EXTREME Duress: Build On THIS!
Though I’m only 33, in the last 20 years of my life, I have launched 5 businesses and closed 3 of them, endured many personal setbacks, and have made costly mistakes more than once.
Having read three books about Warren Buffett in the past 60 days, I was astounded at how much of his philosophy centers on the idea that failure is avoidable and should only be treated as a stepping-stone to bigger successes.
This isn’t unique to Buffett, but was interesting to observe, as no one studies the early part of his career. We all know him as a remarkable investor, but his biography reveals the human struggle behind his rise to the apex of the investment world.
Buffett pursued his passion, but he also pursued a vocation, which he was naturally gifted at. His ability to compute, absorb information, and form correct conclusions and find stellar businesses, is bordering the inhuman.
There is nothing magical about Buffett, nor is there any part of a billionaire’s or multi-millionaire’s story that isn’t accessible to you.
All of the greatest success stories I’ve studied or watched materialize in front of my own eyes involve hardships, countless moments of mental stress, many breaking points, and even periods of doubt, which can cripple your entire body, as a feeling of defeat engulfs you completely.
This is so natural that it never leaves some of us, no matter how wealthy we become.
Both Oprah Winfrey and J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) dread poverty to this day.
Will Smith, one of the wealthiest entertainers in the world, has nightmares of going bankrupt. Doubt and worry are habits, which we pick up very early on and never seem to get rid of.
Being under duress is constant, and I’ve simply embraced it. I do some of my best work when pressure is at record levels and the stakes are high.
Don’t shy away from this feeling because it is where the genuine breakthroughs in your life will come from.
Combining personal initiative with the notion that failure is part of the growth cycle of every entrepreneur is what will give you the power to persevere. I bet the world would have three-times its current wealth if people lost their need to fit in.
In 1991, a computer geek, with many of unsuccessful businesses under his belt was headed to yet another horrible project. After his latest project bombed, he was fed-up and disgusted with the life of a start-up developer and took a job with a reputable company.
But, true entrepreneurs can’t sit still. They must work and create. Pamela Wesley, who was this computer weez’s wife-to-be, collected Pez dispensers, but couldn’t find other collectors online. This was 1995. Pierre Omidyar decided to help his fiancé by creating an auctioning website, so that she could connect with her market.
The site attracted collectors of all types of items, and a year later, Pierre realized he tapped into a major human need – online commerce.
Since he was in the San Francisco area, he called his site, which started as a way to impress Pamela, eBay.
He’s a billionaire today and still the CEO of the company.
I assure you he is not alone in making several attempts at finding what makes people excited and willing to pay before nailing this elusive achievement.
All around us, people are failing, but a handful of them can learn from this and build on it. Become this person yourself. I compare these individuals to ants, who never quit.
Arianna Huffington was rejected by 36 publishers, before launching the Huffington Post.
Walt Disney was fired from his job in the newspaper business because his boss identified him as a person lacking imagination.
You do not have to possess special skills to do this – I guarantee you that having extraordinary abilities, like certain athletes have, is not a prerequisite for success at all.
An 11-year old named Frank Epperson left a cup of soda powder and water out on the porch in the cold weather. The cup had the stirring stick in it, but not until 18 years later, did Frank realize that what happened to him that night had marketable value.
The “Popsicle” became one of America’s most recognized products, and he was smart enough to patent it, and his family still receives royalties on sales today.
Personally, I find that working under duress, forcing myself into a corner and creating an environment where sparks must fly in every direction, is the best way for me to build on top of existing layers.
Push yourself. Life takes on a different tone by doing this.