Successful Entrepreneurs Use These 5 Strategies To Bounce Back From Failure

Learn success by studying success.  And by studying success, you’ll see that to achieve it, you will absolutely fail many, many times.  It’s our relationship with failure that will determine our life trajectory.  If you associate failure with learning and growth, you can take your next steps without fear and with renewed spirit.  Read about the lives of famous business people and surround yourself with like-minded peers to swap stories of wins and losses…

Successful Entrepreneurs Use These 5 Strategies To Bounce Back From Failure


Henry Ford had his do-or-die moment in 1908. Dubbed “Crazy Henry” when he built his first car a decade earlier, Ford now had a crazier dream: He wanted to create a car for the masses.

He picked a small room in his factory and stuffed it with designers, milling machines, and drill presses. Ford sat in his mother’s “lucky” rocking chair. His competitors were thrilled. “How soon will Ford blow up?” they asked.

Finally, investors gathered for the unveiling. Workers hoisted the engine 50 feet in the air and began lowering it into the chassis. But as it descended, the engine started spinning faster and faster until it broke free of the ropes and smashed to the ground.

This was Ford’s test: Go big or go home?

He quietly stepped forward and announced he would personally build a replacement. Six months later the Model T made its debut. It would sell 15 million cars over the next 20 years.

Every entrepreneur I know has faced one of these “engine-of-the-floor” moments — a critical juncture that determines whether your idea goes huge or falls flat. I’ve mentored 1,000 entrepreneurs who now generate over $7 billion in annual revenue. And I’ve noticed a pattern: Lots of leaders keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

But solutions exist. I keep a running tally on a whiteboard in my office. The next time you drop an engine, perhaps one of these might help you pick it up and move on.

1. Close doors.

Two entrepreneurs were in my office. Their social media company was taking off, with great clients and 70 employees. But they were stressed. I asked if anything else was contributing. “Well, we still own a radio station.” I grabbed my whiteboard. “You guys need to close doors,” I said.

In the early stage of building a dream, a little feet-dragging is understandable. Sara Blakely kept selling fax machines while she sold her first Spanx. But eventually you need to commit.

Bette Graham kept working as a secretary after inventing Liquid Paper, but the company didn’t take off until she quit. Phil Knight did other people’s taxes for years, but Nike didn’t soar until he gave up his accountant job.

When we’re young, we’re often told to keep as many doors open as possible. But for an entrepreneur seeking to go big, the better path forward is to close doors.

2. Fire your mother-in-law.

A few years ago I analyzed my best- and worst-performing entrepreneurs. Three-quarters launched their business with a partner, usually friends or family. Things start off swimmingly. “We practically finish each other’s sentences!” Then, one partner wants to expand while the other doesn’t; or one lacks the skills to scale. Yet they have no way to handle these disputes.

Half the entrepreneurs in the bottom quartile shared one thing: They lacked a shareholder agreement. My advice: Get a startup prenup.

Since, in many companies, it’s a founder’s sibling who’s in charge of sales and an in-law who controls finances, on my whiteboard I’m even more direct: Fire your mother-in-law.


From the sons of IKEA’s Ingvar Kamprad to the wives of Rupert Murdoch, families that work together often stop playing together. Gordon Ramsay split with his father-in-law and business partner, Chris Hutcheson, after discovering that he had been funneling money to a mistress and secret family for 30 years. Talk about a kitchen nightmare! It’s okay to love your partner, but make sure you know what to do if the love goes away.

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