4 Essential Lessons from Losing $500,000
What’s the most you’ve ever lost?
I’ll go first. Half a million dollars.
That’s right. $500,000.
“You’ve lost more than I’ve ever made!” said a friend.
Probably not true, but scary if it is.
Here are the lessons I learned during that process…
#1. Everyone has sh*t to deal with
The number of people who think their problems are unique is sickening.
Everyone can point to a family member with cancer.
Everyone with kids is finding it hard.
Everyone with bills is suffering through inflation.
Your problems are your problems, so don’t try to gain sympathy by having a ‘woe is me’ attitude.
You are your own cavalry. Nobody is coming to save you… Fix it.
#2. Wins Gain Envy - Losses Gain Respect
You can pump your own stock. Say how good you are. But all it will ever do is create envy or disbelief.
Because for the majority of people, for the majority of the time — life is hard.
However, if you stop trying to make yourself look good to others, it gains respect from your peers.
Talk equally about your flaws and fortune.
Tell friends & colleagues about what went well, but also tell them when something has bombed.
#3. First to cook - last to eat
When it comes to a loss, you can’t expect to keep filling your boots.
Leading from the front means that pay cuts & cutbacks should come from your pocket first.
Conversely, when times are good, you should be the last to get a bonus.
At the dinner table of business, you should be first to cook, last to eat.
It’s something our mothers naturally did for us as kids.
I won’t ever ask someone for something I’m unwilling to do myself.
And you make it impossible to inspire resentment in your team if they can see you’ve sacrificed more than them.
#4. A mistake is only a mistake until you refuse to correct it.
Thankfully I brought back that loss - and then some.
Sipping whisky sours in New York last week, a friend congratulated me on how ‘well’ I’m doing.
I told him with a deadpan face. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There was a time when I was half a million dollars in debt.
“How did you sleep at night?” he said.
“Easily!” I told him. “Because I had a plan to bring it back.”
The game isn’t over until it’s over, so don’t admit defeat if there’s still time to play. With enough effort, you just may win in the end.