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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.

 

philosophy-Tony-Robbins-Picture-Quote
 

 

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

Dave Nelson - The New Era of Network Marketing

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

You Are The Problem With Your Business

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A great way to screw up your company is to get into the habit of blaming your suppliers, the market, your staff or your product for your failures.

I recently heard a story of a business that had set up a website. They sold various products and services focusing on helping people with psychological issues. The business owner was smart. The product solved a problem.

Unfortunately, the company was making almost no money. They’d hired someone to help them with their digital marketing and it wasn’t working.

Plenty of traffic was coming to the site, users were having a look around and then not buying a single thing. Who’s fault was this?

Well, according to the business owner it was the person running their digital marketing. As a result, they wasted approximately eight months marketing a website that couldn’t make any sales. The reason the business was failing according to the owner was because of the keywords that were being targeted in the marketing campaign. This is a horrible excuse.

The reason your business fails is because you’re blaming someone other than yourself. It’s the quickest way to bankruptcy. Don’t do that.


Your company is a reflection of you.

It took me a long time to figure out that a company is a reflection of its founder.

One of the businesses I had, had a toxic culture and a bunch of people that were rude to customers, arrogant and not nice people. That was a reflection of exactly who I was at the time.

The company was reflecting the flaws of my own life and what I refused to admit.

In the case of the business owner above, what was obvious is that they were good at telling lies to themselves. It was easy not to change as a business owner and insist that the change needed was nothing to do with their vision.

The issue of their company was not the digital marketing strategy but their lack of understanding around what their customer wanted.

The thought that their products were too complicated, not solving a real problem or priced incorrectly was an admission of guilt they wanted no part in. Hence the eventual demise of their company.


Take responsibility and it will change.

When you own the business, everything is your fault.

You have the power to solve any problem you choose. It starts with you being brave enough to admit that there’s a problem, and then secondly, being bold enough to insist it’s your fault and that you can change it.

The problems in your business can all be solved. That’s what it took me a very long time to understand. When I changed as a person and faced up to my hidden battle with mental illness that I didn’t want to talk about, the odds turned in my favor.

Had I have not taken responsibility for my mental illness, I would have never become a leader in a business or started another side hustle. I would have been crippled by the big, bad world that I thought I could control.

Control came from responsibility, and responsibility solved the major problem in my business: me.


Change is a must.

Not with your digital marketing strategy.
Not with hiring new people.
Not with developing a new product.

Changing yourself is the *must* because YOU attract the problems and the solutions into your business”

You can’t find the solutions or stop the never-ending problems until you stop the cause of it all: you. You’re the problem with your business. The good news is that it’s entirely within your control to fix.

Change you.

Not the business.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Startups

The Different Ways of Measuring the Success of Your Start-Up

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Image Credit: Unsplash

You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.

How to Evaluate Success

As anyone who’s been involved with start-ups knows, you need a fair amount of flexibility to do well in this environment. Take the division of labour for example – rather than strict roles, you’ll often see everyone do a bit of everything. The same principle extends to measuring success. It can be vague and mean different things to different people, and it can change over time.

But amongst all that vagueness, one thing has become clear. Predicting the success of a start-up is very difficult for external observers. As a matter of fact, it’s often impossible. Therefore, in order to evaluate how successful a start-up has truly been, we need to know the goals of its founder(s).

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” – Marianne Williamson

The Numbers

When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?

The answer to this depends. If the founders wanted to start a lasting business, then yes, they failed to meet their goal. However, that isn’t always the case. If they were looking for a short-term solution and came out with more money than they had coming in, a closed-down start-up needn’t be unsuccessful. It can actually be the opposite of that.

So, looking at the figures isn’t enough, and there are different perspectives to consider. When they start planning their business venture, start-up founders may not have any particular numbers in mind when it comes to profit. Instead, they can judge their success according to some of the following criteria.

1. Happy Customers and Solving Problems

The story of a start-up often begins with a problem. The desire to help people overcome a specific issue can be the spark which ignites the creation of an entire business. And in the end, that may be all that matters to the founders.

This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.

In other words, some start-up founders don’t just use financial reports to measure how much they’ve achieved. To them, the one metric which stands above all others is the quantity of positive feedback they’ve received. The main area of focus is customers who use the start-up’s products or services to solve a problem they were having.

2. Impact

Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).

In both cases, the furthering of mankind is the ultimate goal. Many other start-up founders feel the same, even if they have smaller goals in mind. To these people, there is no greater proof of success than if their company has had a positive impact on society or even a small segment of it. In their view, to make a difference is to succeed.

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins

3. Freedom

For some, starting up their own business is less about getting rich and more about gaining the freedom to conduct their business the way they want to. In this case, financial success is just a means to an end. The endgame is to be your own boss.

The fact is, some people don’t do well when they’re constantly receiving orders. They are simply hardwired to be free thinkers and they require an environment that allows them to do things in their own way.

Being in a position where you hold all the cards can be exhilarating. The knowledge that your decisions are final is very empowering, and many strive for such freedom. If a start-up can allow such people to go from being a regular employee to being in charge of making all the decisions, then it has already achieved all the success that it needs to.

4. Time for Friends and Family

As many people know all too well, a job can easily turn into the focal point of your daily life. Instead of being a way to support your lifestyle, your work dominates your time. And when that happens, the time you have to dedicate to your loved ones becomes scarce. Combating this is precisely what some have in mind when they decide to take the leap and start their own business.

Now, running your own company is no mean feat and it will require a lot of effort. But the beginning is the most time-consuming part of the process. Later on, it can be possible to create a system which leaves you with a lot more time on your hands. You can spend this time with your significant other, your children, or your friends. A start-up which gives you this opportunity is perhaps the greatest success of all.

A start-up is an extension of its founders and so are that company’s goals. Some entrepreneurs are in it for the profit, but not all of them. In the end, there is no single way to measure the success of a start-up. It all comes down to the specific aims of those who established it. But if the founders can end their day on a happy note, then the venture is a success even if it doesn’t fit some standard definition of the term.

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Startups

The Problem Is Not Your Website Or Your Product.

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spend a lot of my time talking to business owners. They focus on their product, their marketing channels and trying to make more profit.

I met one such business owner who was in the plastic surgery business. Their product (boob jobs and nose jobs) was not working. Their website sucked and people clicked off as soon as they visited it.

People would call their office, get put on hold, listen to the on hold message and hang up.

This business didn’t seem all that special. I’ve talked to many businesses and didn’t think for a microsecond that a plastic surgery clinic could ever teach me anything valuable.

I’ve been to Hollywood on holidays and the issues of body image are all too apparent to me. Anyway, this post is not about body image.

I ended up losing this business as a customer — not that I would ever have sold anything to them if it were up to me. I sat down one afternoon and thought about why we no longer did business with them.

That’s when I realized it’s not about your product or your website. All the issues with this plastic surgery clinic and a lot of other businesses I’ve dealt with stem from one thing. Let me explain in more detail.


Your Google Reviews say you’re an piece of work.

I looked up their Google Reviews and their customers said they were assholes.

They spoke down to clients, they didn’t deliver their clients what they wanted, they argued with their staff in front of customers and they treated people like they were nothing more than a dollar sign.

All I had to do was read their Google reviews to see that the problem wasn’t their product or their website.


Your clients tell you every day that you suck.

I asked the plastic surgery what their clients said.

Many of their clients told them that their services sucked and they would prefer to go to places like Thailand where they could get a better product at a much lower price.

The business owner made the mistake of thinking it was their product that was the problem and that a new website will tell clients a different message.

That wasn’t it.


You abuse your staff and they consistently leave.

I spoke with many staff that worked for this business.

Every single one of them hated the company and were not afraid to say what they thought of the business owner.

The business owner would sit outside on a nice sunny day and look across the street at all the yachts and the people boarding them.

They’d sit there and think that every lead they got was going to take them one step closer to owning their very own yacht.

“If only I could deliver more boob jobs, maybe I could have one of those,” they thought quietly to themselves hoping that no one else could hear how ridiculous this sounded.

I can remember multiple times being on the phone to the business owner and having one of their staff burst into tears halfway through the call.

The first time it happened I didn’t think much. After the third time, I got the message. During the short time I dealt with this business, people consistently left. If you made it to the six-month mark, you were some sort of hero and would probably be given a free surgery to say thank you for your work and make you feel worse about your own body at the same time.

It was free noses and boobs in return for daily abuse.

The problem still wasn’t the website all the product.


You don’t solve real problems; you solve your own problem.

A good business solves a problem.

That problem typically affects human beings and solving it is how you make money in business. Solving problems can start out with a problem that affects you, but at some point, you’ve got to start solving that same problem for other people/businesses.

This owner of this plastic surgery clinic was only trying to solve their own problem which was making more money to buy fancy items like yachts.

Only solving your own problem is not just selfish but bad business.

Good business is solving a big problem or lots of small problems for entire strangers who you don’t know thus doing something valuable for the human race.

Solving only your problem will make you poor.

The problem still wasn’t their website or product.


Creating more problems.

Everything this business owner sold created more problems.

They’d film videos to purposely make people feel like their body wasn’t perfect.

They’d write articles suggesting that everyone needs botox to feel young.

They’d take photos of men and women who were supposed to be perfect so that young people would dream of looking like them.

Not only was their business not solving a real problem; it was also creating more problems every day that it existed.

If your business creates more problems than it solves, you’re in real trouble.You need to take a long hard look at the business and become obsessed with doing everything you can to change it — and do so damn fast to limit the whirlwind of problems you’re creating behind you.


The heart of the problem.

It’s the business owner.

The business I mentioned will fail. That part is certain. The problem with the business is not the website or the product.

The problem is the business has no heart because the business owner has no heart.

You cannot focus on your own selfish desires, create really bad problems in the world, treat other human beings like garbage and expect to go buy a yacht and live happily ever after. It just doesn’t happen like that.

Whether you are a plastic surgery clinic like the one I described or a solo entrepreneur, the problem with your business is you.

Fix the problem of YOU. You can’t get away with being horrible forever.
Being horrible is bad business.

Being respectful, kind and valuable is the final answer to the problem with your business.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Entrepreneurs

18 Must Read Business Books for Emerging Entrepreneurs and Startups

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Reading is both relaxation and training for the mind. Who reads, dives into another world. Learning, entertaining and breaking out of everyday life for a short moment. One could go even so far as to say reading is the second most beautiful thing in the world! Whether it is non-fiction or a novel of all the world’s man has created, the book is the most powerful tool. That is also, why we wanted to find out which business book you should undertake in the new year. (more…)

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