked myself repeatedly if I should close down the business and just pay off my debt slowly through my salary or if I should continue it and try to turn it around. The easy way out was the first option, and it was very, very tempting to just give in, to just give up.

Now I rarely find myself wallowing in self pity, it has never really been my style so after a full hour of drama alone in that dark room I made the most critical decision in my life.

I said to myself in a stern, scolding voice. “Get up, fix this and get it done. You have never been a loser Mark, don’t you dare start acting like one now” That night was the first turning point in my life which no one else could do for me, except me. So I got up, washed my face and started to feel better. So for those who have serious financial problems: “Get Up, Fix It and Get it Done. The first step is for you to first help yourself.”

HOW I GOT UP AND FIXED THE PROBLEM.

1 month before I met my wife: At that point, I had made a decision to fix the business, turn it around and get it done. Problem is, you will never get it done until you find a good enough reason to. For a month, the only reason that was driving me to fix the business was my ego but it was not enough. I found myself ready to give in and take the easy way out again.

I needed a stronger reason to stick to my decision. I prayed religiously for a month, and on October 9, 2000, that prayer was answered. The reason came in the form of my wife. You see I met my wife because I wanted to make a deal with her company to turn my business around. She was an entrepreneur herself and being more seasoned than me, she quickly turned down my business proposal. These were her exact words: “Your deal doesn’t make any sense for us to get into it.” That line, harsh as it may seem to you right now was actually the start of a beautiful relationship. …(Click here for the continuation.)

Manila Bulletin:  BIZMAKER Column – By Mark H. So – October 11, 2009

During countless business seminars that I’ve conducted since 2003, one of the most common concerns of people in starting a business is about the risks involved and the fear of failing. A very valid concern indeed, one which to the inexperienced is incredibly intimidating and very limiting to a person’s full potential.

So in this article I’m going to explain in very practical terms how entrepreneurs like me beat failure every single time. Let me take you now to one of my seminars and I want you to imagine that I’m talking directly to you with a calm, soothing, and handsome voice.

“My friend, let’s talk about why you are afraid of failing, (Tell me if you can relate)

  •       Is it because you are afraid of losing the money that you worked very hard to save up for?
  •       Are you afraid of all the horror stories that your friends tell you about business?
  •       Is it because you have tried it yourself and almost lost everything you’ve got?
  •       Is it something else?

If you answered yes to one or even all of these questions, let me tell you now that you are not alone. Millions of people all over the world feel exactly the same way. Do you know that 95% of start up businesses fail in the first 5 years, and then for those who survive, another 95% may also end up failing in the next 5 years? (This isn’t exactly encouraging I know but continue reading as I assure you it’s worth your time).

Let me tell you the number one reason why the 95% fail, it’s because they’ve never really discovered the true secret of an Entrepreneur. And that secret is not talent, it’s not  just connections or customers, and it’s definitely not about capital or the lack thereof…It’s something far more basic — It’s about knowing how to totally eliminate the  risks right from the start.

Repeat after me:You can never fail if you have nothing to lose in the first place.

Now let me explain in very practical terms what I mean by this (Please feel free to write down some notes). Okay, let’s first quantify what failure really means. 99% of failure in business is about losing the money you put in, correct? And the 1% is about losing face or a deflated ego. So let’s talk about the 99% or losing money. Many, many times people put way too much emphasis in having start up capital first (I discussed why this is wrong in my article in Manila Bulletin last Sept 23 – How to Make Money with Zero Capital). And the problem is, most of the time people put in capital that they can never really afford to lose.

So what happens, if the business closes up? They’ve lost the money and most of the time, end up devastated. Is there a better way you ask? Yes and it’s far more simple than you think.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if there is a way to start it without putting in any money first? This is called starting with Zero Capital. If your answer is “Yes” then proceed with your money making venture, and if the business closes up, did you really fail? Not at all, you might experience a deflated ego or hurt pride, but that is really nothing if you think about it. Again, you can never fail if you have nothing to lose to begin with.

Now, if the business really needs start-up capital, like a coffee shop or a grocery where you need to invest some money into it, then ask yourself 2 simple questions:

1.)    How much money am I willing to put into this business?; and

2.)    Am I willing to lose this money if ever the business does not succeed?

Now if you come up with a peso figure to the first question and say “yes” to the second question, then congratulations, right there and then you have beaten failure yet again.

Now if you answered “No” to the second question then go back to question number 1, ask yourself how much money are you willing to put into this business that you are willing to lose.  Repeat this as many times as possible until you get the answer.

So now you ask— if this is the only amount that I will put in, then I can’t start the business yet…what do I do? Should I get a loan to cover the difference? No, not even close, the first answer I’ll give you is simple and uses common sense – If you cannot afford it, then scale down the business that you want to get into. Just learn to modify your plans a little bit so that it fits your budget.

Okay, so that answer is not going to stop you right?  In your mind, you adamantly say “ I want to put up a coffee shop even if I cannot afford it”.  You are head strong and stubborn I’ll give you that, but I will also tell you that’s the spirit and here’s what you should do:

Learn how to get Capital without getting into Debt. This is called learning how to raise capital using some technical know.

Is that even possible? Of course it is. I teach this in my Capital Raising and Cash Flow Management Class where I share what I have done successfully and it’s not just something you read from a book. Life has taught me well and the lesson I am sharing with you is a jewel that I picked up a few years back.

Now I’m not yet finished with our one on one discussion. This is just the start of our journey together, what I’d like you to do now is to continue reading my future articles in Manila Bulletin every Sunday in the Classifieds section (usually C or D section). If you have missed my previous articles, you can always come back here and leave a comment. Talk soon and more success to you.

Mark So is the Chairman and CEO of Businessmaker Academy.  A sought-after Business Trainer, he has taught thousands of people practical insights and strategies to win in business.  On October 17 and 24, he is scheduled to conduct the ZERO CAPITAL BUSINESS WORKSHOP, a two-day intensive seminar with four one-on-one coaching and consultancy sessions to help you get started in business.  For more information, you may contact Tel Nos. 6874445, 6874645, 6873416 or visit www.zerocapitalclub.com.