We are trained from childhood to associate negative emotions with failure. This leads to the desire to disassociate one’s self with that outcome that was deemed a failure and therefore lose incentive to examine the situation carefully in the end. The greatest lessons are truly learned from failure. The greatest people in history have talked about their failures and what they’ve learned from them. As Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire always asks his entrepreneur guests about that great big failure and there is always a lesson to be learned from it. Those entrepreneurs have also attributed the success they have now to that great big failure they experienced. However, in the society we live in, the need to appear almost always perfect is causing us to miss out on life’s greatest lessons. We don’t push ourselves too hard or set goals that are seemingly unrealistic due to our fear of failure. To aid in my goal of getting out of my comfort zone for 2015, I’m setting goals that seem somewhat impossible. I need to test myself. It’s not only about the success of it but it’s about becoming comfortable with the concept of failure and understanding the true joy of it all. It’s about being able to look back on experiences and pull as much knowledge from it and use that to move forward in achieving more success. I am giving my all to accomplish my goals but knowing that the process is about learning and building character, makes me feel as if I’ve succeeded regardless of the outcome.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”…Michael Jordan
On Saturday, I was given the opportunity to market my company and its services at Lift Off for Idea 2 Innovation (i2i) at the Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain Trinidad. The event was organised by Gerard Thomas and his team and it was geared towards individuals who were awarded i2i grants. i2i is an ideas challenge where persons are invited to submit innovative ideas for a chance to win support to move those ideas to the proof of concept stage. I was really impressed with the organisation of the event but a bit disappointed that not as many i2i awardees attended the event as I expected. Nevertheless, everything worked out great. I had the opportunity to speak with individuals about how I can add value to their work and their company by the services I provide. My mentor Ian Alleyne also helped with the preparation for the event and was there on Saturday as he is a past i2i awardee.
Being invited to this event also forced me to have my new business cards done. John Lee Dumas constantly reminds his audience of Parkinson’s law, which states, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. I have to admit that I procrastinated a bit too much on this and luckily for me, I couldn’t find the images for my old business cards. I decided to call upon Rondell Paul for my design and he introduced me to Mikee for my printing. I must say, working with these two guys was so smooth and I’ll recommend them to anyone. My Aunt Bernice was also of great help to me as she organised the printing of the Self Mastery & Fate Cycles brochures and the Celestial Technologies signs. Overall, this weekend was great and I thank Gerard Thomas and his team for inviting me and everyone who assisted me with my preparation.
Yesterday after my last C++ class, I chatted with 3 of my students for a little more than an hour. It was really an enlightening conversation. Since I started lecturing in 2008, I noticed that most students form an opinion about my upbringing, the schools I would have attended and the area I live in, most times being completely wrong but interestingly assuming an improved version of the life I lived and currently live. This is all based on the way I interact with them, the way I dress and speak, my knowledge of the topic area I’m lecturing and in essence, the way I portray myself. Last night I spent some time with these students and we all shared details from our lives and our upbringing. We talked about so many things but it was important for me to share some of the things I learned in life. I sent them an email this morning thanking them for the little chat after class and wishing them all the best in their exams. I also took that opportunity to remind them of some of the things we discussed last night.
- You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. (John Lee Dumas – Entrepreneur on Fire)
- Everything in life is energy.
- Anything you can think about you can bring about.
- In life, you get every thing you want. Most people just don’t know how to want. They focus on the things they don’t want, which draws that thing closer to them.
- Where attention goes, energy flows and things grow. Focus your attention on the things you want to see grow.
- Form a mastermind group with individuals of like minds with a common goal.
Yesterday was awesome. I attended the last day of Startup Weekend in Trinidad as a guest with my friend Ian Alleyne, who was one of the sponsors for the event and it was such an inspiring experience. The ideas presented by the teams were so innovative. In third place, was a group called Talk Down and their idea centered around providing a social media hotline for persons thinking about committing suicide or who have made attempts to take their lives, to talk to trained professionals about their situation. In second place was Peoples Holdings, a group focused on providing financial services at a higher interest on savings than the banks by focusing on investing in real estate. In first place was Smart Hook, a concept geared towards the oil and gas industry where an automated hooking system is used for lifting equipment. The current system in place uses human power and this has resulted in severe injuries and loss of life in some instances. At the end of the session, I took the opportunity to let the participants know how fortunate they were to have found such an event, as I walked this road alone for over a year and a half but now that I’ve found Startup Weekend, I’ll definitely be coming back. I also shared three valuable resources with all the aspiring entrepreneurs. I told them about John Lee Dumas and his Entrepreneur on Fire podcasts as well as his Quotes on Fire podcasts, these will definitely keep that entrepreneurial fire burning on a daily basis. I also told them about Lewis Howes, The School of Greatness. This guy is awesome and while his podcast format is different from Entrepreneur on Fire, it rocks just the same. Before the end of the night so many of them had already subscribed to all the podcasts. I would definitely be attending more of these events in Trinidad. As John Lee Dumas constantly reminds his listeners, “We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with”, so it’s very important that I spend my time with individuals who share my passions and some of my goals in life.
Last night, I met up with a long time friend who is visiting Trinidad and Tobago for 2 weeks. We talked about some things he went through about two years ago as well as some of my challenges since completing my Masters in Software Engineering in 2012. For some reason he did not want to go too much into detail about the challenges he faced but he was quite interested in how I am able to be so comfortable discussing my struggles openly. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I listen to Entrepreneur on Fire podcasts as often as I can and the interviews are quite inspiring. John Lee Dumas interviews a new entrepreneur every day with discussions about their favourite quotes, personal lives, failures, “Ah Ha” moment, success, current business ventures, online resources, advice for listeners and contact information. For me the best part of the interview is when the guest entrepreneur talks about his or her failure. Life really has a way of testing us and failure has a unique way of preparing us for success. Sometimes I hear stories about entrepreneurs who were in worse off situations that I was and have now accomplished such great things. It gives me immense inspiration to continue with my goals in life. It reminds me that if someone who was worse off than me has done so much, I am capable of the same and so much more. Some interviews bring me to tears as I can relate to the challenges the entrepreneur would have encountered. I think this is one of the key aspects of this podcast that attracts listeners. Being able to have a story that others can relate to is key to success as an entrepreneur and building your brand but what is most important is the willingness and openness in sharing that story. People who are struggling to build themselves will not easily be able to relate to the entrepreneur who seems so perfect and has never seen any sort of struggle. This is why it’s important for me to share my story and any struggles I’ve encountered. Even if I have only inspired one person, it was well worth sharing my experiences.