Fear, Enemies And Triumph

The past two weeks have been a complete whirlwind of difficulty. I have been under such tremendous stress that my PTSD has had some really massive and scary flareups, usually late at night, and usually right before bed time. I thought I might try and exorcize some of those internal demons by writing more regularly in this blog.

Not to worry – this isn’t going to be some woe-is me post. No. This post is about resiliency and staying positive. Above breaking through the barriers of success and making it to the top.

You Will Make Enemies

The #1 hurdle to my own personal success is that I hate having enemies. I mean I HATE it. Confrontation is such a big trigger for my PTSD that I work tirelessly to try and avoid it all costs – to the point that I kill myself for clients and my business. Aside from the fact that my family deserves that energy more than my business, this type of aversion is simply not sustainable. These past two weeks have clearly shown that if you plan to be successful, you are going to have to accept that you are going make enemies. You can’t have both – 100% friendship with everyone and success.


Because You Will Make Mistakes

Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Even the biggest companies in the world, those companies that employ hundreds of people whose sole purpose in that company is to ensure that they don’t make mistakes – make mistakes. And often they are huge, public mistakes that cost millions of dollars.

I have made so many mistakes in business and in life that it sometimes feels like self sabotage, but guess what… we are human beings. We were built to make mistakes. Mistakes, failures and injury are the greatest teachers in life. I lost almost $50,000 since Christmas. Just drained right out of my account due to business risks that didn’t pay out in the end. When you lose that much money, that fast, people are going to get upset.

But you know what? I learned lessons in the past 90 days that only people who go through that experience can. It was like getting a bachelors, a masters and a PhD in business all in 90 days. Don’t believe me? Lean in close and you can see the grey hairs starting sprout.

Because People Will Use You As Their Problem

You are going to make mistakes and people are going to get upset. They are going to yell at you. They are going to curse your name and they may even try to do you or your business harm. Why? Because people need scapegoats. I work in an industry in which people will spend their last dollar on a product or service in hopes that they will make it rich. When they realize that nothing is push button easy – they blame you. And not just for that single purchase.

I have had emails from people blaming me for their entire financial misfortune – misfortune that spans back years before we ever met and they purchased my $7 product. People just need someone to blame. It really is that simple.

If you are going to try and be successful – get ready for that. When you start your meteoric rise, it will be you that they blame first for their problems.

Don’t be afraid of it. Accept it as part of your job description.

You don’t think Oprah has haters? Oprah has racist cult groups that regularly march against her very existence. She has haters – and so will you the more successful you become.

So Keep Your Friends Close

You need a tight circle of trust. Mine is very, very small – and that works for me. You need to identify who is there for you, and who is there for themselves. Keep the ones that want to help you – and ditch the ones that don’t. Life is too short to be playing backup in another person’s band. You need to step onstage, grab the mic and use it – even you can’t sing well.

Are you dealing with diva clients? Why? There are so many good and honest people out there that make you smile just knowing that you get to wake up and work with them on a regular basis. Don’t waste your life servicing divas. You will never please them – so don’t even try.

Ask any wildly successful person (especially celebrities it seems) and they will tell you just how important “true” friends really are. If you don’t have a good idea of who your circle of trust is – you better figure that out fast – because as soon as you start to rise in success, the haters are gonna come out and you are gonna need your circle of trust to block them off and keep you safe.

And Above All – Trust Yourself

You have to trust yourself. If you are like me, it can be really difficult. I mean shoot – my brain tricks me into thinking bad guys are walking around my house at night (PTSD ain’t no joke) – you think it is easy for a rational person to trust that? It isn’t. But you must. Especially if you are going to be leading people.

I don’t know too much about leadership – but I do know that you can’t lead from behind, the side or around the corner. You can ONLY lead from the front and that requires trusting yourself.

You are a good person. Even if you have made every mistake in the book – you are a good person and you do have good ideas and you should be successful if that is what you want. You just need to trust that you can do it.



2 Comments Fear, Enemies And Triumph

  1. Simon James

    Thanks for such a heartfelt post Mike. There are rarely any easy answers to the curveballs that life and happenstance occasionally throw at you.

    And inevitably, entrepreneurs (or anybody who tries to get ahead by doing the opposite of what everybody else is doing) will fall flat on their face more often than most. For proof, look at the triumphs and failures of Thomas Edison; probably the greatest embodiment of entrepreneurship ever. Here is quite a good viewpoint from Forbes Magazine about the subject: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanfurr/2011/06/09/how-failure-taught-edison-to-repeatedly-innovate/

    There are many quotes about failure and mistakes that are often trotted out, such as Einstein: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
    …but, in my opinion, here are two lesser known ones that say it well:

    Rita Mae Brown “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”

    Bill Gates “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

    1. admin

      Very excellent article that you shared. Isn’t it funny how people tell you things but you never really understand it until you are knee deep in it?

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