As many of you know, my podcast, Created For Experience, is all about the way experiences shape the lives of individuals and their businesses. I love to sit down with other entrepreneurs and discuss how they got to where they are and the key moments that constitute their journey to success.
What many people fail to realize on their own journey, is that it is often far from easy and usually involves some sort of bad experience along the way. Whether it’s a failed endeavor, a bad business decision, or a regrettable partnership, plenty of entrepreneurs have stories of defeat before finding success.
My most recent guest and one of my good friends, Casey Graham, talked about just that. Though he considers himself a “born entrepreneur”, starting his first business at the age of 7, his road to success was far from easy and involved a lot of bad experiences along the way.
When talking about our own journeys, I believe it is so important to highlight the difficult times, not only to encourage others who are going through the same struggle but also to be real with yourself and the hardship you were capable of overcoming. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I love the underdog mentality that many great leaders have inside of them. It’s that chip on your shoulder that keeps you moving forward and doing more than you thought possible despite your circumstances.
With the Coronavirus upending the lives of so many people around the world, many of us probably resonate with the idea of having to overcome an obstacle now more than ever before. For that reason, I thought Casey’s insights would be timely and encouraging to anyone who has been put in the position of overcomer.
The Overcomer Mentality
When Casey’s business started falling apart around him, he remembers feeling like a complete failure. Not only had he let his team down, he had let his family and himself down as well. From this feeling of complete defeat, he wrote a list of ten things he would do differently the next time he started a business.
Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up a life of entrepreneurship, Casey made up his mind that he would learn from his failure and keep moving ahead. I believe this is the overcomer mentality.
True overcomers understand what defeat looks like and make a conscious decision to get back up and keep going.
Casey eventually got his business moving forward again. However, when he finally sold the company he came to a staggering realization. He was not happy.
After all of the effort he had put into his business, he was profoundly unhappy with what he was doing with his life. He eventually realized that his business would make him miserable if he allowed it to be the factor determining his happiness.
Instead, he made a conscious effort to not allow external factors to define him. It was from this feeling of defeat that he was able to see just how important it is to prioritize your internal wellbeing. If we allow all of the external factors (like a bad economy or change in our business) to define who we are, we will quickly feel like failures. The key is to keep moving forward and to learn from our experiences as best we can.
With all that being said, I understand that many people are struggling with terrible experiences. I am so grateful for Casey and for his willingness to share some of the hardest trials he has had to endure in business.
Many people have similar stories of failure and defeat on the road to achieving success. The chaotic world we live in is full of hardship, especially with so many unknowns in today’s business environment. But when we take a step back, focus on our internal wellbeing, and keep moving forward, we can overcome our obstacles.
Now, I’ll leave you with one last word of encouragement from Casey. “Everything in your life that feels so big right now, when you put it in the rear view ten years from now, it will only be a sentence in your story. Just keep going.”
To hear my whole conversation with Casey Graham, check out the Created For Experience podcast – Creating a Vivid Vision. Trust me, it’s a good one!