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After a failed business, media personality, life coach and motivational speaker Lucia Dramat decided to do something big to change her story into one of success. Here, she shares the mindset changes and practical steps she took to succeed in business – despite the hard times.
At the time, the failure of her business was devastating – and tough to swallow. “There’s this eternal hope that something will happen [to] change things, to save the day, but that didn’t happen and it was finally time to call it. The freshly failed funk had me really bad, but I had to launch myself out of it before I became it,” she says. Here are the seven valuable lessons she learnt…
1/ Don’t allow failure to become your identity
“Although ideas, plans and actions may fail, you are not a failure,” says Lucia. “Don’t assume the identity of a failure. It was so tempting to replay the fact that ‘my business had failed’ over in my mind,” she says. Those thoughts can start shaping how think about yourself. “I started reminding myself what I was good at, what I enjoyed and what I’d [already] achieved,” says Lucia.
2/ Give yourself a moment, but don’t stay in the moment
“I don’t believe in faking being fine. I do believe in having a good cry, feeling sorry for yourself, watching Devil Wears Prada/Social Network/Joy/Pursuit Of Happiness, and crying some more. [Then] go get your nails done, get active and move on,” says Lucia. “When something doesn’t work out as I wanted, especially when I’ve worked hard to make it happen, I like to take a moment to mourn the loss. Once I’ve [done that] and basically said goodbye, I’m ready to move on.”
3/ Find the lessons in the failure
“I looked back at areas I should have been more persistent in and areas I should have focused on less. I don’t do it sadly and with regret, but rather as a case study. Make some simple notes for yourself of what you’ve learnt, what skills or knowledge you need to grow in, and how you can do things differently,” says Lucia. When you can take valuable lessons out of a failure, it’s easier to classify it as a learning experience.
4/ Get back to your why
As business moves forward, the pressure increases and focus shifts to all the targets, needs and plans of the biz. “After the failure of the business, I felt so far [removed] from the initial reason I started the business. I had to get back to what the why was. Once I started becoming very clear about my motivation, purpose and why I started the business in the first place, I could find new ways to achieve those goals. Clear vision and small, consistent steps make a big difference,” says Lucia.
5/ Step outside your comfort zone
Lucia is a firm believer that life happens outside of your comfort zone. It’s where the real inspiration happens. “I’ve come to love [being out of my comfort zone]. I’ve often had to face these [moments] alone, but it’s helped me carve out my unique place and develop my confidence. When I am inspired and I have had fun being inspired, then I burst with ideas and productivity,” she says.
6/ Quiet your fear with action
Our minds are designed to protect us from pain. Once we experience pain because of a certain situation, our minds try to protect us when similar situations crop up. “When I tried to do a project after the business failure, I’d be so worried it wouldn’t work that I’d almost talk myself out of it, even though I was crazy-excited about it,” recalls Lucia.
The solution? “When those thoughts started showing up, I’d combat them by taking fast action. I would set up the web page, make a few calls, or post on social media. Action quiets fear. Before I knew it, it was out there and I had to follow through. Don’t allow the fear to stop you,” she says.
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7/ Finally, five ways to prevent the business from sinking in the first place…
1/ Ask for help.
If you don’t know everything, that’s fine, but get people in on a freelance/consultancy basis who can easily manage the things you struggle with. There are highly talented, super-skilled people out there who are able to do in minutes what you’d struggle with for hours. Instead of frustrating yourself, get help.
2/ Get information.
Keep learning about your industry, client/target audience and your offering. The world is changing quickly and the way we do “life” is changing too. From the resources you use to the tech available to do the job, keep exploring, learning and experimenting. Don’t stagnate because it worked before.
3/ Keep on re-evaluating.
If the team is not making the business stronger, re-evaluate the team. The team is not supposed to put a bigger burden on the business – the team is supposed to alleviate the burden on the biz.
3/ At the end of the day, it’s about people.
No matter what your product or service is, if the people who purchased it had a bad experience, they probably won’t come back. If they had a good experience, they will return and/or refer others to you. Don’t forget the experience – make it a good one for your customer.
5/ Take time to rest, think, inspire yourself and inspire your team.
When we’re exhausted and frustrated, it’s difficult to find the energy to face a challenge. But if we take a moment to refresh ourselves, step back and look at the bigger picture, we’ll find the strength and inspiration to move forward.