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Success Advice

5 Steps To Turn A Setback Into A Comeback

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how to turn a setback into a comeback

Whether you are starting a business or pursuing a better lifestyle, setback is inevitable during your journey to greatness. Successful entrepreneurs may not be able to tell you if they have ever had (or ever will have) an “I made it” moment, but every one of them can tell you a dozen different setback experiences.  

When facing the challenge of a setback, the most common advice you will hear is, “pick yourself up from where you’ve fallen.”But, here’s a question: If you run into the same situation next time, will you fall again?

Is picking yourself up enough?Most of the advice you hear will tell you, “Just keep on trying and don’t give up…” Yes, it is true that in some cases you just need to have faith in yourself and keep on trying. But within these words are an assumption. The assumption that you will only need to face the setback once in your lifetime.

If you were to pick yourself up this time, you would never get rejected by potential customers, you would never lose your job, and you would never land a bad work position, never ever again. But what if that’s not true?  You will face similar challenges again. You will run into equivalent setbacks again.

Will you allow yourself to fall (again) into the same setback, while going through the process (again) of picking yourself up?

It’s time for you to learn from your setbacks, and then turn every setback into a triumph.

Below are 5 Steps to Turn Setback into Triumph:

1. Start by taking measurements throughout your process

Before you can start learning from your setback, you need to start taking measurements throughout the process to understand why and how the setback occurred. Once you have the measured-data of the process, instead of by instinct, you can uncover the reason-why to the setback by a systematized, scientific way.

A goal without a measurement is just a dream. Without measurements, there’s nothing you can do but wake up and face the cold, hard reality.

Each time you start a new project, regardless of whether it is business or personal, start by identifying a measurable KPI that can track your progress. Each time you are challenged by a setback, document your KPI measurement on a line chart. Look at when everything started to go terribly wrong, and identify exactly what you did that initiated the setback.

“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” – Henry Ford

2. Evaluate the skills and experiences you’ve acquired during the process

So you have run into a setback. It could be a catastrophic failure of the whole project. But looking back, your efforts are never wasted.

Every post you read taught you a new concept, every course you invested in allowed you to acquire a new set of skills, every dollar you spent transform into your experience, and every person you talked to initiated a new useful relationship.

After every setback, review and list all the different types of knowledge you acquired during the process.

  • Acquired skills — This is the how-to knowledge you acquired during the process.
  • Uncovered abilities — These are the innate talents or gifts you have uncovered through each attempt.
  • Real life experiences — This is the accumulated wisdom from investing time and money applying your skills and abilities.
  • Useful relationships — These are the relationships you’ve built with influencers and people who have valuable resources.

Each setback is an opportunity to discover your abilities and acquire new knowledge.

 

3. Identify what you need to learn now to ensure future success

So you know why and how you failed based on the measurements. You know what you’ve learned during the process by listing all your acquired knowledge.  It’s time to prepare yourself to succeed the next time you are faced with the same situation.

To increase your odds of succeeding next time around, you need to improve on the other knowledge you are lacking.

Picking yourself up is more than just trying again. It means that you need to have a deeper understanding of what to do different next time. Learning the knowledge you don’t have. Acquiring the skills that you need. Building the relationship that will enhance your chances of success. Every setback is a chance to identify what else you need to learn.

 

4. Make the setback part of your story and be proud of it

Take a look at some of the most popular blog posts. Study the presentation of the most effective webinar. Almost all content that goes viral involves a story related to a particular setback (failure, big mistake, or near death experience).

And where does the best story start? The best stories often begin with failure.

You’ve already “invested” in the story. Use it well to resonate with others who are also experiencing the same setback.

“We are, as a species, addicted to stories. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” – Jonathan Gottschall

5. Create a cross-out list of what doesn’t work

Thomas Edison is the most successful story for running into 1,000 setbacks.

Since setbacks are inevitable during the process, stop defining setback as a failure. Instead, define a setback as the success of finding out one more method that doesn’t work. Each setback is now a small triumph for you.

Only working during days you feel like working.

Working every single day without taking a break.

Working all by yourself in a locked up room.

Working with a mentor on a consistent 2-hour schedule.  

If you understand that setbacks are inevitable during your journey to greatness, you know that you don’t need to be afraid of facing your next setback. Stop looking at setbacks as failures or mistakes. Start identifying the triumph behind each and every setback you encounter. The difference between a successful and unfortunate individual is the attitude they maintain during a setback and how they turn it into his or her advantage — into a total triumph.

How are you going to turn your setback into a triumph? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Wuyen Hsu is the founder of Everyday Venture blog. If you’d like to learn more about what it really takes to start a side business, build your personal brand, and enjoy an amazing lifestyle, subscribe today for my 7-day Side Business Bootstrap challenge to launch your side business .

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tim Denning

    May 7, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Wuyen I have used setbacks as part of my story that i share and your article reinforces that point. Setbacks are what make your story exciting, real and human. No one that has ever been successful has ever not experienced some form of setback.

    • Avatar

      Wuyen Hsu

      Aug 16, 2016 at 4:10 am

      Yes Tim, setbacks are what make our story exciting and real.
      I think we can agree that a superhero movie would be super boring if all 120 minute is about how brave, kind, and SUPER the hero is while he (or she) never make a mistake, never had an enemy, and never get beaten for at least temporary in one way or another. 😉

  2. Avatar

    Evan

    Mar 21, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Wuyen,

    Wanted to show some love on this article, it was great! Thanks for the tips, and measuring our success and setbacks can be great milestones to achieving more next time. Many first-timer entrepreneurs can get stuck in the molds that don’t work that you mentioned, like working every day to no avail, banging their head against the wall, and taking no breaks.

    We know this is counterproductive and doesn’t serve anyone, it just actively tears them down!

    Keep up the good work buddy.

    – Evan

    • Avatar

      Wuyen

      Mar 22, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Hey Evan,
      Thanks for the comment.
      Yes, it’s tough when a lot of first-timers are expecting instant success after being brainwashed by all the massive “overnight” success – which actually took couple years. We just have to face the fact that their will always be difficulties, and sometimes we need to find the little wins within the setbacks to keep us going.

      Wuyen

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Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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As we start another year, you’re probably thinking about your life goals, dreams, aspirations, and what you want to accomplish. We know that New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad reputation because most people lose focus after the first few months and the first signs of resistance. (more…)

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