6 Things You Absolutely Must Know About Failure

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38941If you are familiar with Hustle Branding, you know I write quite a bit about the lessons I have learned from my mistakes and the importance of learning though the failure of others. In this post I discuss 6 of the most important things that you absolutely must know about failure and how you can use that information to help you be a better entrepreneur or and/leader.

1- Failure is Inevitable & Guaranteed

First things first, you need to know that failure not only happens, but it is inevitable & guaranteed… and that is a good thing. No person on this planet does not go a single day without failing at something. Once you understand that failing is inevitable and guaranteed, your perception of failure should change. At least mine did. I don’t take failure as a negative word. I take it as a positive word. To look deeper into this, I did a post in Forbes with Shark Tank’s Daymond John.

2- Failure is A Necessity

In order to succeed at anything in life, you need to know that failure is not only inevitable and guaranteed but it is also necessary. Failure is the only way we learn and grow. It is one of the very few seemingly negative things that we must consistently do, accept and actually look forward to. It is simply the way we learn. It is important to look at the lessons and what we learn from failure in order to understand the opportunities that are created when things don’t go exactly according to plan.

3- Failure Negates Complacency

If we are perfect and we are always batting 1000 at the plate, we will get complacent and bored with our own success. I love the fact that there is nothing on this planet that we have learned that we can’t learn more about, and nothing we can become great at that we can’t learn to be even better. If Lebron James couldn’t get any better I guarantee you he would quit.  Trying to be perfect is one of the biggest liabilities an entrepreneur can have.

4- Failure Means You Are Swinging The Bat

In order to succeed at anything in life you have to show up and try your best. As Daymond spoke about in his interview on Forbes, “if you’re not making mistakes, you are not making moves.” As you haven’t guessed there is no way to make a mistake if you don’t take action.

5- Failure Increases The Odds Of Success

The more you fail, the greater your chances are that you will eventually succeed. David Williams, columnist for Forbes, and CEO of Fishbowl Inventory goes very deep into this discussion in his book, The 7 Non- Negotiables Of Winning. It is an incredible book and a must-read for employers and leaders on how to treat your team correctly and create a winning environment.  David discusses the concept of ‘Failing Up’ which is something very similar to the way I think about ways to turn lemons into Lemon-Aide.

6- Failure Gives You Thick Skin

The more you fail, the thicker skin you will have to face your fears and better your chances to succeed. It is called building your rejection muscle. In business, it is a necessity to learn how to grow thick skin and build this rejection muscle as quickly as humanly possible.

I believe there is a huge misconception about failure and people assign the wrong definition to the word. To me the true definition of failure to me is giving up. In my entrepreneurial journey I have lost many battles, battles many would think of as failures. To me, however, what is important is winning the war. Being an entrepreneur is all about winning the war and accepting these battles (which others call failures) as part of the process of growing a business and winning the war.

Have a great day!

MJ

6 Compelling Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Start In Garages

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Steve-in-the-GarageSteve Jobs started his company from a family garage in California. Jeff Bezos from Amazon did the same thing in Washington. So did Larry page from Google. As did the founders of Mattel toys, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Dell Computer. Not a bad roster, huh?

There’s a brilliance in what garages have to offer. Recently, I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book, David and Goliath that talks about how people use disadvantages and turn them into strengths. It is also interesting to note that it works the other way around as many people use their strengths to expose potential weakness. It is a fascinating book.

In this post, I want to look at a number of examples of how we can find hidden assets and extract great strength from something as seemingly blah as a family garage.

Here are 6 reasons to make sure you don’t overlook the value of your family garage and to show the hidden assets within this seemingly impractical workspace:

1) No overhead

When you start a business, the last thing you want to do is spend any money that you do not have. That being said, while entrepreneurs are making and mixing, revising and improving their product, service and/or idea, they do so without increasing their bills… or their parents. Your welcome mom.

2) Need a place to be crazy and do what you want

The greatest companies have started with the craziest ideas. The founder of the Post-it note actually started with the idea of trying to create something that would stick to anything. His complete failure at that led to the greatest success of post-its.

In my first business,  I had a friend who didn’t know what to do with excess fabric left over from his factory that was cluttering his garage. It wasn’t enough to make a garment but before he went to throw it out he had the crazy idea of trying to make headbands and wristbands out of the waste… and made millions. Crazy like a fox.

Note: To view all articles in this blog on startups, click startup advice

3) Need a place to work late night or early morning

I have found that creative people work very strange hours. For instance, in fashion, the designers always work at night for some reason. Entrepreneurs work even crazier hours as the demands upon us far outweighs our allocated time (supply). What we often do is work until we cannot work anymore or when our brains are about to explode. A beat-up couch is often one of the biggest necessities in an aspiring entrepreneur’s garage.

4) Get away from the naysayers

Entrepreneurs are most often not understood. So much so, it is as if we are not only speaking a foreign language but hail from a different planet. We need a place to be crazy and foreign… and to be martians.

Note: To view articles for entrepreneurs starting a business, click help for entrepreneurs 

5)  Miniature companies

Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank started his company in his garage. Not to test the product but for actual production when he first started. He packed his mom’s garage with sewing machines and seamstresses and made polar fleece garments and discarded the rest by burning it outside despite the fact that his neighbors in Queens were not too happy about it.  Hopefully they are now Shark Tank fans. I wrote a post on Daymond and his creative hustle here .

6)  Quick Turnaround

One of a company’s greatest assets when starting out is the fact that there is no middle man (or woman). The entrepreneur is in the forefront of everything and is nearly always there to take care of pretty much everything at all times. That leads to some very quick turnaround and lightning fast customer service. After all, they are stuck in their garage so they have no choice but to be responsive!

What garage stories do you have?

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to explore a more in depth look at starting a business and raising money, Gary and I have shot 4 FREE product training videos that we have created that provides a much deeper and comprehensive look into starting a business. To visit that section, click here now.

 Have a great day!

 MJ

 

How To Go Out Of Business Before You Even Start

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Athlete_at_starting_blockI believe that good thinking is one of the greatest assets an entrepreneur can have. Too much thinking, on the other hand, can be an entrepreneur’s worst enemy and put you out of business before you even get off the ground.

I am guessing you have heard the phrase the paralysis of analysis a million times. Paralysis of analysis, in short, is when good thinking goes bad. (To view the video I shot on this, click here .)

Many people think the paralysis of analysis phrase has been exhausted and overused to a fault. I however, believe it is not used enough. For one reason or another, people are either not listening or not paying the phrase any mind and find themselves walking into the same rabbit holes they are being warned to stay away from every day.

I know this because I happen one of them …

Note: To view all articles in this blog on startups, click startup advice

My Paralysis Of Analysis

One of the biggest problems startup entrepreneurs have is getting stuck in the thinking phase and never moving into the action phase. For the past eighteen months or so, I have been caught up in by far the longest, and most drawn out startup I have ever been a part of. It has been so well thought and looked over so closely and carefully that it is as if we were trying to cure a disease. One thing about diseases, however, is that they only get solved through a lot of testing in the lab. The researchers and scientists can only play around with formulas so long until they need to test it and see if it works. Then what? Well, they go back and make modifications, re-formulate, re-test, etc etc… until they find the cure.

Startups need to do the same thing, I know that… but then again knowing means nothing if it is not implemented in the form of taking action. I talk more about taking action and doing what you know here .

So what did we do? … well we kept thinking and looking things through until we had OVERTHUNK it.

The Line Between Diligence and Ignorance

There is a fine but definite line between due diligence and ignorance and we (myself and my partners) definitely reached that ignorance point. The ignorance point happens when things go from productive to unproductive, from forward to backward, and from positive to negative. It is the point of diminishing returns. In this case, too much information started interfering with the core purpose of what we had created and it was definitely getting the best of both me as well my partners until recently (or so I hope). Quite simply, we were trying to be perfect. This is something I talked about in The Obsession To Be Perfect .

Rubber To The Road

So many startups get stuck at the conceptualization phase and never get the rubber on the road. Luckily, I stepped away for a few days and was able to get an objective view of the situation. I looked back on my past experience in business and realized that there was a point in every one of my businesses where I said, “F*ck it, we have prepared enough, the rest we will have to figure out after we take it to market.”… And that is what we did and, each time I managed to get the rubber on the road (not without a lot of unexpected obstacles along the way I might add).

Note: To view articles for entrepreneurs starting a business, click help for entrepreneurs 

Get In The Lab

So we are now back on course, headed to the lab with the test tubes in our hands and ready to mix, modify, change and improve . It took a while, but better late than never right?

If you are a startup I suggest you do the same thing. Work hard, prepare, do your due diligence… but stay away from the point of ignorance and the paralysis of analysis at all costs. Put a plan of action together and act on it without fear or hesitation.

 

Have a great day!

 MJ

A Startup Entrepreneur’s Tale: When Good Thinking Goes Bad

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Being a great thinker in my opinion is a tremendous advantage for every startup entrepreneur. OVERTHINKING, on the other hand, is one of the greatest liabilities for startups, especially when they are trying to bring their product or service to market. In this video, I talk about a recent mistake I made with a new startup that Gary and I have been working on, what we did wrong, and what we did to correct our course and get back on schedule.