"No." It was the same answer every time. No one would publish their book, a collection of inspirational stories with the same healing power as chicken soup. But Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen knew the power of a good story and had built their careers around telling inspirational and uplifting stories. Publisher after publisher told them it wouldn't fly, and yet they persevered. Year after year they searched for someone willing to publish their collection. They went to trade shows, contacted publishing houses and even looked for private investors. In total, 123 publishers turned them down before their agent abandoned the project. Finally in 1993, someone said "Yes."
After years of effort Chicken Soup for the Soul was published, selling over 2 million copies. Now, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series has over 14 titles in 54 languages and has grossed over 1.3 billion.
If you've set your sights on massive success or have lofty goals, the path to victory will be strewn with setbacks. Yet it is not the setbacks that will determine whether you triumph or not, it is what you do with those setbacks.
Making it in a tough world and an economy that is more competitive than ever isn't easy. One day, in the face of setbacks along my own path I thought to myself sorrowfully, "It's like a war." Suddenly I saw a flash of light. "It is a war!" I said. "And to win the war, you need to be warrior!"
To triumph in a tough business world, I needed a warrior spirit. Letting setbacks get the best of me was not going to lead me to success. How would a warrior see setbacks, I wondered.
A martial artist redirects his opponent's energy back against him instead of using his own. His battle seems effortless. Could I do the same? Could I shape and mould setbacks into opportunities?
The warrior knows we can't always control events, but we can always control our response to events. We can always choose what we do with what happens. A setback can either crush you down, or serve as the foundation for greater success.
Out there in the world, things happen. What does anything mean? Events out there in the world do not have any inherent meaning. Nothing has any meaning until we give it meaning. When it's out there, it's just information. When we take in that information from the world we evaluate it and interpret it through our perceptual filters. The data then becomes meaningful to us through our automatic interpretation. The interpretation or meaning we give events automatically is the result of our past programming - our beliefs, experiences, values etc - is not necessarily the one that will lead to warrior results.
Imagine if you had gone through life with no problems, setbacks or obstacles. In the present, you would have no strength, no skills, no resources and a complete inability to handle challenges. You would be a complete dud. All of those "negative" experiences served to enrich you in some way. You learned, gained insights, made decisions about what you want and do not want, choose new directions to move in. It is precisely those experiences which led you to where you are today. You gained strength and courage
The same is true of your business. Every obstacle or challenge serves you in some way. Every setback is the opportunity to evolve and take your business to the next level.
When you decide you want to take your business to the next level, double or triple your sales, the very first thing that will happen is that obstacles will present themselves. They will suddenly pop out of nowhere. We tend to fight them, saying, "No, this isn't what I want." But what we don't realize is that we live in an intelligent universe.
But those setbacks that popped up with such perfect timing hold the key to your success. When you set a goal, the universe will present you will precisely what you need to overcome, learn from or experience to achieve that goal. While you are experiencing it you will most likely fail to see the value. It won't be until after that you realize that those experience were precisely what you needed to get where you want to go.
Often our vision of what we need to get what we want is limited. We set the goal and we think we know how to get there, but the universe knows better.
When you open your eyes and your mind, you can see the hidden benefit in every event. You can take control of your mind, find the hidden advantages and transform setbacks into opportunities. Ingenuity in business is all about translating obstacles into opportunities for gain.
Fear of failure is all too common, and all too frequently we are defeated by failure instead of standing up, dusting our pants off and continuing toward our goals. But failure only exists if you set a time limit. Failure cannot exist if you don't give up - all "failures" are temporary setbacks that hold the key to success. Often what you would call failure is just letting you know that you need to change what you are doing if you want to accomplish your goal.
Failure holds the key to success
A warrior cannot fail because he takes setbacks and moulds them into advantages. Reality is a question of choice of perception. The more ways you have of looking at something, the more chance you have of choosing a perspective that will lead to success. The right perspective leads to power, power to choose the outcome you want. Your perspective can work for or against you.
Those who are successful are successful precisely because of the mistakes they have made. What they learned from each mistake held the key to succeeding. Setbacks were opportunities in disguise. Failures were stepping stones on the path to success.
Every challenge I faced while growing Mindworks Coaching was a blessing in disguise. The most difficult clients taught me everything I needed to know to be able to handle any situation. Those times when I gave presentations but didn't make the sale gave me the motivation and drive to find what was missing and tweak my approach so I could really understand what people wanted and how I could demonstrate how I could help. The months when I had no clients and no income drove me to ponder what it is that really makes a business thrive, a concept catch on and an idea spread like a virus.
If I had not experienced every single one of those "setbacks," I would not have learned what I needed to know to build several successful companies. I would not have discovered the keys to marketing and sales and I would not have been able to get where I am. And I am very happy where I am.
When faced with any setback, challenge or unexpected event, ask yourself:
1. What does this mean to me?
2. What else could this mean?
3. What can I learn from this?
4. How can I use this?
5. How can I turn this around for my benefit?
Warrior mind, warrior spirit, warrior results.