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7 Hard Lessons I've Learned In Business Through Massive Failure _ Michael D Russo

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Pg. 1 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo
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7 Hard Lessons I've Learned In Business Through Massive Failure _ Michael D Russo

  1. 1. Pg. 1 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo 7 Hard Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through MASSIVE Failure! It’s always bugged me that when I’ve failed at something major in life some, well-meaning but totally annoying, person will say something along the lines of, “It’s OK, failure is a part of success”! That’s a terrible thing to say to someone who’s just lost their home, been downsized, gone bankrupt or just fallen short of achieving a lofty goal ‘by a whisker’ after years of work and effort. In fact it’s down-right demoralizing! Everyone goes through hard times at one point or other in their lives but many don’t understand the depths of how low one can get when times are really tough. It’s tough to lose your job and be out of work for a few months but it doesn’t come close to being unable to secure a job for years . . . even after re-training in a new industry, ‘pounding the pavement’ day after day, resigning yourself to re-starting at the bottom of the ladder or having to move away from family and friends to try to find work. It’s close enough to a ‘slap in the face’ to get a pat on the back from the first person (who was out of work for a few months) and is trying to relate by saying, “It’s Ok, Failure is part of success – try again”! Experiencing extended periods of homelessness is very different from having to ‘downsize’ your home or move your family to a rental property after a bad financial run or downturn in the economy. Coming close to corporate bankruptcy is nothing like having your business fail so badly that you have to show up in court, get sued, lose all your personal assets (not just your business assets), destroy your credit rating and lose your marriage at the same time. All failure is measured in degrees! Here’s the problem though. . . failure is a part of success,everyone knows that. The phrase, however, is a useless, impractical, often demoralizing line of dribble that plays better as a billboard slogan than any sort of structured advice to those enduring tough times. What I’ve noticed is that those that have truly gone through tough times - really tough - for extended periods of time . . . not just imaged difficulties or a short time standing on the lower rungs of life’s ladder . . . But the people with real life experiences, experiences that change your outlook on life permanently . . . these types of people don’t use those words! They use phrases like, “The pain gets easier if you write it down”, Or “Try a totally new approach”, Or “Do the best you can with whatever you’ve got right now”, Or “Take some time to recovery first”, Or “Start again, smaller this time, and avoid your old mistakes”, REAL PAIN HURTS. TO GET RID OF IT YOU MUST VALIDATE IT FIRST!
  2. 2. Pg. 2 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo Or “Find someone who can help you though it”, Or “Forget your goals, instead focus on the daily tasks that will get your there”, Or “Keep going and celebrate all the wins – even the small ones”! It Makes All The Difference In my experience, those that have been through really hard times don’t say “Failure is a part of success” . . . instead their advice tends to be much more practical! Saying “Failure is a part of success”, doesn’t help you to pay the rent or put food on the table or work out how in the world you’re going to re-build your business after bankruptcy with one tenth of the resources you stared with the first time around. Focusing on some future success doesn’t dissolve the fears and insecurities of your spouse that keep them up at night in a cold sweat. It doesn’t alleviate the hunger in the belly of your children or keep the landlord from needing that rent check this week! Saying, “Do the best you can with whatever you’ve got right now” is helpful, practical and more importantly actionable! That’s the key, after failure you need actionable steps, not fluffy advice. Steps that anyone can take in any situation after massive failure. Remember that the next time you meet someone at a networking event who looks like they’re bearing the weight of the world on their shoulders and is trying not to burst at the seams! With that in mind here are my 7 Hard Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure . . . #1 Change Your Vision Not Your Desire In today’s fast paced world of ever changing technology you don’t need to experience a financial disaster to know that clinging to an old idea when the market changes direction is one sure fire way to kill your business fast! Often we have grand ideas of what we want our business to look like when we start out but as time goes on your vision should change to meet the market conditions. There’s no value in holding onto a vision of being #1 provider in your filed when your industry is dying. You’ve got to re-evaluate your vision and position to survive. This is even more important after a financial disaster of some sort. Your old vision may be dead along with your business but often times new and exciting paths will open up to you if you keep your desire to build a successful enterprise strong. I had always wanted to build a franchise or develop a chain of stores. At the time my goal was all about developing a national (later global franchise). We had a small chain of stores which we were testing and marketing while we developed the plan for our larger franchise business model. My inexperience mostly, coupled with the timing of the Global Financial Crisis, put a fast stop to that idea! After our original concept stores failed to take us where we wanted (and we ended up bankrupt to the tune of $3.5 million dollars) I went about evaluating what went wrong during my ‘recovery period’.
  3. 3. Pg. 3 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo I looked very closely at other franchised business models, one in particular caught my eye as the owner was massively successfully and came from my home town of Adelaide, Australia. Brad Sugars, founder of Action International - the number one coaching franchise in the world, also had a franchise model. The major difference between his concept and mine – no downtime! Brad sold coaching franchises, which basically meant when someone bought a franchise license from his organisation they got a physical ‘Procedures Folder’ with 3 months’ worth of training. Unlike my business (which I never did end up franchising) the stores I did set up had equipment ordered from Belgium which took 6 months to arrive, money tied up in stock, staff to hire and train, expensive fit out on top of all the marketing and promotional costs and that was before any money was made. Brad handed over a folder . . . I think his idea was better. Much faster for one and much less risk if the person buying the franchise didn’t work out – no having to reclaim stock or re-sell equipment or salvage the store to save the reputation of the company . . . yeah his idea was better! Once he got the model right he could scale his business very fast with little to no downtime (it takes very little time to photocopy a procedures folder). He was only limited by his marketing efforts to bring on new clients for his coaches and little else. I had hundreds more headaches to deal with in my ‘physical’ business vs Brad’s virtual one. So here’s the first lesson I learned from massive failure. My vision was wrong my desire was not. I should never have had a vision to be the biggest, brightest, badest franchise chain in my industry. I didn’t have the skills for it or the training. That vision was better suited for someone else. I did have a desire for something that was very important. I knew my business (to be really successful long term) had to be a large network of . . . something. A mom and pop corner store wasn’t going to cut it for me. My desire was to build a networked business I could scale without the huge impositions posed by a physical premises. I began to look for more ‘modern ways’ of building a scalable business using online methods of delivery and product creation to service clients. One quote by Robert Kiyosaki stuck in my mind . . . “The richest people in the world look for and build NETWORKS. Everyone else looks for work!” I had clearly understood the ‘network’ part of his quote but my vision has always been for a ‘physical’ network rather than a ‘virtual’ one. So I kept my desire for a large business network in place and altered my vision to match a business model that I could do with my post-bankruptcy resources! BRAD SUGARS FRANCHISED FOLDERS. MUCH EASIER! Brad Sugars Robert & Kim Kiyosaki
  4. 4. Pg. 4 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo #2 Finding Practical Ways To Win During my post-bankruptcy era, I was always looking for the ‘knowledge edge’ in any given situation. I knew that money wasn’t the only thing to building a successful business but the right skills were vitally important too. You’ve heard the one about never buying into a business you have no experience in right? Well every business you buy into you have no experience in with something – for most business owners its usually something other than the product or service skills that they lack . . . usually something unimportant like finances or marketing or hiring staff or scaling the business or any one of a dozen other unnecessary factors! Sarcasm aside . . . The key is to minimise your lack of knowledge in the areas you don’t have skills in by using, hiring or finding people that do have those skills. Sometimes a tall order when you’re starting over with low to zero cash flow and all the usual financial pressures. My creed during this time became this . . . “What can I do to win in this situation?” When I say win, I mean move forward, one step in front of the other, actionable steps. Something that will open the door to other things that will lead you (hopefully) in the direction you want to go. One of the many concepts I came up with during my ‘recovery period’ was an online television show about business and bankruptcy. It was fun, engaging and informative – it was a scalable, online business that fit my business and training background, it was perfect. Only . . . I didn’t know anything about television (or much about the internet for that matter). Not that I let that hold me back but I figured if I was going to create this grand new platform I should at least some idea of how the industry worked. You don’t need to be a mechanic or know much about cars to know that your car seems to run better once a professional has serviced it. However if you’re going to spend a small fortune to re-build an old vintage car from the ground up and hire someone to do it because you don’t have a clue . . . it’s probably a good idea to find out as much about the process as possible. Otherwise how do you know how to check that they have done a good job? I was in the same position with my television show concept – I wanted to know as much as possible before I invested the next few years (and the little resources I had) into building it. So I took a small ‘winning’ step that led me in the right direction. I struck up a contract with a local television production company to learn all I could about the industry. They would provide me with access to the studio to learn what happens in front of the camera (and more importantly) behind it. What makes a good story for television and how to market yourself with this medium? In return I would do some marketing and promotions work for them, try to raise their profile in the market and bring on some new clients. Over the next 12 months I very quickly got to know a little about editing – why the final product is only ever as good as the ‘story’ you’re trying to share. I got to do some ‘on-camera’ work for clients and get into the recording studio to do some voice overs too. I learned about angles, lighting, cameras, microphones plus the psychology of the ‘ego’ that drives most people to be on television. Am I an expert? Of course not, but I had a much better idea of how to put the show together and if one of my team was doing things ‘right’ or trying to ‘hoodwink’ me! While all this was going on and I was trying to make contacts for the television show, find sponsors and build out my business plan and contact base . . . something amazing happened!
  5. 5. Pg. 5 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo Oprah Winfrey announced she was coming to Australia for the very last season of her hit show. Perfect opportunity to take this company and get some local recognition for them – raise their profile – and in turn pick up more, ideally better value, clients. I won’t go into the whole story here but essentially we decided to run an ‘awareness’ campaign to co-inside with her visit to raise the local profile of the company. We started pitching companies on a ‘National Welcome Campaign for Oprah’s Visit’. We got a really good response (as you can imagine) and it didn’t take long before the doors of the studio were flooding with people, radio stations were interviewing us and the local papers covered our story. All in all a great success for what we set out to achieve. That opportunity came about while I was looking for practical ways to win. Small actionable steps to increase my knowledge about the television industry and I ended up initiating a marketing campaign to welcome Oprah to Australia – very cool! #3 Beating Out The Losers Here’s one thing I learned which I’ve always wished I hadn’t . . . When you’re down and out and laying in the dirt most people will kick you in the guts and walk over your still heaving body shaking the dust of their feet. Don’t believe me – that’s fine – I hope you never find out! The ‘loser mentality’ is ever present in our society and when you’ve reached heights unobtainable by others some love nothing better than to see you cut down to size again (thankfully not everyone is like this). Have you ever watched your favourite sports team with a mate whose barracking for the other side totally trash talking him while your team ‘creams’ his . . . It’s a great feeling – not very sportsman like but funny! How does it feel when the tables turn in the fourth quarter and your mate’s team comes back with a resounding win taking the lead at the last possible moment on what should have been ‘your team’s game’? Feels terrible . . . and what’s worse there is nothing you can say about it. At that point in time the results speak for themselves and no amount of negotiation, pleading or justifying will change the results. So you bide your time, game after game throughout the season, putting up with all the trash talk coming your way until finally your team makes the finals and wins the championship while no one even remembers his teams name! A little light hearted dramatization I know . . . but you get the idea. When you’ve had a downturn in your business, a major setback that you can’t recover from (at that time) there is nothing you can say. Often the hardest thing is enduring the taunts and the ‘I told you sos’ and the ‘nay-sayers’ who glory in your failure (in fact if that’s all you have to put up with you should be happy – death threats, physical abuse, defamation, spying, homelessness . . . give me a few taunts any day right?). The fact that a handful of small changes could have made the difference between your success and failure in your ‘corporate game’ is of interest to no one but you. And so you wait, you bide your time, you re-build, re-plan, re-strategize, avoid your old mistakes and with quiet persistence your day finally arrives! Now you have the last laugh, not to be evil or look down on anyone but to prove to yourself that you could do it all along! ONE SMALL STEP LED TO THE OPRAH WINFREY CAMPAIGN!
  6. 6. Pg. 6 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo The world is always going to be full of ‘losers’ who will hurt you much more than some ‘light-hearted’ trash talk over a ball game . . . if you let them. My advice . . . when you can’t say anything – don’t! Let your results speak for themselves once you’ve re-built. You’ll never even have to say a word . . . trust me, they’ll get the message! #4 Self-Confidence Is Everything There’s not much worse than having every belief you had about yourself totally knocked out of you. Some people endure a major financial disaster and recover 6 months later as if it never happened. Many more struggle for years to re-build again while the far majority never try again! The key to long term success is to find small wins you can celebrate. Little things that say, “Hey I can do this”. Often those things don’t have to have anything to do with business but they can help to re-build your self-confidence so you can do bigger things. Several years after my bankruptcy I still had not made any measurable progress in the direction of my new vision. This was despite enormous effort to re-establish myself in the market with a new idea. It would be wrong of me to say I hadn’t achieved anything – I had written several books, gotten involved in online marketing (to promote them) among a number of other things but I simply wasn’t making any progress to the point where I thought I had ‘lost my spark’ somewhere. My confidence was at an all-time low and I found myself often playing stupid games on the computer to distract myself from my pitiful results. Interestingly that’s where my first little bit of confidence began to grow again. For a long time I had been fighting an invisible fight with the universe trying to kick-start my entrepreneurial career, bring on a new partner, do cold calling even find a part time job to (quite literally) feed the kids and no luck. It seemed like there was an invisible wall everywhere I went – it said ‘don’t do business with Michael’! “No clients for you! No business for you! No job for you! Nothing for you! Stop – don’t think about it, this is NOT FOR YOU!” Everyday I woke up and left the house that’s what it felt like I was up against – yuck! So one day I started playing this video game on the PC with my son. It was just a silly little game but I began to win a few levels. First I played with him, then I kept playing on my own once he was in bed. I got further and further in the game and eventually after several weeks I got to the last level and beat it! It was a small win but it was a win. Finally something that didn’t push back at me and say ‘NO’. What I didn’t realise is that playing the game had begun to change my mindset. Instead of thinking about the efforts I was making every day and saying, “How can I overcome this or why is this not working for me”, I realised I was saying, “I can do this”! Each level of the game that represented a challenge for me I would play until I passed it and each time I would say in my mind – “I can do this”. I didn’t even realise I was saying it – it just seemed like the right thing to say. “Of course I can do this – it’s just a game, I’m not gonna let some cheap computer programing stop me from getting to the next level.” So I beat the last level, then my high score, then my high score again and by this time I was repeating the phrase in my head over and over again, “I can do this”. That small win didn’t change things right away but it gave me confidence to get up every day and try the phones again, ring my contacts again, look for sponsors again and keep pushing (slowly but still pushing). THE DOCTORS TOLD HIM NOT TO GET OUT OF THE WHEELCHAIR
  7. 7. Pg. 7 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo Find something you can do – even if it’s a simple task – that you’ve not traditionally been good at and master it. As a teen I like playing video games, I was just never very good at them. So being able to ‘complete a full game from start to finish’ was something I hadn’t done that much before. Find a task where you’ve never had great results and have a crack. Perhaps you’ve never been a great reader – find a book you like and complete it. Then repeat it. Perhaps exercising has never been high on your priority list – do one simple exercise each day until you master it. Perhaps cold calling new clients or using the phone is one of your personal bugbears – commit yourself to making 3 phone calls a day with the objective of sharing a simple concept (no selling) share an idea. Terrible writer but always had a dream to write a book? It’s simple . . . get a note book and write two paragraphs each day for 90 days – see where your concepts take you? Think of it like recovering from a stroke or major accident – you have to re-train your brain to do what you want it to, how you want it to. It takes time. My father recently had a stroke. He went from being very active to, overnight, having someone brush his teeth for him. He wasn’t very happy about it as you can imagine. When they finally moved him to a rehabilitation hospital the doctors told him not to sit up but he trained himself to do that again. The doctors told him not to try and get out of the wheel chair but he did that. They told him not to retire his ‘walking frame’, he did so. They told him not to walk without the aid of a cane, he did so. Now that he is walking again and back living in his own home he wants to get his driver’s license back – they’ve also told him no – for now! Recovering from a major financial disaster can be very much like this. Use the ‘I can do this’ concept and apply it to other areas of your life. You have to find things you can win at that there is simply no reason you should fail. Start with things that are simply not important enough to fail and then move onto things that are important enough to succeed (walking is far more important than winning a video game but the concept is the same) – it’s just practise, persistence and consistency and you win. Remember, one small step and do the best you can with whatever you’ve got at the time! #5 Shoe String Start-Ups Starting over again with very little resources, and in the very early days no cash flow at all . . . you have to get creative. A mentor of mine always used to tell me, “Lack of money causes creativity but when you have money there’s no need to be creative”. So true . . . You would likley not believe some of the things I’ve had to do to launch buisness projects as different times! Regraless, tip 5 is not about how you do it, it’s about understanding that no matter how much time and energy you’ve put into doing something there is almost always another way to get it done faster and for less. One of the huge advantages entrepreneurs have today is access to a huge variety of virtual tools, many that didn’t exist even a decade ago. Things that help you create, build, service, deliver, display, sell, market, produce, follow up and many more. Add to that the multitude of outsourcing websites which allow you to hire someone half way across the globe with similar training to your local market who are willing to do the same job for one tenth of the cost! The internet, particularly things like YouTube can allow you to do initial research and training on just about any topic you can imagine for free.
  8. 8. Pg. 8 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo There’s really no excuse to say, “I don’t have the money to start” because there is so much you can do without spending a single dollar! The entry costs to getting into business are still too high for many people but at the same time are far lower than most people think who have never started a business before. Not that takes away the need to have adequate capital for your business or correct management of your finances . . . more on that later. Any business where you don’t need a physical premises – a consulting business, online business, coaching, drop- shipping, accounting, financial planning, real estate and direct sales – all can be run out of a home office saving a small fortune on start-up costs. You can still have a ‘professional approach’ using a Virtual Assistant to help with answering calls or sending emails and a great website as your gateway to the market. I once hired a virtual secretarial service for a new business that had very little start-up capital – it cost me $10 month for them to answer my phones. It increased as a sliding scale the more calls I got but if I had a slow month all it cost me was $10. In fact the 1300 phone number I purchased to advertise as the ‘front-end contact’ of my business (rather than my mobile phone) only cost me $1 a month. A virtual assistant to help with forwarding emails, following up on clients and daily tasks about $50 a month to start out. All things that gave a very professional ‘front’ to the business which was nothing more at the time than me with a mobile phone! One thing most business owners miss out on big time is using video to help promote your business. The first and easiest thing to do is put a short video on your main website page. You can get these done very cheaply and they look fantastic if you do them right. My first attempt at a ‘home studio’ consisted of a green screen, which I made out of plumbers tube I got from the hardware store covered in green ‘dress makers cloth’. I bought a couple of tall lamps from IKEA that would bend in any direction I chose. Total cost about $150. I then bought a mid-level camera (hundreds of dollars, not thousands) with a tripod and filmed my own intro, training and promo videos. I then found an editor I liked through an outsourcing website to edit them, drop in some nice backgrounds, put up some flashy graphics and insert overlay music. Total cost about $50 a video (local providers wanted to charge me $1500 each)! I used to ask people what they thought about my videos, lots of business people I spoke with assumed I was spending $5000 on each video. Of course you could get videos done for you as well without you ever having to show up on camera – Fiverr.com is great for this. One video a week helped me build brand loyalty and generate leads for about $50 a week in cost. Unbelievable marketing tool most people never use! Before you ‘set up any new system’ check if there is any software already existing that can do it for you. For years I’ve used an online accounting software which costs me about $100 a year. You can get shopping cart plug-ins for your website, mobile phone apps that allow you to invoice and charge your clients on the spot at the completion of the job. There are tools for marketing plus killer advertising platforms that allow you to get your message out there for as little as 1 cent a click! Even hiring real-live staff to work side by side with you is easier than it used to be with personality profile tests which help you significantly narrow the field of who will work for your business and who won’t. LOWER ENTRY COSTS ARE YOURS IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK
  9. 9. Pg. 9 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo All in all business is better with technology if you know where to get it and how to use it . . . Oh, and by better, I mean faster and lower entry costs than ever before! #6 You Always Need More Capital Despite the entry costs being lower than ever before most people still underestimate the amount of capital they need to launch. The simplest rule of thumb for a first time business is this – once you’ve done all your numbers, and written out your business plan in as much detail as you can – double the amount of capital you’ve planned for! I’ve never met a first time entrepreneur that didn’t spend more money than they planned once they got into their ‘launch phase’. That’s regardless of the amount of planning that went into it to ‘get it right the first time’. There are always unexpected costs, always! So if you think you can get your new venture off the ground with $10,000 aim to have $20,000 available. If you think it will cost you $100,000 aim to have 200,000. Your initial estimates always seem to be lower than reality somehow. Once the accountant has helped you to firm up your figures follow a carful plan to ensure very dollar of that is used effectively. You may always spend more than planned but there are hundreds of places where you can save a few dollars too and that will help you stick as close to your budget as possible. #7 You Always Need A Database Marketing is so important and not something that comes naturally to a lot of entrepreneurs so building and promoting your business successfully is vitally important. What’s more important? A database. Most first time entrepreneurs forget that the failure rate for new businesses is quite high. There’s no guarantee that the business you start building today is the one you’ll have in 2 years time. While you’re running around promoting, marketing, selling and networking you meet hundreds of great people that can add tremendous value to you in future ventures. The database you need to have is not a ‘client’ database but a database of ‘professional contacts’. Something you can grew and develop as you move throughout your entrepreneurial career. Some of them will be industry specific but others may be able to add value to you across multiple ventures. Some of the professionals may include: Real Estate Agents, IT Professionals, Video Editors, Accountants, Financial Planners, Insurance Brokers,
  10. 10. Pg. 10 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo Marketers (all sorts), Advertising Brokers, Media Personalities (radio, television, newspapers, magazines), Web Developers, Graphic Designers, App Developers, Franchise Consultants, Keynote Speakers, Trainers, Celebrities, Corporate Executives, Sales Professionals, Business Coaches, High Value Clients, High Nett Worth Individuals, Venture Capitalists, Superhero Entrepreneurs, Authors. Are you getting the idea . . . ok, just a few more . . . Product Launch Specialists, Online Marketers, Bloggers, Copywriters, Inventors, (Your In-Laws!) Public Servants, Directors/Producers, Investment Strategists and Stock Brokers. I once hired my old sales manager from my insurance days, with Combined Insurance Company of America, to become my state sales manager for my retail stores – he was brilliant! A really nice guy I met at a seminar became an investor in a property project.
  11. 11. Pg. 11 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo An associate of mine put me onto a copywriter I used across multiple businesses. My (implied connection) to Oprah through the campaign we did for her visit Down Under got me a radio gig that latest over 3 years! I could go on . . . Your database of ‘professional contacts’ is your most valuable asset in your business. It will allow you to grow in ways you never thought possible, it will help you to start running again when you fall down and it will help protect you from the storms that ultimately batter all entrepreneurs. Like all relationships, they must be cultivated. Here’s a suggestion that will save you time and hopefully make you some money as you cultivate your list. Prioritise your list with a 1, 2 and 3 ranking – or you can use stars instead if you like. Level 1 (Three Stars) – These are contacts who you think will add the most value to you in your business now or in the near future (and you to them). Cultivate this list by keeping in regular contact – email and phone is great but make an effort to catch up face to face, even if you have to go out of your way to a networking event or conference to ‘keep the connection’ strong. Level 2 (Two Stars) – These are contacts that you’ve met that are perhaps ‘above your station’ at present. It may be a high profile person in your industry you’d like to work with but don’t have the ‘street cred’ yet to get their attention or can’t afford their fee. Keep the dialogue open as best you can but don’t harass them. One way to do this is subscribe to their marketing lists and follow them on social media. When you see a post or get an email that grabs you – send them a message and tell them. Keep the channels of communication open until an opportunity arises to bring them into your inner circle (Level 1). Level 3 (One Star) – These are professionals in their own right but not ones with any skills you need right now or in the near future. A great way to cultivate these relationships is to send referrals their way if the opportunity arises. For example I don’t need a web developer but I know a great contact that could help someone else that might need one. That will keep you in the forefront of their minds. Put them on a list that you contact only a few times a year just to keep the lines of communication open – you want them to remember you. You never know when an associate of an associate may introduce to your next business partner or largest ever client! Final Thoughts So that’s my 7 hard lessons, it could well have been 70 hard lessons but you probably wouldn’t have read all that! We’re all human (well most of us are I’m sure) and we fall and we fail and we get hurt. Saying “Pick yourself up and dust yourself off and keep walking” is great advice but not always the advice that works. Sometimes the best thing to do after a major financial disaster is to stop, review, ponder and allow yourself to grieve. Don’t let’s kid ourselves, we put our hearts and souls into our businesses, when they don’t work it hurts! Discovering the path you were on wasn’t the yellow brick road after all isn’t fun and finding another path can be hard work. So here’s my final advice for when you fail . . . Find a reason to get up in the morning, it doesn’t have to be some lofty goal, just a reason that gets you out of bed and moving forward in whatever capacity you can at the time. Avoid setting another massive goal right after a major disaster. Instead focus on ‘daily tasks’ that will point you in the direction you want to go. You don’t want to set a RATE YOUR CONTACTS OUT OF THREE STARS THEN KEEP IN TOUCH
  12. 12. Pg. 12 - 7 Lessons I’ve Learned In Business Through Massive Failure © Michael D Russo major goal and not achieve it – that sends your subconscious mind the wrong message. Set objectives you can accomplish, like making phone calls to pitch your new idea. Keep completing this ‘task’ until you strike success. Take the ‘little win’ then rinse and repeat building more ‘tasks’ into your daily process over time. Lastly when you meet someone ‘undergoing financial recovery’ tell them to get back up, help them dust off the dirt, tell them life will get better, hand them some much needed cash or even buy them a meal but please, please, please leave the, “Failure is a part of success” slogan on the billboard! Michael D Russo Help For Entrepreneurs michaeldrusso.com michael@michaeldrusso.com

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