Building a business is hard.
You work for hours, months, years on end to make your dream your reality. But sometimes, the journey to getting there is filled with more challenges than triumphs.
The bumps and bruises will make you feel defeated, battered, and bruised. And if the pain grows strong enough to overshadow the benefits of your end goal, then you may be tempted to quit.
The best way to prevent yourself from abandoning your dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur, is to prepare for tough times in advance.
That way when you find yourself in a rut and struggling to find the energy to move on, you’ve got all the tools you need to get your mind in the right place to keep moving forward.
Here are 2o resources to keep in your back pocket. Refer to them when you’re feeling down and you need a pick me up. Refer to them when you’re feeling up, and you want to stay there.
Stories of triumph after devastating failures
Do you know anyone who likes to fail? I sure don’t. But failure is a natural part of the journey to buidling a thriving business. So that means, you’ve got to get used to dealing with failure, and learning from it so that it doesn’t knock you out of the game completely.
Here are three examples of people who suffered soul-crushing failures that could have caused them to give up and go lick their wounds. But each of them got back up, and ended up better off than they were when they began.
- Heather Dorniden is in a university track meet in front of a home crowd. She’s favored to win her race, when the unthinkable happens. Watch to see how she triumphed after literally falling on her face.
- Danny Iny was the CEO of a promising education company. Then the perfect storm hit, leaving him with a failed business and $25oK in debt. Find out how he rebounded to build a multi-million dollar company just a few years later.
- Kemi Egan was running a healthcare business when the economy crashed. As a result, her business fell apart, she was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and had to live in her office to have a roof over her head. Listen to hear how she transformed her life and ended up managing a million-dollar real estate portfolio less than a year later.
Stories that eliminate your excuses for not moving forward
Sometimes the circumstances you face are difficult enough to make you feel justified for quitting and moving on to something else.
But if you are really serious about your mission, and what you are fighting for, then no obstacle is too hard, and no price is too high to make you give up.
Here are a few more examples that will inspire you to dig a little deeper the next time you feel like you don’t have anything left to give.
- Derek Redmond prepared for years to be ready to go for the gold in the Olympic games. But during his race, the worst possible thing happened to him. Everyone wanted him to quit. Watch to see Derek’s determination to finish what he started.
- Mike Abramowitz endured several devastating blows in his life one after the other. His mom, sister, and best-friend passed away, he lost all his money, then he and his girlfriend of seven years split up. He had every reason to call a time-out on life. Find out how he found a way to channel all that loss fueled him to rebuild his life and do work that mattered
- Why you shouldn’t quit your dream – here are five quick stories of famous people who persisted even when they had compelling reasons to give in.
Advice to develop the entrepreneur mindset you need to win
It’s one thing when people tell you not to give up. But it’s much more helpful to have actionable strategies that give you some insights into what you need to to push forward.
So here are a group of resources that give you practical ways to deal with the frustrations that come with building your business.
- On dying, mothers, and fighting for your ideas – It would be nice if everyone were able to instantly see how great our ideas are. But often that isn’t the case. Many times, we have to breathe life into our ideas, and go to battle for them even when everyone else has written it off. This story will fire you up to fight like none other.
- 7 Ways to persist when everything in you wants to give up – Most of us have felt like quitting at some point. Here are some simple strategies you can use to direct your energy on the task at hand, so you won’t stop.
- Entrepreneur Survival Stories: 36 Business owners share their tales from the trenches – When you’re struggling with something, it’s common to feel like everyone else had an easy ride, and you’re the only one going through hard times. That is not the case. Check out these brief stories of more than 30 entrepreneurs who shared some of their low points in their journeys to becoming a successful entrepreneur, and how they overcame them.
- Overcome entrepreneur mindset barriers: 16 Successful business owners share how they did it – So much of the battle you face in your journey to success is mental. Once you’re able to identify the mental barriers that are holding you hostage, you can then devise a plan to ditch them so you can continue to pursue your goals. Here the true stories of mental battles 16 entrepreneurs fought and won.
- How to silence the vicious voice that doesn’t want you to be great – As mentioned, the biggest barriers standing between you and the success you envision for yourself is in your head. Most of us have a mean person living in our head who says the vilest things to prevent your forward progress. Check out these strategies to silence that voice once and for all.
Truths about your journey to doing something great
- The unheard story of David and Goliath – the brilliant Malcolm Gladwell brings new insight to a familiar story, that is sure to remind you that you are much more powerful than you think, and your enemy and obstacle isn’t as scary as you think he is.
- Everybody dies but not everyone lives – this beautiful video is filled with too many truths to summarize here. So do yourself a favor, and just watch it.
- Dream – Another powerful video filled with the realities of what it’s like to chase a dream. In particular, I love how it lays out for you specifically when your journey is over.
- Wisdom from Steven Pressfield: Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
- Wisdom from Zen Master Hakuin:
It’s like chopping down a huge tree of immense girth. You won’t accomplish it with one swing of your axe. If you keep chopping away at it, though, and do not let up, eventually, whether it wants to or not, it will suddenly topple down. When that time comes, you could round up everyone you could find and pay them to hold the tree up, but they wouldn’t be able to do it. It would still come crashing to the ground. . . . But if the woodcutter stopped after one or two strokes of his axe to ask the third son of Mr. Chang, “Why doesn’t this tree fall?” And after three or four more strokes stopped again to ask the fourth son of Mr. Li, “Why doesn’t this tree fall?” he would never succeed in felling the tree. It is no different for someone who is practicing the Way.
Inspiration from songs, sermons, and movies
The messages you need to fuel you to keep going are all around you. And there are countless songs, movies, and sermons that I turn to that work like a charm to get me out of a rut, and into right thinking.
- Any given Sunday – Sit back and let Al Pacino give you a pep talk that will prepare you to take on the world.
- Destiny’s Child – I’m a Survivor – Because there’s always a lesson to be gleaned from Beyonce and her crew
- Bruno Mars on Sesame Street – Don’t Give Up – Bruno always brings a smile to my face, but Bruno + Sesame Street? Guaranteed, you will feel better.
- Mary Mary – I can’t give up now – This gospel song will take you to church, and get you ready to go out and take on the world
- Don’t stop on 6 – Steven Furtick – Since you’ve gotten some gospel music, you might as well stay and hear a sermon that will remind you of the truth of your battle
- Facing the giants – This movie clip will remind you of what you’re capable of
It’s time to keep going
If building a successful business were easy, everyone would do it.
But you didn’t embark on this journey because it was easy.
You did it because you thought of the lives you’d be able to change. You did it because you wanted to leave a legacy. You did it because you wanted to live a life of freedom doing work you love would allow you.
Times may be hard right now. Your current situation may not look at all the way you imagined. And you may not have all the answers for how to dig yourself out of a tough situation to get on the right track.
Remember, your current situation is only temporary. You have everything within you to figure out a way to reach your goals in spite of any setbacks.
But you can only do that if you make up in your heart and your mind that you will not quit. No matter what.
The next time you’re feeling low, or are contemplating pulling the plug on building your business, dig into these resources. Watch, read, and listen to them once, or as many times as you need to.
Somebody’s waiting on you to make life better for them.
So don’t quit before you complete your mission.