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5 Ways for your Startup to Overcome Massive Failure

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It’s often very easy to talk about success but talking about failure can be a lot harder. I recently caught up with an expert in the topic, Dave Nelson. Only a few years ago Dave was broke and in debt, now he is one of the most well-known people in the Australian Network Marketing Industry. So much so, that he has recently released a book called “The New Era of Network Marketing,” which he sees as his biggest personal win. Whilst being in his twenties and driving a Ferrari every day, Dave still remains humble and really wants to share his knowledge.

Whether you believe in Network Marketing or not, it doesn’t really matter, what matters is that it’s an entrepreneurial journey and one of the hardest. When you pick a really hard industry to get into, like network marketing, it’s even easier to fail. There is no money down to join so it becomes “easy in, easy out”. The difference is if you spent $50,000 to get into something then you probably won’t quit as easy.

Dave see’s his biggest failure as having sales in his business go on a downward spiral, even after spending money on marketing and still seeing zero return. He turned this around by doubling his team’s weekly sales in a couple of months, which became the highest point in his business to date. In order to achieve this phenomenal result, Dave’s team believed that “mastery lies in the basics”.

The standards of their basic actions were all over the place initially. It wasn’t about releasing more product lines or a new marketing campaign; it was about raising their standards and doing all the little one percenters.

What is failure?

Failure is quitting. Failure is when something is over, you have quite and you have actually gone under. Perceived failure is where we make the mistake. We often think we are failing when we are not.

Below are Dave’s five ways for your startup to overcome failure.

1. It’s not hard it’s just you thought it was going to be easy

Dave spent about $15,000 starting his own juice delivery business, which failed. He ended up with a large number of empty water bottles sitting at his house as well as all the council permits that never got used. He eventually ran out of money and didn’t have any sales coming in so he closed the business. The big lesson that Dave learnt from this early on was that he hadn’t anticipated how much hard work was actually required. Often this can be the biggest mistake for founders who haven’t done a business before.

No startup has ever had an upward curve every month. There’s failure’s every month in some aspect whether it’s retention, new orders or a marketing campaign that doesn’t work. There are thousands of mini failures; you need to look for the lesson within the failure so you can grow from it. This is what will build a strong platform and strong startup. Grant Cardone says, “it’s not that business is ten times harder than what people think, it’s that entrepreneurs think it’s going to be ten times easier than it really is”.

What is so great about failure is that you get stronger with every failure you go through. When you go to the gym and you try and lift heavy weight you usually fail the first time and it really hurts. When you consistently keep trying to lift the same weight, eventually your body stops hurting and you can start looking to lift heavier again.

“A great idea is not enough; you must dedicate the time and energy to it.”

One of the most frustrating things in business is to have a consistent plateau. To overcome this, you have to try and stay positive and find where the glitch is in your own system is. From here you obviously need to fix it before you can move on from the failure. If you’re an entrepreneur that does a lot of reading (and you should be) then you would have read plenty of stories of entrepreneur’s and even successful millionaires, failing multiple times.

There are so many Virgin marketing campaigns that you’ve never even heard about, but it takes all of that failure to have a few that work. Keeping this in mind is what helps keep you positive. If you’re not consciously aware of this then it’s easy to get down and get stuck in a rut.

2. Pay no attention to the Naysayers

Fear of judgement is one of the great fears of the human existence. All entrepreneurs have been judged by the naysayers and the critics at some point in their journey. Often these people judge you because your success can highlight their failures and so in turn, they want to see you fail. Understand that this is the dark side of humanity and that it’s normal. You can’t be in control of this you just have to be in control of what you do.

Even if you’re onto your third failed startup you should keep going as long as the desire is still there. The average millionaire has gone through eleven different failures, so if you really want it and it’s in your blood, you should go for it! The only real question though is how long do you keep going on the same venture until you move onto the next one? Only you will know when the time is right but don’t quit too early because a lot of entrepreneurs quit just before they are about to hit momentum and then they never get the reward.

Once you’re an entrepreneur there is no going back. For you to go from being an entrepreneur, back to a day job, would be like prison on earth, so keep persisting.

“Sylvester Stallone was an overnight success in 20 years.”

3. Use Personal development, you’re not god

Stories from biographies or leadership experts like Tony Robbins and Robin Sharma help to give you a new perspective. Without self-development, sometimes your perspective is your failure. If you have read the books and you know that everyone has been through it, then now you have a path to follow because someone else has already paved the way. Personal development really helps with your beliefs; putting things in a positive perspective, dealing with problems and helping you manage your emotional state.

You would have to be very godly to make it to the top without a lot of help along the way whether that’s a book, a mentor, seminars, audiobooks or Youtube videos. This is why people are developing so fast these days because we have so much access to these resources. Thanks to platforms like Youtube, you can now watch the most successful people on the planet and the way they use speech and body language. Once you have watched a few videos you can then mirror these traits yourself, for free.

4. Understand the entrepreneurial traits and mindset you need to win

Your character has to be unyielding, you have to be so strong because it’s hard to be confident and push through the mud when things are not going well but this is the true test of your character. Dave also says “back in the 1500’s you had to be physically a warrior to survive but today the battle is all in the mind”.

A good way to describe how you need to be is “compassionately ruthless” and relentless. You still need to care about people, but you have to be so strong because only the mentally tough will survive. Don’t dwell on things and self-condemn, as this will only cause you to be down on yourself.

The ones that think outside the box, question normality, don’t follow the herd and were even a little bit crazy at school often end up becoming excellent entrepreneurs. Usually, the ones that aren’t a bit crazy tend to quit. All of these traits are great, but you still must be hardworking.

If these traits sound like you and you’re not an entrepreneur, maybe its time for a career change?

Everyone’s failed and it’s in everyone’s story. What you will generally find is that the failures will often create the success because the failure creates such a void in their life; so then they have an extra drive to be successful. Sometimes the failure and poverty can actually be your best friend and so many successful people and startups come from this place.

5. Make sure you manage your state and learn to deal with fear

From the start of your journey into the business world, you often come in with no emotional strength but then as you experience the failure you start to build it.

Understand that fear, hesitation and thoughts of quitting are very normal. Your state management as an entrepreneur, which includes your charisma, energy and confidence, is very important to turn on even if you’re failing. If you don’t turn these on then your actions become a reaction of your result. This means every time you have a down in your business your energy is not going to be where it needs to be. Be very aware of your state management and stay positive no matter what.

Our world is based on duality (cause and effect) and if your effect is failure then there is some action occurring in your startup that needs to change. Within every failure, there is a lesson to be had and a chance to see where you can improve in your business.

“The only difference between the winners and the losers is that the winners just keep going even though they have the same fear.”

Dave’s Favourite story of Success

Everyone assumes with Richard Branson that everything he touches turns to gold. A lot of the businesses Virgin has done have failed badly yet most people don’t realise it. If more people knew this then they would survive longer in the business world, not get so down on themselves and try more things. Generally, a lot of us only see people’s successes and this needs to be something that we become more aware of

If you would like to hear more from Dave Nelson then visit davenelson.tv or read his book The New Era of Network Marketing

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jagdish Kashyap

    Nov 19, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I think failure is the most important thing to be a successful person – Without a failure you can’t access your full potential.
    I’m to a successful person YET but one day I will be! – I just wanted to drop my comment, let me know if i’m not wrong about “Failure”

    #ProudToBeAFailure
    Cheers!

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 2:43 am

      Jagdish I totally agree. Failure is an entrepreneurs university education.

  2. Salifu Junior

    Mar 10, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    It is not so difficult to start and nourish a startup. You plan well and act on your plans, however in between there is real work to do and real persistence to endure. Those who become successful are those who manage to stay on when others have abandoned the ship.

    • Tim Denning

      Mar 11, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Really wise words Salifu and so very true. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

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Startups

How to Create a Winning Startup Culture

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Some time back, in my infographic on 51 Business Mistakes that most Entrepreneurs Make, I had outlined that one of the biggest mistakes is that you do not give any thought as to what you consider would be a great startup culture. And, without good policies or HR to keep things in check, the startup begins to develop a toxic business culture. (more…)

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51 Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Dream Startup

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So you’ve got an idea. You know it will work. And, it means the world to you.

You are an entrepreneur and you think you can rock the world with this one idea that matters to you the most. And, you set out to form the idea into a startup that you are going to nurture and develop into a blooming business in the upcoming years.

However, I don’t want to throw water over your dreams but, I do need to bring this “optimist” you into the hard and cold reality…….. the reality which says that 90% of all startups fail.

Of course, this can bring a great deal of uncertainty into your life and you got to be prepared to deal with it. You are also going to face a ton of challenges in your life which will force you to grow as an entrepreneur. But, the important thing is that you stick with it.

Of course, as Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s friend) once said, “All I Want to Know is Where I’m Going to Die So I’ll Never Go There”. No entrepreneurs want their startups to fail after putting in days and weeks of effort into it.

So, a lot of research has been put forward into knowing what does actually sabotage a startup?

Fortune reported that the single biggest reason startups fail was because they do not identify what the market wants before setting up their startup.

However, it isn’t as simple as that. An entrepreneur needs to perform a comprehensive business plan before he sets out with his business idea. Also, you have to know whether your business idea actually suits you or not. If it doesn’t then, you either you need to fine-tune yourself with your business idea or you need to change the business plan so that it suits you.

And, it is only after that, should you venture upon your startup.
Now, is that all? Of course not. The problem most entrepreneurs face when they first begin their entrepreneurial journey is that they don’t know what they don’t know.

That’s where they tend to make a series of mistakes that may cause great harm to their startup.

That’s why I scoured for successful entrepreneurs to provide me with information on what they think were the most common mistakes that startups do. Plus, I also got tips on how to avoid these mistakes.

You can check out the original article here: 70 Mistakes Startups Make And Tips On How You Can Avoid Them

Now, it’s your turn to do some work. Let me know what you thought of these mistakes and tips that entrepreneurs commit. Do you know of any other mistakes that entrepreneurs do? Comment below!

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8 Key Factors That Discourage Investors From Putting Money Into Your Startup

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Today’s ideas are tomorrow’s winning businesses. Ideas executed brilliantly and with proper investment bring your business success. That is how the world of business got the likes of Apple, Google, McDonald’s, Amazon and so on.

But why in spite of the brilliant and promising ideas at the core of their business, many startups fail to attract investors? Why do investors hesitate to put their money into some startups? Well, investors have reasons and only by deciphering these reasons we could get hold of some deterrent factors that hold them back.

Let us explain some of the vital factors that prevent investors from putting their money in the startups below:

1. Inefficiency or Absence of Leadership Qualities

Inefficiency is the most significant deterrent factor for pulling the success of most startups. This can also be referred to as the lack of leadership qualities. Investors always want to make sure that they don’t lose their money through a company that has an extraordinary business model but no efficient and skilled business leader to make it successful. When fetching investment from investors, you need to offer a clear prospect and detailed plan of how you are going to achieve the goals.

2. Lack of Trustworthiness

An investor puts his money on a venture purely on the basis of the credibility and trustworthiness of the business. This is why besides having a sound business plan with clear objectives, you need to establish the integrity in terms of the security of the investor’s money and how the fund is going to be invested to give results as per business plan.

If an investor has a feeling that the startup may not have enough customers to fulfil its financial liabilities or if it finds that the business is hiding some information, it may further push the trust of the investors down. Total transparency and establishing the faith of the business brand are crucial for finding investors in favor.

3. Lacking Experience in Business Management

You have a great business idea backed up by a sound business plan and solid trustworthiness based on your background, but you have zero experience in managing a business. This is a serious reason for an investor to deny making any investment in your business. An investor cannot put his money just to allow you trying and learning your management skills the harder and riskier way. Uncertainty is the single biggest turn-off factor for any investor and lack of managerial experience is synonymous to that.

4. Business Model is Not Sound Enough

You have a business idea, some efficient, competent and experienced professionals as leaders, the great stamp of trust and pretty much everything that make a company look promising. But what about your business strategy and business model? Are they sound enough to take on the market competition and challenges for business growth? Well, this is what investors are most interested in.

In most cases, a business model is what makes an investor think twice and even take a backward step from investing in a startup. After all, your business model and strategy will decide how your business and products will be able to withstand competition and become victorious.

5. Taking Investors for Granted

This is a big mistake on the part of many startups. Just by becoming confident in the potential and the soundness of the business model and prospect, a business can consider getting investors on board requires just a little effort and time. But in reality, getting investors on board is the toughest thing a business can think of.

This is why without proper and meticulous preparation, it would be foolish to approach investors for your business. Most investors receive hundreds of such emails and a similar number of approaches through other means and they coldly just let them pass. This is why you need to send them very detailed proposals backed by strong recommendations and referrals.

6. Targeting the Wrong Investor

Every business has a target customer base, right? Not all customers are interested in every product in the market. Similarly, not all investors are interested in your business. Investors based on their prior experience and industry exposure, put their money in businesses that they know like their own palm of their hand.

So, targeting an investor who has no interest in your business will only drain your energy and bring you unnecessary frustration. When you are seeking investors for your software startup, don’t approach someone investing in real estate business.

7. Non-Realistic Proposal for Funds

Investors normally come with huge experience of your industry and so they have a clear idea about the fund requirements for your business startup. Moreover, they already have invested in other ventures or have gone through many proposals. Naturally, they have every bit of estimate already in their mind. So, any proposal claiming a lofty and unrealistic amount will only face rejection.

This is why it would be wise to become meticulous about your estimation of the required fund and calculation of various cost factors. Have meticulous details about every facet of investment backed up by breakup of the costs. Only when you can convince them with correct estimation, investors can take interest in discussing the matter further.

8. Make Sure Your Product Solves a Customer Problem

Will any investor put money in building a simple calendar app now? No, simply because such an app idea has no value for the end users now. Will an investor put money in a product that has already been outdated and has no use? No, no investor has to even go through such a proposal for dismissing them.

Well, to fetch investment, your product must be thoroughly customer-centric. It not only has to solve a problem but has to deliver some competitive value in comparison to similar products in the market.

Obviously, finding an investor for a new business is not an easy task, considering the huge competition that businesses need to deal with. But, if your business idea is unique and you fill all those requirements correctly as mentioned above, finding investors may not be as tough as it sounds.

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5 Must Have Branding Tools for Your Startup

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Your brand is more than just the colors on your website. And for startups, it’s important to create a strong and memorable brand from the beginning if you want to stand out from the competition, scale your company, and find your ideal customers faster.

Here are 5 simple tools that will help your company avoid branding mistakes, take charge of your visual identity, and set a solid foundation for future growth:

1. Graphic Design Software

The word “design” doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Before deciding on your startup’s logo, colors, designs, and overall tone, consider working with a brand strategist who can translate the core ingredients of your startup into a visual identity that speaks to your target market.

Brand strategists have expertise in the psychology of colors, shapes, textures, and words, and they will work with you to make sure that your branding appeals to your target audience. Once you have those basics of your brand established, there are several tools that can help your company refresh and maintain your visual identity.

The absolute best graphic design tool for non-designers is Canva. While the free version has a lot of functionality, the paid plans offer more customization such as the ability to import your exact brand fonts and colors.

But if your company handles all of your design in-house, you will need something more advanced than Canva. In that situation, I would recommend Adobe Creative Cloud to startups who work on their designs in-house, as it includes top-notch design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, and more.

“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room – Jeff Bezos

2. Visuals & Creative Imagery

Have you ever wondered where your competitors get those beautiful branded photographs that end up on their website? While it’s possible that they worked with a photographer, it’s also likely that much of their imagery comes from stock photos.

Here are my recommendations on the exact places to purchase stock imagery to improve your company’s branding:

  • Creative Market – A treasure trove of quality visual imagery where you can buy anything from stock photos, to branding mockups, to social media templates (Facebook cover photo, anyone?), to custom fonts… the options are nearly endless.
  • Adobe Stock – Beloved by designers, and the platform offers tiered pricing plans based on your image needs and download quantity.
  • Pixels – If you’re on a tight budget and just need to grab an image or two for a blog post, you may be able to find what you need on Pixels – which is great because all of the photos and videos on Pixels are free!

3. Social Media Scheduler

You’re a leader. You’re an entrepreneur. Your staff, board, funders, and admirers depend on you to make big decisions, lead the ship, and plot the vision towards your company’s future. You don’t have time to stare at a blank screen every day wondering what to post on Facebook.

By using a social media scheduling tool, you can sit down for a few hours, schedule batches of content, and schedule the dates and times when it will post to your accounts over the next couple of months. Then, once the content is posted, you only need to worry about responding to comments and engaging with your customers. 21st century efficiency at its finest.

Popular social media schedulers include Buffer and Hootsuite, both of which include free and paid plans. Not sure what exactly to post? Check out these social media ideas from influential businesses. And if the idea of writing and planning months of content still overwhelms you, our next tool will help you stay organized and on-brand.

4. Editorial Calendar

When it comes to your content, it’s time to step it up a notch and start thinking like a media outlet. Every piece of content that you put out as a company, whether it’s an e-mail blast, blog post, social media post, podcast, or video, needs to be aligned with your brand.

Each major magazine maintains an editorial calendar which outlines the overarching theme for each of the upcoming 12+ months. By establishing a monthly content theme in advance, they create a framework to generate and organize their ideas.

Consider creating an internal editorial calendar that will guide your startup’s content over the next 6-12 months. The software tool you use to maintain your editorial calendar isn’t that important — I like to use Trello, but you can also create a simple numbered list in Google Docs or Microsoft Excel. You may be surprised at how quickly the creative juices flow once you have an editorial calendar in place.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” – Paul Rand

5. In-Person Networking

Offline efforts count towards your branding too! And if you run your entire startup from behind your laptop screen, you miss out on ample opportunities to build your business offline and gain local referral partners.

If you’re new to in-person networking, start by visiting Meetup.com or Eventbrite.com where you can browse for events in your area. Think outside the box when it comes to selecting events to attend. For example: If you’re a chiropractor, it makes sense to attend local holistic health meetups. But you could also attend a travel event and meet digital nomads who don’t yet realize that a chiropractor can help them recover after long plane rides.

Remember that you’re not at the networking event to make instant sales, you’re looking for referral partners and connections. Don’t be the person who tries to shove your sales pitch down everyone’s throat upon meeting them.

As you can see, there are many simple online and offline resources that can help you spruce up your branding, reach new customers, and pique the interest of your target market. If you take branding one step at a time and start with the tools above, you will be well on your way to creating a brand that your customers will cherish and remember.

Have you used any of these branding tools before? Are there any additional tools that have helped your startup’s branding shine? Share your thoughts below!

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