How 5 Expert Entrepreneurs View Success and Failure

While there is no how-to guide for navigating the successes and failures you’ll face as an entrepreneur, there is plenty of brilliant advice and insights to be gained from individuals who have survived their own setbacks and gone on to thrive.

What can you learn from the stories of five entrepreneurs who share their stories on setbacks, challenges and unexpected opportunities? Read on to find out!

1. Bruce Eckfeldt

Business coach and EO New York member, Bruce Eckfeldt, has grown his professional consulting firm into a highly successful business. As part of this growth, Bruce recognized even the best-laid plans don’t guarantee success.

Check out Bruce’s Inc.com article, Not All Bad Outcomes Are The Result of Bad Decisions, Here’s Why, and use his outcome-decision matrix to analyze your own actions and results. 

By analyzing both success and failure, you can better understand what was a bad decision, bad timing, bad execution—or simply bad luck.

2. Lisa Sugar

Lisa Sugar’s part-time pop culture hobby grew into the wildly popular media outlet, PopSugar. Transitioning from her full-time advertising agency career, Lisa took a risk that paid off: Today, PopSugar reaches one in two American millennial females and has offices in five major cities.

“You have to start small,” she said in a 2016 interview with the LA Times. “A lot of people think you’re supposed to do these things overnight and see success, but you have to be patient.” These are words to remember, especially on those days victory feels like it’s been out of reach for too long. 

To hear more of Lisa’s words of advice, listen to her on Wonder, the EO podcast focused on women entrepreneurs.

3. Hal Elrod

At 20 years old, Hal Elrod was hit by a drunk driver, considered clinically dead for 6 minutes and then told he would never walk again. Later, he ran a 52-mile ultra-marathon. At 37-years-old, Hal’s organs began shutting down due to an aggressive form of leukemia. One year later, Hal is cancer-free and healthy.

Now a bestselling author and international speaker, Hal is a treasure trove of inspiration in the face of challenges, and speaks extensively on how the right mindset can influence your success.

Listen to him speak on an EO 360° episode to find out how his morning routine prepares him to face his day. This episode will leave you with an overflow of hope.

4. Michel Kripalani

When is failure not a failure at all? When it leads to something greater.

President and CEO of Oceanhouse Media, Michel Kripalani, had committed to writing a book before his fiftieth birthday. As his deadline drew closer, he had to face the reality that he hadn’t written a single page.   

That’s when this EO San Diego had a breakthrough idea.

In his Inc.com article, The Unsung Power of Establishing Audacious Goals (Even if You Fail), Michel explores how focusing his unique talents ultimately led to success—even if his initial goal went unmet.

Perhaps your last failure was only setting you on the right course.

5. Arianna Huffington

Long before the birth of her media empire or the sale of the Huffington Post for US$300 million, Arianna Huffington’s second book was rejected by 36 publishers, leaving her to question her future as a writer.

Throughout success and failure, however, she turned to her mother’s advice. “My mother used to call failure a stepping-stone to success, as opposed to the opposite of success,” she recalled in a 2013 Inc. article. “When you frame failure that way, it changes dramatically what you’re willing to do, how you’re willing to invent, and the risks you’ll take.”

Entrepreneurs like Arianna Huffington remind us that it just might be your 37th attempt that leads to success—or something even better.

Categories: Best Practices Entrepreneurial Journey general Lessons Learned

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