“The beautiful thing in business is you can fail 90% of the time and still be a freaking millionaire.”
– Grant Cardone
Listening to the Knowledge for Men podcast last week, I heard Grant Cardone say this quote. Rewind to earlier during the day and I had been feeling sorry for myself after getting the news that a new freelance gig had fallen through. These words hit me hard. Grant Cardone is an extremely successful entrepreneur, and he was making analogies about himself failing so many times – including one where he said he would be thrown out of the majors if he played professional baseball because of how much he fails.
Hearing how much Grant Cardone – someone so successful – fails made me realize remember that failing is part of the process of success.
As an achiever and recovering perfectionist, dealing with failure is hard for me. Anyone else out there find it hard, too? Here are my top 4 strategies that I’ve learned how it’s best to deal with failure.
1. Acknowledge the failure
The first step to overcoming and working through failure is to acknowledge it – I mean really acknowledge it. Knowing that something didn’t work out and stressing about it or feeling bad about it is not enough. You need to think about it intentionally. Ask yourself helpful questions, like: 1) What happened? 2) How am I at fault? 3) What other factors are at play? These questions will help you look objectively at what happened and help you hold yourself accountable for your part in the failure.
Taking ownership in your failures is powerful because it helps you to feel the pain of failing. Only after you acknowledge the pain and work through your feelings and actions, can you then move past the failure.
You don’t learn from experience itself – you learn from evaluated experience.
2. Get over the failure (stop the pity party)
That brings you to step 2 – get over it. Yes, you want to acknowledge the failure, but then you need to get over it. This is very hard for the type-A, overachievers out there (myself included). But you’re doing yourself a disservice if you wallow in your failure. There’s nothing you can do about the past. Put the pity-party on hold and get over yourself. Everyone is failing left and right. Millionaires – they’re failing. Grant Cardone said that he fails so much that he would be demoted from professional status in any other arena. But the great thing about business is that you can keep failing and still be wildly successful.
The tragedy lies in letting your failures define you. You can ruin your potential. Don’t do this! You’re amazing and you have special gifts to give. Take your failure and turn it into a positive.
3. Ask what your failure makes possible
This brings us to step 3 – ask yourself what your failure makes possible. For example, maybe you were let go at your job and this feels like a complete failure. Ask yourself what you can do now that you’re not at that job. Maybe it’s move to a new town or start a side business. Maybe it’s something completely different. Write down a list of possibilities that you have now that you’ve had this failure (and actually write them down – writing will help you clarify your thoughts).
If you believe that there are opportunities everywhere, then use your failure as an opportunity for something else – something that wasn’t possible before your failure. Turn your negative experience into a positive experience.
4. Learn to change
The final step – step 4 is for you to learn to change. If you keep doing the same thing, and you keep failing, then it’s time to make a change. I talk about changing in this post, but in general, you want to work on yourself so you don’t continue repeating the same actions and failing. Take this failure as an opportunity to learn about yourself (introspectively) and grow, as well as your skills. Wherever you can make a positive change in your life through having the failure is worth it.
Most importantly, remember that you’re not alone – everyone is failing everywhere. It takes a lot of work to have success. And even when you’re big time successful like Grant Cardone, you will continue to fail. The best thing you can do for yourself now is to get thicker skin and learn to grow from your failure so it doesn’t halt your future success.