What Did I Do When My Startup Failed?

Nowadays, people reduce mentorship to having mentors almost only for their entrepreneurial journey. It’s when they have a great idea that they feel the need for advice from experienced people. Certainly, that’s by all means right and a must do. However, the great idea ever one could have in his life is: what can I do about my life in a specific time?

In different stages of our lives, we face puzzling situations, emotions, decisions whether on professional or personal level. We lack knowledge and experience in dealing with matters and we feel stuck.

In this serie of articles, I made a selection of mentors that helped me a lot with their universal advice on multiple levels ranging from business to sexual life and life philosophy, etc.

But wait a second! Why should you listen to me?

You need a Why for everything, that’s how you can thrive and keep going

Since I started looking for the Why of everything around me I came to life. I got rid of friends, thoughts, positions, and even secure attractive jobs that didn’t appeal to my reason of being. My Why saved my life. I knew I should be free and live a life of freedom. That I should be financially free. That my next project or next job should fulfill my hunger towards freedom.

The natural choice of action that resulted from the clarity of my Why took me directly to be a top rated freelancer on Upwork. To leave the country I struggled in and move beside my girlfriend. As she was so supportive to my freedom I married her…

Answering your Why is the very beginning of success. You can’t build a fulfilling life, a successful product, market it, or have less headache from the world around you without having answered this very first question: Why?

Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why states clearly that customers don’t buy your product, they buy “Why you are producing it”. You build a loyal customer base that will never let you down if you fall down or you fall short of their expectations. Apple of Steve Jobs is considered as a cult rather than a tech company. Southwest Airlines of Herb Kelleher is the company of middle class people rather than a commercial airline. Their customers buy into their cause.

 

Once the Why is tangible: the mind and the soul, individuals and the group, entities and the whole work as one in synergy and peace

Once you discover your Why, you consequently choose a Way. But…

As you go through life with your Why, you face tons of events, people, and even your weaknesses trying to hinder your motion. This is by no means a prophetic revelation. However, the way you perceive these obstacles and deal with them determines drastically the outcomes of your actions.

As I failed my Tech Startup in the fall of 2017, I was deadly broke with huge debt on my shoulders. Problems with a highly insecure partner. Taxes to be paid. A family in my home country waiting to see me again and to see my success. A girlfriend in a different country missing me. All this problems happened to me in a foreign country where nobody is there to help me out. I was alone, lost, broke.

To go out of all these painful troubles I had to apply the formula in Holiday’s book which had been applied by Marcus Aurelius throughout his life and by many other great personalities throughout history and has given them life-saving results:

1- See things clearly.

2- Act correctly.

3- Accept the consequences.

The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” ― Ryan Holiday

I went out and taught languages to students. I built an Upwork profile that enabled me later to travel and be with my beloved girlfriend who become my wife in May 2018. Very good things happened to me when I decided to see obstacles as gifts.

“We forget: In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.” ― Ryan Holiday

If you decide to work with someone you gotta be ready to save your ass

As Robert Greene said in his book The 48 Laws Of Power : “When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity… you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others”.

As for my first venture, I suffered dealing with this type of people who are ready to catch you in a trap. We were three partners. I used to show defects to the insecure one to let the work progress and avoid tensions. My second partner who was self confident and charming had broken the insecure one by only being himself: charming, smart, authoritative.

“Appearing better than others is always dangerous (…) Envy creates silent enemies.” Greene said.

As a result, the insecure partner literally turned into a fool and destroyed the pivoting project. He wasn’t one hundred percent responsible for the failure but we ended up solving other problems instead of caring about doing something that works.

Apply Robert Greene advice to climb the ladders of an organization or at least to be able to protect yourself and others.