Every single one of us – especially those of us with some degree of ambition – will hit rock-bottom at some point. Working to be the best means you’ll occasionally find yourself at your worst. The difference between eventual successes and inevitable failures is how you use the knowledge you gain at your ultimate lows.
“Low” Mentality Produces Poor Results
The first rule of thumb is to never allow a negative situation to creep into your everyday interactions or your outlook on life. Simply having good thoughts and a positive outlook can breathe life into a suffocating business. Owning an optimistic approach to business yields room for hope, while pessimism drains so much energy out of you that there’s no you left to work with. There are many opportunities made available to all of us, but we’re blind to them if we forgo hope. Regardless of bad luck, poor decisions, or just plain unfortunate circumstances, you still hold the key that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.
The Rock-Bottom Boost of Business
For most professionals, hitting rock-bottom doesn’t come after they’ve reached success. There usually isn’t a fall off the throne, since the proverbial throne itself hasn’t yet been established. Rather, entrepreneurs hit rock-bottom before they get to where they ultimately want to be.
Right out of college, I worked for a dot-com company, selling websites door-to-door to local businesses. After they could no longer pay my salary, I worked for a dry cleaning business. After about a year at that job, I left, knowing I needed to seriously reevaluate my professional track. I wasn’t happy at either of these jobs, and I knew why. As long I was working for someone else, I would always be settling for what I could get, rather than working for what I wanted.
This began my pursuit of wealth in the real estate investment industry. I became immediately successful, flipping houses rapidly, and my revenue was through the roof, right? (Wrong.) The reality was that I bought a lot of houses, which led to a mountain of credit card debt, bank loans, and a nosebleed of a credit rating. I knew my passion was in this industry, but I didn’t know enough about it yet to become successful.
Failures are to be expected of young entrepreneurs. You’re going to take a tumble or two before you trust your feet; you have to walk before you can run. I stuck it out. I studied and learned that by working the foreclosure market, I didn’t have to make payments on houses or fix them up. I was able to stay in the same industry that I had a passion for, but I tweaked my approach to make it work for me. I paid off all my debt, and in two years, I was financially free. I took the online marketing side of what I was doing and made it my focal point, specifically targeting short-sale investing. The things I learned through my failures ultimately led me to success. Ironically, I was working for other people, but I was my own boss. I was trying to help others gain their own success.
Staying in Motion
The only difference between me and someone who failed in business is that I knew how to rebound. Some sort of failure is unavoidable; in fact, failure is necessary for success. If failing were never relevant, then everyone would be successful.
Knowing this, I made a decision to continue forward and accomplish my goal of being a successful business owner. I continued without regrets, and I made it a point to learn anything I could about my industry. Knowledge is power; I knew it, I exploited it, and the things I was working on began to produce results. I was generating gross revenue and I was able to grow my business – year after year.
Tribulations Lead to Triumphs
Everyone knows “learn from your mistakes” is a cliché, right? Maybe it is, but it proved true for me then, and it still proves true today. I recommend this to anyone who is struggling or trying to come back from rock-bottom. Your mistakes give you the clearest picture of what it is you need to succeed; they give you hindsight. If you can look failure in the face and treat it as another stepping stone to success, then you’ll always be walking toward higher ground. For some, it may be a long hike; for others, the race to the top may be swift.
For everyone who dreams of success, recognize the true virtue of a dream, value the tediousness of hard work, and always look for the opportunities that are lurking around the corner of your failures. When you’ve hit bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.
D.C. Fawcett is the owner of Paramount Digital Publishing, an Internet publishing company. D.C. currently shares his marketing and business expertise through the IPM (Info Publishing Masterplan) Program.