One day at the beginning of February I committed myself to finish Bounce! by Barry J. Moltz because I had to–I’d just been fired. At the time I didn’t think anyone could relate more to his opening chapter than I did because it was as if my story was being told, except the names were changed to protect the innocent. There I was: 30 years old, married just two years, stuck with a brand new mortgage, and kicked to the curb with one month of severance pay to get on my own two feet… if only I could even comprehend what had happened.
I had failed. Failed as an employee (I guess), failed as a husband, and failed as a member of society. I was down in the dumps and later learned that I met more than enough criteria to be diagnosed with “major depression.” The eternal optimist, I started working on projects I had been dabbling on late into the night for friends and clients the very next day. I listened to the book every day, and with each shower, my business confidence grew and seemingly washed away old concerns.
There are so many good “take-aways” from Bounce! that this would be an article rather than a review to go over everything that impacted our life through the experiences and wisdom Barry poured into these pages. Here are the best bits that directly affected my day-to-day life after failure and my increasing confidence:
- Failure is not always your fault. Sometimes things just happen out of your control and there is nothing you could do to prevent, prepare for, or postpone every failure. People move, die, cheat. Companies fold, merge, and take you out. Failure will happen to everyone at some point.
- Humility is the first step to recover from these guaranteed failures. If you think you are in control of everything and failure hits because you did or did not do something, you will not learn or grow from the experience, and your business confidence will not grow.
- Failure provides you with choices and humility allows you to see failures for the successes that they can be. Reflecting upon this principle reminded, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” So what if I lost my “guaranteed” paycheck? Now I determine what kind of return I receive on my work and efforts now, so long as the market fulfills those demands for that return. Try that with your boss–I fantasized about that for over 6 years!
- You determine what is a success and what is a failure. We have a calendar system set up for my paychecks that I’m paying myself. I have a goal every month to earn a certain amount to avoid dipping into savings. I also have a goal that is twice that amount to push myself toward long-term business savings. Am I failing if I don’t meet the double salary goal? Maybe I am, but that decision is mine to make. After 9 weeks of being my own boss, I am a success in my mind.
Business confidence is the biggest factor for bouncing back from failure from what I learned. Maybe for some humility is going to be a much bigger issue to tackle, but that will still drive back around to increase one’s business confidence. This week I formed an LLC and we are going to open a business bank account as soon as I receive the EIN paper. Our lemonade is tasting mighty fine, and we have Barry to thank for helping me bounce so quickly.