Can you predict potential failure in life? Yes. Can you turn the tables and ensure success from otherwise certain fail? Yes. And it’s easier than you think.
The major problem with failures in life is an inevitable chemical consequence that manifests itself through serious inhibition of serotonin neurotransmitter. As a result, we feel depressed. Longer is the exposure, less chance there is that we will try again because the entire ordeal leaves a severe psychological scar.
While in that state, we start questioning our every action and response, desperately searching for the prominent culprit to put the blame on. The inevitable “IF ONLY” doctrine begins.
And that’s exactly what you need but in slightly different form.
How to utilize the infamous “IF ONLY” to prevent any future failure in life
If we could somehow remove “if only” from our lives, the world would be full of happy people who always push forward. But we can’t.
However, what we can do is using that nasty habit in our favor.
In 2004, I entered negotiations to acquire a cool restaurant right on the coast. 72 hours later, the initial contract was signed and the acquisition process has been put in motion.
I felt good about myself because I managed to persuade the owner to lease me the object immediately, so I could start working before I actually buy both the property and the business. It was not what he initially intended to do with it.
4 months later, I was $100,000 down, virtually on the street, along with my wife and two little kids. The entire situation knocked me out from the track. “If only’s” were coming from all directions.
In 2008, I opened a new restaurant. Only this time, everything worked like a Swiss watch. No mistakes.
To this day, that business is still generating substantial revenues.
All I did was utilizing “IF ONLY” in an effective way.
But yes, it took a while for me to snap out of it and start functioning again. The chemical consequence was severe. My hair turned grey on sides even though I was under 30 at that point.
The first thing you need to do, if you suffered any type of severe failure in life, is to stop dwelling on it!
Longer it takes to snap out of it, harder it gets to force yourself into action again. Think about serotonin deprivation we talked about earlier and you’ll know what I mean.
How do you do that?
I applied this simple philosophy:
ONLY ONE THING IN LIFE IS ABSOLUTE. EVERYTHING ELSE IS RELATIVE.
Every morning I’m able to get up and taste the world around me is a good day because it can get far worse than owing money to banks. Just pay a swift visit to a local hospital and try to explain your “ordeals” to a man who’s fighting cancer!
You can breathe.
You can see.
You can hear.
You can eat.
You can walk.
You can talk.
You can think!
Hence, you have an edge. Now you need to use it. Everything else is an excuse!
Once you are successfully resuscitated, it’s time for the STEP 2 of the full recovery process
In a criminal investigation, detectives must ask and answer, so called, 7 Golden Questions. Once they answer all 7, you can bet your ass that someone is on the way to prison. SUCCESS!
These questions are:
- What (happened)
- Where (it happened)
- When (it happened)
- How (it happened)
- With what (or what were the means and tools used to commit the act)
- Who and with whom (did it)
- WHY (it happened)
By applying the 7-questions doctrine to your failed attempt, you will end up with the step-by-step guide to success. In other words, you’ll successfully prevent any future failure in life.
But you need to do the same thing detectives are doing and that’s WRITING YOUR EVERY THOUGHT DOWN!
That’s what I did back in 2004.
Once I snapped out of my misery, I took a notebook and spent weeks rewinding the entire process, reaching far back in my childhood to decipher every single factor that led me to such failure. My every thought found its way to a paper.
You wouldn’t believe how many notebooks and pens I spent for that decisive analysis that will ultimately change my life and upgrade my basic character.
It turned out that the fail I experienced was, in fact, connected with my habits that were formed before I reached the age of 12. Who would think that my habit to jump from one thing to another, without wasting time on details of the each of my interests, would lead to such tragic consequences almost two decades later?
Well, it did. Lack of experience, the absence of the long-term focus, and too optimistic perspective resulted in series of mistakes.
As you are writing down one mistake after another, try to figure out the right way to avoid them in the future.
However, there’s a problem. You can only know what you have experienced. Everything else is just an assumption and in most cases, that assumption will be wrong.
What I did was learning from the others.
It’s our luck that successful people are willing to write comprehensive biographies and tutorials based on experience. If you want, you can learn everything from other people’s mistakes rather than your own.
Now, the thing here is to give yourself time. As much as you need. Years if you have to. Because something went seriously wrong and if you want to prevent another failure in life, your every “IF ONLY” has to be realistic and not some daydreaming or delusion. That was exactly what got you in trouble the first time.
For example, I completely went over my head when I offered an insanely high daily lease to change the owner’s mind. “If only I haven’t come out with such a high number,” was a thought that was hovering in front of my eyes for years. Driven by a pure desire to make the deal, I offered a way more than the business could potentially handle over the longer period.
But that was just one in a series of disasters and perhaps something I could renegotiate in later stages. I also failed to do a proper due diligence and as it turned out when they were building the object, they went out of the bounds and entered into a public space. 20 square feet. A disaster I failed to notice on time.
“If only’s” were just stacking in line and I spent the next two years correcting errors in my mind.
At the end of the process, I had this library of notebooks that now had to be organized in a concise way. By that time, I was ready to give it another shot because I simply wanted to own a restaurant down by the sea.
This is when you want to initiate the STEP 3 of the recovery process
Business plan. Private version. Based on all those notes you took over the course of months and years.
It’s basically an extremely expanded version of your original plan because if you are planning to pull out the same deal, not much will change. But you will add a number of the new sections that are usually not found in the traditional business plan.
Why do you want to do that?
We get distracted easily. We tend to forget. For example, if someone would test you right after you read this article, you would remember 80% of it. At the end of the week, your recall memory of the subject would drop to 15%. Only the abstracts would remain in your memory or the pieces your brain found particularly interested due to the association.
Thus, the basic purpose of that expanded version of your “plan” is to keep reminding you of all those necessary steps you need to take and all potential traps that you can fall in. IN PRECISE AND WELL DEFINED SEQUENCE!!
That’s the protocol you want to execute after a failed attempt.
But how do you prevent a fail when you don’t possess any previous experience?
I tried the restaurant so I knew the hidden traps. I learned how to do it right.
What if I want to build a product to make more money?
Because, in our contemporary society, failure in life is often connected to how much money we are capable of making each month.
How can I be sure that A) I would be able to make it, and B) I would be able to sell it?
In 2016, I got this idea to build a unique souvenir. It just popped up in my mind one morning.
At first, I wasn’t too occupied with the idea. But more I thought about it, more sense it made.
However, there was a problem.
Besides my experience in running the already well-oiled serial productions in the wood industry and yachting program, I had no previous experience in manufacturing, marketing, selling and shipping products. Didn’t really know where to start to be honest. All I had was this idea in my head. A vision.
A year later, I shipped the first batch of 50 pieces with over a hundred orders waiting in line. It’s a rather expensive product with a high markup. 20 orders per month are more than enough for me to live just from that.
What was the catch? How could I possibly plan something without previous experience?
Time. That’s the catch. I do, after all, possess the most important thing I need and that’s the power of thinking and analyses – common for every human being on this planet.
You see, one of the predominant factors of my fail with the first restaurant was rushing into it. I didn’t allow myself enough time to work out the process in a proper way.
The story significantly changed with my second attempt. I took my time.
I did the same with my souvenir idea.
- In 2004, I allocated less than a week in market research and process analyses. I jumped right on the sinking ship.
- In 2008, it took 6 months just to upgrade what I already knew and that ship is still sailing.
- 2016/17 – 10 months just for recognizing every potential obstacle and trap because it’s the export-based business model that I had little experience with.
Can you be 100% sure in success? Can you be absolutely certain that you won’t fail again?
You can be a hundred percent sure only in one thing and that’s the fact that sooner or later a couple of guys will bring you out from the room with your feet first, for one last time.
Death is the only absolute in our existence. It’s the only thing you can put your money in with 100% certainty.
How sure are you that you’ll cross the street in one piece tomorrow?
As Igor wrote in his column, at any given moment, thousands of people are only 3 seconds to death and they are well aware of that.
All of them got in their cars, started crossing the street or took a slow stroll through the park. None of them even considered the possibility that they made a decision that will end their lives. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. Horribly.
Don’t dwell on it. Shit happens. Fail is always an option. It’s the way we learn. The process that is known as “Trial and Errors.” It’s the method you used to learn how to walk, talk, eat and have sex.
Everything you accomplished so far had its fair share of fails.
The point is to observe each fail as a valuable and effective lesson. That’s the difference between success and the chronic state of depression.
One more time:
- If you failed, take one step back, get that notebook and start analyzing your mistakes. Note what to do and what to avoid next time.
- Use other people’s experiences to fill in the gaps.
- Plan your work, work your plan!
- Give yourself enough time to absorb everything. Time can be your best ally or the worst enemy!
- Plan from top to bottom, execute from the bottom to top.
- Execute without any sense of fear because it’s not a life-and-death situation. It’s just another attempt similar to millions you had thus far!
- If you fail again, just repeat the steps. Nobody said that it could be done in first few attempts. Remember: you only have to be right once!
Nature made this extraordinary creature with the advanced brain and opposable thumbs. A living form, unlike anything that had ever existed. A predator that is even capable of hunting on another planet. You really don’t want something like that to sit around all day long, dwelling on his bad luck. You want it on the move with all those sharp senses on the edge, ready to kill.
Live like you mean it. Live with INTENTION.