I’ve always believed in the adage ‘Tell, don’t sell’. Nobody likes to be sold to but everyone loves a good story. This is probably why when it comes to failures, reframing obstacles and learning from them hearing other people’s story is incredibly powerful.
Michael Margolis once said:
The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story. This truth applies both to individuals and institutions.
Hopefully, these lessons on reframing challenges, failures and setbacks can inspire you to take action towards your dreams today.
Overcome fear and trust your gut
Our alumni graduate and sales consultant Jessica Pashos recalls of that one time she supported the growth of a business in the US, and saw a ton of success. So much, that they ended up getting the investment support to open up shop within another region (EMEA).
“We were given specific goals and targets, and went at it. As we started to expand, we quickly realised that many different aspects of our business were very different, and would not operate the same way”, she continues.
“We definitely had a solid foundation to build off of. However, we ended up following a bit too closely the guidelines that had been set up for us without adapting. Within a few months, we definitely made the case to pivot, but I have always wished I stood up for that decision. I wish I trusted my gut a bit earlier and took it upon myself to get better data to prove my instincts.”
Making time to tune into your intuition can be a powerful practice when looking to overcome any obstacle or setback.
Learning is a never-ending process
If you read or watch something you learn it once. If you share something you learn it twice. I wish I could tell you there is a time when you can stop learning. However, just as in order to live we have to evolve. To evolve we have to keep on learning.
It’s easy to use busy as our encompassing excuse for not being able to spend some time learning something new. Whether that’s with a friend, college, or on socials, knowledge nuggets are better when shared!
Especially when learning, don’t be afraid to reach out for advice from those who have walked your path. People are happy to share their knowledge, all you have to do is ask.
Whether you decide to completely change your current focus or to upskill, becoming obsessed with learning is something successful personal brands have in common.
Turn any obstacle into an opportunity
Whenever a member of our alumni community are struggling with overwhelm, I ask them “how can you make space to sit with your feelings?”Another question I love asking is “What is great about this problem?”
Treepoints co-founder Jacob Wedderburn-Day talks about a big change in the business, and how what seemed to be a problem turned into a very popular feature.
“Something ironic, considering we call ourselves Treepoints, is that tree-planting was not a feature in our initial release. I am all in favour of tree planting as a tool for fighting climate change, but I think its impact is less per $ spent than other carbon offsetting projects. Anyway, people used to assume trees were the core of what we offered. In the end we stopped trying to fight the tide and embraced it into the product!”
Long and behold, they reframed the business model based on the name of the brand.
“Offsetting carbon takes various forms and is harder to visualise. Interestingly, and perhaps because it is more tangible, tree planting has proven to be a very popular add-on in our business API — a lot of companies elect to offer “plant a tree for every sale” as their method of choice”.
Make time to celebrate your success
Take time to celebrate your successes and be proud of yourself. Sadly, the world moves so quickly and sometimes you can miss those moments as you’re already onto the next.
Our advisor Becky Sage admits that the positive intention and time spent feeling grateful truly pay off in the end. If you focus on taking inspired action without holding on too tight, the good things start to flow to you.
“I learned there is as much value in the pauses as the busy work. What I mean by that is to plan for time to rest and work on the business, not just in it. Take a step back regularly and determine how you will define and measure success for the next week, month, year, a decade!”
Far too often we are too busy looking at the next step, the next project or achievement to truly recognise the beauty in what we have already learned and practised.
The truth is that once we use challenges and overcome any obstacle we can build momentum for our future. This way, we are better able to face anything that life may throw at us.
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