Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
The pursuit of success in any field is often riddled with setbacks and obstacles, and many of the world’s great business leaders failed many times before finding themselves on a fortuitous path to glory. It’s no secret that plenty of well-planned endeavors fall apart mid-flight due to forces beyond one’s control. And yet, many underestimate the power of failure as a teacher, as setbacks often serve as stepping stones on the continuous path to success.
Rather than get stalled by perceived failures, here are three tips on overcoming disappointment and instead of making them a positive part of your story from Propelify Innovation Festival’s speaker lineup.
Angelo Stracquatanio III, CEO and Founder Apprentice.io
“Grieving is healthy, and as entrepreneurs we all have different approaches and timelines for processing disappointment. Having the self-awareness to recognize and allow yourself a grieving period is crucial because it allows you to process the setback and move on once its over. It’s also key to focus on using the information you learned during this period to adapt your plan going forward. My best plans have come out of brutally difficult periods, and I realized that if I allowed myself the time to process the information in my own unique way that I could better see the path forward. Recognizing your humanity and the need to emotionally process will set yourself up for those moments of entrepreneurial genius.”
Lora Haddock DiCarlo, Founder and CEO of Lora DiCarlo
“I once met an investor and entrepreneur who told me, ‘Growth breaks things, Lora.’ They were right. Transformation does not happen inside of complacency and comfort. If you want to create great change, you have to be willing to operate outside of your comfort zone. You have to be willing to take big risks for big rewards.”
“Growth breaks things so you can create something new, stronger, and more beautiful in its place. So, yeah, being an entrepreneur is possibly the hardest thing you’ll ever do; but it’s also the most rewarding. Because if you want the life you want, you’re going to have to give up the life you have. A simple way to overcome business disappointment and prepare for change is to write down the worst thing that can happen and the best thing that could happen. A lot of times we avoid risk or procrastinate work simply because we’re afraid of failure.”
“You can work your way around that by actually asking, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ And then making a contingency plan for that situation. If you know you’ve got a plan in place to recover from the worst-case scenario, it’s a lot less scary. Then get motivated by reminding yourself of the amazing outcome you’re gunning for, and go for it. As you’re going you should also ask, “What’s most likely to happen?’ and ‘What are other outcomes that could happen?’ And to write down plans for those, too. That way, if something goes sideways and you’re left disappointed you have a plan in place to recover. Suddenly, the tribulations and uncertainty that comes with growth and change look less like disappointment and failure and more like a regular to-do list item.”
Eric Capsule, Founder and CEO at Capsule
“It’s important when starting on the entrepreneurial path that your head and heart are aligned. That you both understand the business side of things, but also that you have a deep-seated passion or visceral understanding of the problem you’re working on. That innate understanding and belief that the world could be better through your product is the wellspring of energy to tap into when inevitably things do not go as planned, obstacles arise, or you face disappointments. That immovable belief in the customer’s problem you’re solving can withstand and help overcome anything.”
Eric, Angelo, and Lora are part of the speaker lineup at Propelify on October 6th at Maxwell Park in Hoboken New Jersey. The event, focused on uniting innovators for talks, tech, exhibitors, drones, investors, and fun, will showcase 80+ amazing speakers and allow attendees to connect with some of the country’s most celebrated startups and investors, and founders. Sign up to attend www.propelify.com for free using code EntrepreneurPropels.