failure http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8087/all en-US 7 Surprising Benefits of Failure http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_writing_happy_86075345.jpg" alt="Woman learning surprising benefits of failure" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone loves a success story, and the world is filled with them. But what about stories of failure? Can't they be as just as educational? Just as inspirational? Equally insightful? After all, a single big win is often built on several losses. It's a truth perfectly captured in the words of Japanese industrialist and automaker, Soichiro Honda, &quot;Success is 99% failure.&quot;</p> <p>Maybe it's time to look past the sound bites of success and examine the transformational power of <em>not succeeding</em>. Here are the seven surprising benefits of failure.</p> <h2>1. Failure Teaches Lessons</h2> <p>Failure can be an efficient (if sometimes harsh) teacher. In our careers, in our financial lives, and in our frugal living goals, learning what not to do is just as important as learning what to do. And the personal bankruptcy laws in the United States embody the positive potential of failure by allowing individuals the room to right themselves, to learn from their mistakes, and move on.</p> <h2>2. Failure Keeps Us Hungry and Humble</h2> <p>The biggest enemy of long-term success is complacency. History is littered with stories of once great nations, cultures, and companies that banked on the notion that a successful past guarantees a successful future. But failure has a way of motivating us &mdash; of keeping us hungry and also humble. People who know from experience that fortunes can be lost, that competitors never sleep, that downsizing happens, and that every market boom can go bust tend to be more highly driven and much more intentional.</p> <h2>3. Failure Helps Us Overcome Fear</h2> <p>What is it that we're most afraid of when we don't take full advantage of sound investments? Or when we put off saving for retirement for decades? When we stay stuck in a job we hate, year after year? I'd argue that we're most afraid of failing. But here's the curious thing about failure: Once you've faced it, it becomes the enemy you know. That familiarity can help you move on with the confidence that a stumble or fall won't be the end of your story.</p> <h2>4. Failure Recommits Us to Our Goals</h2> <p>Personal setbacks can be clarifying. Several years ago, a close friend of mine amassed a whopping amount of consumer debt. Though he'd always considered himself fairly frugal and financially savvy, he'd let a few little slip-ups become a big downward slide and was nearly bankrupt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-attitudes-that-breed-financial-failure?ref=seealso">6 Attitudes That Breed Financial Failure</a>)</p> <p>As his closest confidant, I had a front-row seat to my friend's yearlong financial meltdown. But instead of giving up, he committed to a life of debt-free living with a renewed of sense of purpose. He paid off the card balances with laserlike focus and hasn't slipped up since.</p> <h2>5. Failure Inspires Creative Solutions</h2> <p>In 2007, my cushy and fairly lucrative contract position with a top tech firm came to an abrupt end. The situation forced me to re-evaluate what I wanted the future of my career to look like. I knew I wanted to keep working remotely, retain some level of employment autonomy, and (hopefully) avoid a severe pay cut. Over the next few years, I built a small, but thriving independent business &mdash; a business that likely would have never been launched had that contracting position continued without interruption. Though I certainly couldn't see it at the time, that job loss forced me to put something new &mdash; and ultimately, more rewarding &mdash; in motion. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-famous-failures-that-led-to-success-and-the-lessons-they-teach?ref=seealso">11 Famous Failures That Led to Success</a>).</p> <h2>6. Failure Strengthens Our Support System</h2> <p>The old poetic line, &quot;Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone,&quot; may not be entirely accurate. When we fail, we send out flares (often without realizing it) to those who matter most: friends, family, and close colleagues who can offer assistance or simply lend a sympathetic ear. The process strengthens our support system and builds a network of resources to help us succeed next time.</p> <h2>7. Failure Makes Us More Valuable Mentors</h2> <p>The most qualified teachers are those who have been through it all and know how to weather it all. A large part of effective mentorship is helping anticipate and avoid pitfalls, stay focused, and respond to challenges with creativity and optimism.</p> <p><em>Have you benefited from failure? What's the most surprising or important lesson it taught you? Share your story!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-radical-implosion-can-help-you-get-ahead-at-work-and-everywhere-else">How &quot;Radical Implosion&quot; Can Help You Get Ahead at Work — and Everywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-outliers-by-malcolm-gladwell">Book Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-famous-failures-that-led-to-success-and-the-lessons-they-teach">11 Famous Failures That Led to Success (And the Lessons They Teach)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt">Success Secrets You Should Have Learned in High School — But Didn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Life Hacks benefits courage epic fail fail failure motivation obstacles success surprising benefits Wed, 06 Jul 2016 10:30:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1745835 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways to Get Over Rejection http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-over-rejection <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-get-over-rejection" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy-rejected-relationship-177307922-small.jpg" alt="boy rejected" title="boy rejected" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rejection sucks.</p> <p>That, my friends, is a cold, hard fact. No matter what realm of life you've lost out on &mdash; work, school, relationships, home &mdash; not being chosen is hard.</p> <p>It's easy to let a rejection or two make you feel like, just maybe, there's something wrong with you. Maybe it really is you and not them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mend-a-broken-heart-without-breaking-the-bank?ref=seealso">Mend a Broken Heart Without Breaking the Bank</a>)</p> <p>While getting past a rejection and finding your spirit and energy again can be a difficult process, taking your time to examine the situation and learn from it is one of the best ways to grow. This gives you the opportunity to make some changes to your behavior for next time, and to become more secure in who you are, so that rejection doesn't rock you as hard next time.</p> <h2>Understanding Rejection</h2> <p>Before you can start to get over your rejection, it helps to understand why being rejected sucks so much.</p> <h3>Fear of Rejection Is Hard-Wired</h3> <p>Being an essential and valued part of a group used to be even more important than it is now. Think about it: In ancient societies, it would have been nearly impossible to find food and water and defend yourself all on your own. If your social group left you behind, you would be almost sure to die. Thus, <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thriving101/201012/rejection-losers-guide">the human brain is wired to fear being alone</a>.</p> <p>While not getting a job or a date don't have life-and-death significance now, our brains don't know that, and so we end up feeling desperate and lost when we are rejected.</p> <h3>Rejection Leads to Insecurity</h3> <p>Because rejection once meant that our very existence became much less secure, our brains began to associate the experience of being rejected with feeling insecure. Security came from being part of the group, and death &mdash; the ultimate insecurity &mdash; came from being separated from them.</p> <p>Since being part of a group is so important to us, <a href="http://www.professional-counselling.com/dealing-with-rejection.html#.VCLvAC5dUlh">we tend to feel worthless when we experience rejection</a>. We feel like there's no way we can possibly survive, and so we begin to think our very existence does not mean much.</p> <h2>Getting Over It</h2> <p>Now that we have a basic understanding of why rejection hurts so much, it's time to start overcoming it.</p> <h3>1. Take Care of Yourself</h3> <p>When you're feeling worthless, it's easy to let self-care go out the window. What's the point, when you feel like you're going to die no matter what you do? But caring for yourself shows that you value who you are, even if other people don't. Start by caring for your body: eat well, sleep enough, and exercise on a regular schedule.</p> <h3>2. Choose Reality</h3> <p>While you may feel like you're going to die, you're not actually going to die. This rejection is one person's opinion of you at one particular moment in time. The person who rejected you might not even know you very well. Choose to believe what is real. This rejection is not an authoritative opinion on who you are or what you are worth. And choose this again and again, whenever you begin to dwell on the rejection.</p> <h3>3. Know That the Pain Will End</h3> <p>Rejection tends to feel like it's never going to end. You may feel like you will hurt forever, until you die or it kills you. The truth, though, is that you will not die. At some point, the pain will end. You will feel better. You will feel like life is worth living again. Just being able to tell yourself that truth can make the difference between getting stuck in your rejection and getting over it.</p> <h3>4. Let Yourself Grieve</h3> <p>When you get rejected, you'll have big feelings. These may feel scary or threatening, or be so unpleasant that you just want to forget all about them. However, you won't get past your rejection if you don't let yourself feel your feelings. You may go through the stages of grief. You may spend a lot of time feeling angry or depressed. Whatever you're feeling, spend some time with these feelings. Give them time to wash over and through you.</p> <h3>5. Share Your Feelings</h3> <p>Spend some time sharing your feelings with people you trust. This can help lessen your feelings of rejection, because you will remember that you are not entirely alone. One person may not have chosen you, but that doesn't mean that there isn't anyone who wants you around. Sharing your feelings can also help you process them and leave them behind, because other people can offer you insights and opinions that you might not have come to on your own.</p> <h3>6. Stop Obsessing</h3> <p>Post-rejection, it's easy to let yourself replay your interactions with the rejector over and over again. You might be looking for something you did wrong, or replaying a place in the conversation where you're pretty sure you made a misstep. Either way, replaying the scene over and over and over again is going to keep you tied to that moment, rather than allowing you to let it go and move on.</p> <h3>7. Counter Critical Thoughts</h3> <p>Most people blame themselves when they get rejected. &quot;If only I wasn't so&hellip; &quot; they think, over and over and over again. One way to get out of these self-critical thoughts is to counter them. For instance, after being rejected for a job, someone might think, &quot;If only I had taken that internship last summer instead of traveling.&quot; You can counter that thought with, &quot;No, I wouldn't have been happy at that internship, and I learned more traveling than I've ever learned working anywhere.&quot; This can help you become more objective about the rejection, realizing that it likely wasn't all your fault.</p> <h3>8. Avoid Getting Stuck</h3> <p>There's a balance between feeling your feelings and processing them and getting stuck in them. If you feel your grief turning into bitterness or an anger or depression that doesn't seem to lift, do whatever you need to do to get out of those feelings. Some people may simply need to choose to risk again. Others may need to talk to a counselor or take medication. All of these are legitimate ways to deal with a rejection that won't go away.</p> <h3>9. Learn the Lesson</h3> <p>There is a lesson in every rejection, and finding it can help you leave the rejection behind and move forward again. You may find your lesson in talking about your rejection, or in journaling about it, or even in thinking about what you would do if you found yourself in the same situation again. The lesson may be something that you want to do differently next time, but it can also be something like accepting that not everyone values the same things you do.</p> <h3>10. Consider Some Changes</h3> <p>Even if you did nothing wrong in the situation where your rejection happened, you may decide to make changes in how you handle similar situations in the future. For instance, you may choose to practice your interview before you go to one next time, or to not participate in online dating.</p> <h3>11. Get Back Out There</h3> <p>In the end, the only way to truly move beyond your rejection is to get back in the game. Apply for another job, meet a new friend, or ask someone else out on a date. You don't have to do this immediately, but it should be on your radar from the beginning. If you're nervous or finding it particularly hard to do this, think about small victories that might help you get your confidence back. You might try a mock interview with someone you know who does hiring, so you can get feedback, or you might take a friend on a date, to get comfortable with that whole scene again.</p> <p><em>When have you been rejected? What helped you get over it? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-over-rejection">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-moves-to-make-if-your-loan-gets-denied">5 Moves to Make If Your Loan Gets Denied</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort">6 Ways to Be a Better Friend Without Any Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-on-what-to-do-before-moving-in-together">5 Tips on What to Do Before Moving in Together</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips break-ups denied failure rejection relationships Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1236762 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Famous Failures That Led to Success (And the Lessons They Teach) http://www.wisebread.com/11-famous-failures-that-led-to-success-and-the-lessons-they-teach <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-famous-failures-that-led-to-success-and-the-lessons-they-teach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stress-186471131.jpg" alt="stress" title="stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever noticed how focused we are on winners? Most of our time and attention is devoted to people who have already succeeded &mdash; entertainers who now fill the stadiums or walk the red carpet, influential politicians, famous CEOs. But that's merely the end of the story. So much more can be learned from the failures that got them there. Failure provides some of life's most enduring lessons.</p> <p dir="ltr">One part of our culture where failure is not only accepted but is actually looked upon favorably is in business, among entrepreneurs. To entrepreneurs failure is worn like a badge of courage. It often leads them to greater insights and solutions and, with a healthy dose of persistence, eventual success. This helps to explain why the United States continues to lead the world in innovation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Here are 11 examples of initial failures &mdash; and the lessons learned &mdash; by entrepreneurs and others who ultimately achieved great success in their fields.</p> <h2>1. Fran Tarkenton</h2> <p dir="ltr">Tarkenton is an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback, a television personality, and businessman. But his transition to entrepreneurship came with a costly lesson. Says Tarkenton, &quot;When I was 27, a lawyer friend told me he could help me start a business, and he could run it, but I should use my money.&quot; Later, after spending $250,000, he opened up Scrambler's Village restaurant in Atlanta, but it never caught on. The lawyer lost some of his time; Tarkenton lost all the money. But he picked himself up, learned from the experience, and founded a successful computer software company.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Be wary of shortcuts and do your homework before making a big decision.</p> <h2>2. Barbara Corcoran</h2> <p dir="ltr">One of the Sharks of TV's &quot;Shark Tank,&quot; Corcoran is one of 10 children, all of whom became business owners. In her book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1591844185/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1591844185&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OODMJJVGWELUOPUF">Shark Tales</a> she describes her failures without apologies. She had 23 jobs &mdash; and was fired from three of them &mdash; before finally finding success in New York City real estate. Ms. Corcoran sets an example for how to confront and overcome failure, using it to fuel future success. But she also shows how it can help build confidence and self-fulfillment.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Accept failure as a gift that helps you learn how to do it better next time.</p> <h2>3. Harrison Ford</h2> <p dir="ltr">The actor struggled for nine years, getting only small non-credited movie roles and working on the side as a carpenter to support his wife and two sons. He was hired to build cabinets at the home of director George Lucas, who recognized his talent and cast him in a supporting role in the film &quot;American Grafitti.&quot; Shortly afterwards, Ford was hired by Lucas to read lines for actors auditioning for &quot;Star Wars.&quot; Lucas was so impressed with Ford's character portrayals during the readings that he offered the Han Solo role to the cabinet maker. And the rest, as they say, is history.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Get your message out there. Find as many ways as you can to open doors.</p> <h2>4. J.K. Rowling</h2> <p dir="ltr">A struggling novelist, Rowling nurtured her vision to become an author during a seven-year period that included the death of her mother, divorce from her first husband, and raising her children in near-poverty. After her manuscript was repeatedly rejected by major publishers &mdash; 12 times, in fact &mdash; a small London publisher chose to publish it only after the CEO's 8-year old daughter begged her father to print the book. Rowling's <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Harry-Potter-Store/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=1084186&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=67MRFKGN7YDCG55R">Harry Potter</a> books have now sold more than 400 million copies. The franchise holds the distinction of having both the best-selling book series in history and also the highest grossing film series in history.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Follow your passion.</p> <h2>5. The Beatles</h2> <p dir="ltr">After two years of practicing and performing relentlessly, often for 10 or more hours a day, the Beatles were finally given their first audition for a recording contract with Decca records. Decca turned them down without hesitation, stating that &quot;guitar groups are on the way out.&quot;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Nobody wants to be the first to like a new idea (or sound) &mdash; but everybody wants to be second.</p> <h2>6. Reed Hastings</h2> <p dir="ltr">The shock of a $40 late fee charge in 1997 for a VHS tape of <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112384/">Apollo 13</a> spurred Reed Hastings to explore the idea of how to create a movie rental business by mail. So he started a company called Netflix. His original &quot;pay per rental&quot; business model was like Blockbuster's, and it wasn't very popular. So he listened to customer feedback and in 1999 he re-launched the business as a subscription service. Netflix wound up almost single-handedly putting Blockbuster out of business, and Hastings continues to adapt his business model to meet changing technology and customer needs. Netflix now has over 40 million streaming customers and an academy award-nominated original production, The Square.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Listen to those who have something constructive to say, and be open to &quot;pivoting&quot; (changing direction) based on their feedback.</p> <h2>7. Oprah Winfrey</h2> <p dir="ltr">Oprah, of course, hosted one of the highest ranking TV shows in history and is the richest self-made woman and the only black female billionaire. However, she was fired from her first television job as an anchor in Baltimore. According to CNN, Oprah's first boss told her she was too emotional and not right for television.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Avoid the naysayers. Recognize how to distinguish between those with &quot;can do&quot; versus &quot;can't do&quot; attitudes.</p> <h2>8. Tom Corley</h2> <p dir="ltr">After his book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1934938939/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1934938939&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KG4X7LYNXVJQB7ZV">Rich Habits</a> was published, Corley spent 18 months attempting to drum up publicity from 1,000 newspaper and magazine book editors (none of whom reviewed the book) and dozens of schools, libraries, civic, and business groups all to no avail. Throughout the process, though, he learned who the few key media players were and then focused on getting their attention. The strategy worked. A series of four interviews &mdash; with Yahoo! Finance, Dave Ramsey, MSN Personal Finance, and CBS TV &mdash; almost instantly catapulted the book to the #1 Bestseller position on Amazon.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Focus. Identify the one or two activities that will generate the biggest outcome.</p> <h2>9. Dr. Seuss</h2> <p dir="ltr">Theodor Seuss Geisel submitted his first book, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0394844947/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0394844947&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=23Q5LJDNGMRHHRIS">And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street</a>, to 27 different publishers. All of them rejected it. According to Geisel, as he was walking home to burn the manuscript he happened to run into an old Dartmouth classmate who helped him find a publisher for the book. Dr. Seuss went on to become a legendary children's author of classics like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039480001X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=039480001X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IOGKQITHFE2EMCPW">The Cat in the Hat</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0394800168/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0394800168&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5WD7SKJRXJOIMLAO">Green Eggs and Ham</a>. His books have sold over 600 million copies.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> You can't always do it alone. Use your network and seek the help of good partners.</p> <h2>10. James Dyson</h2> <p dir="ltr">The British inventor, industrial designer, and founder of the Dyson company is best known for inventing the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner. What is less well known is that, while developing his vacuum, he went through 5,126 failed prototypes before getting it right. He also exhausted his savings in the process. He is now worth an estimated $4.5 billion, according to Forbes.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> Persistence, persistence, persistence!</p> <h2>11. &quot;Colonel&quot; Harland David Sanders</h2> <p dir="ltr">For decades, Harland Sanders held many jobs including fireman, insurance salesman, and gas station owner before trying his hand at selling fried chicken from a roadside restaurant in Kentucky. Just as his local restaurant was gaining some traction the construction of a nearby highway put him out of business. He then made over 1,000 pitches of his chicken recipe to investors before, at age 68, he found a buyer and started franchising the business. Seven years later he sold the fried chicken company for $15 million.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Lesson:</strong> It's never too late to start.</p> <p><em>What would you consider your most valuable lesson learned? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keith-whelan">Keith Whelan</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-famous-failures-that-led-to-success-and-the-lessons-they-teach">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure">7 Surprising Benefits of Failure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-radical-implosion-can-help-you-get-ahead-at-work-and-everywhere-else">How &quot;Radical Implosion&quot; Can Help You Get Ahead at Work — and Everywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-things-good-employees-do">The 8 Worst Things Good Employees Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/execution-not-ideas-is-key-duh">Execution, Not Ideas, is Key. Duh!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income failure famous failures success Tue, 20 May 2014 08:00:16 +0000 Keith Whelan 1139918 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/running-104702667.jpg" alt="woman running" title="woman running" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is a widespread movement afoot that&#39;s teaching young kids that the &quot;f word&quot; is a bad thing. Failure, that is. From banning traditional physical education games like dodgeball to making sure everyone&#39;s a winner no matter what, failing has gone from being a part of life to something we avoid at all costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">How to Learn From Your Mistakes</a>)</p> <p>Which isn&#39;t going to help anyone once they reach the real world.</p> <p>There is no magical plan or &quot;secret trick&quot; to avoiding failure. Trust me, it&#39;s going to happen. Kids might be getting groomed to avoid it at all costs, but as a grown up you better prepare yourself for a healthy dose of failure, or you&#39;ll be in for a rude awakening.</p> <p>Oddly enough, the more you fail the better equipped you&#39;ll be at handling it, which will increase your odds of success regardless of what you&#39;re trying to accomplish. Besides, losing can actually <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/opinion/losing-is-good-for-you.html?smid=pl-share">be good for you</a>.</p> <p>If you want to become better at coping with failure, you need to know the three steps to conquering it.</p> <h2>1. Don&#39;t Fear Failure</h2> <p>You are going to fail. A lot. Especially if you&#39;re constantly trying new things and putting yourself out there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-things-to-do-today">20+ New Things to Do Today</a>)</p> <ul> <li>Want to start your own business? Failure central.</li> <li>Trying to get a new job? Most places will pass on you.</li> <li>Attempting to lose weight? That&#39;s right...you know what&#39;s coming.</li> </ul> <p>Instead of trying to rack your brain with ways to avoid failure, you need to just accept that it&#39;s going to happen. Will it make you feel less crappy when you do fail?</p> <p>Nope.</p> <p>But that&#39;s not the point. The point is for you to acknowledge that it&#39;s going to happen (and that it&#39;s OK), so that you don&#39;t stop trying things for fear of failing. Remember that just because you fail, it doesn&#39;t make you a failure.</p> <p>This is the easy part, but it won&#39;t mean anything unless you follow through with...</p> <h2>2. Learn From Your Mistakes</h2> <p>So you&#39;ve failed. You&#39;re ready to pick yourself back up and try again. What&#39;s the next step?</p> <p>Some people blame their failures on everything and everyone other than themselves. Others get so down on themselves that they don&#39;t ever want to try anything again. Neither is productive nor conducive to success. The smart thing to do is to <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5863490/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">look objectively at why you failed</a> and come up with ideas on what you could have done differently.</p> <p>Do some research, talk to other people trying to accomplish what you&#39;re attempting to do (and those who <em>have</em> achieved success), and figure out other ways of achieving your goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/achieve-more-with-goal-sequencing">How to Get Things Done With Goal Sequencing</a>)</p> <p>That cycle of failing and becoming wiser and better prepared for next time is the closest thing to a &quot;secret of success&quot; as I can think of.</p> <p>Which means the third step is crucial.</p> <h2>3. Move Forward With a Plan</h2> <p>You need a plan to move forward. After evaluating your earlier mistakes, come up with a new, improved way that will give you a better chance at success. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt">Success Secrets You Should&#39;ve Learned in High School</a>)</p> <p>Of course, there are times that we realize our goals weren&#39;t &quot;meant to be.&quot; That&#39;s when we need to come to terms with failure and accept the fact that we won&#39;t always achieve what we&#39;re after&hellip; and that&#39;s OK, too.</p> <p>One other tip that I&#39;ve learned over time: fail fast. That process of formulating a plan and wholeheartedly attempting it can take forever. But if you put your best effort into it and realize quickly that it&#39;s not going to work, now you&#39;re ready for your next try without burning years of your life.</p> <p>It&#39;s a fine balance, since you don&#39;t want to give up too soon, but at some point you need to draw the line and move on.</p> <p><em>How do you embrace failure, learn from it, and keep going?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt">Success Secrets You Should Have Learned in High School — But Didn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure">7 Surprising Benefits of Failure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-succeeding-at-absolutely-everything">The Secret to Succeeding at Absolutely Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development failure motivation persistence success Tue, 12 Nov 2013 10:00:03 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 1094132 at http://www.wisebread.com Success Secrets You Should Have Learned in High School — But Didn't http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/teen-3971525-small.jpg" alt="student" title="student" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>About halfway through my sophomore year in high school, I wandered into the guidance counselor&#39;s office looking for answers. The curriculum, I explained, wasn&#39;t really doing anything for me. I was bored. And I wanted her to do something about it.</p> <p>In retrospect, I realize I could have handled that a little better. But then, I was 16 and thought I knew everything, as most teenagers do. And even though my methods may have been lacking, my heart really was in the right place. I wanted to learn. I just didn&#39;t feel like I was getting anything out of school. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new">Free Ways to Learn Something New</a>)</p> <p>My counselor&#39;s response wasn&#39;t nearly as sympathetic as I had expected:</p> <blockquote><p>You being bored is not our problem. That&#39;s your problem. And it&#39;s something you&#39;ll have to learn to deal with if you want to make it in the real world. Life isn&#39;t always fun and games and you don&#39;t get to pick and choose what you want to do. I suggest you stop worrying about having fun and start thinking about how you&#39;re going to make a living, because that will determine how &quot;happy&quot; you are in the future. The sooner you realize that, the better off you&#39;ll be.</p> </blockquote> <p>A year later, I took her words to heart, got my GED, and quit school. If professional success was the key to happiness, I reasoned, then I was going to get a head start. At least, so I thought. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-from-a-financially-savvy-teen">Tips From a Financially Savvy Teen)</a></p> <p>It wasn&#39;t until many years later that I realized that&#39;s probably not what she meant and even if it was, I should have never listened to that advice. Granted, she was right &mdash; it was my problem &mdash; and life isn&#39;t always fun and games, but just settling for &quot;making a living&quot; isn&#39;t the answer, either.</p> <p>I spent years doing what I thought I was supposed to do rather than giving life to what I really wanted to do and inevitably, I&#39;d get bored, quit, and move on to the next exciting, albeit identical opportunity. It never occurred to me that the plan itself was faulty.</p> <p>If you&#39;re struggling to find your purpose or having trouble getting your groove, it could be because you&#39;re still operating under some old (and incorrect) beliefs about life and success.</p> <p>So, in the spirit of busting a few of those myths and (hopefully) helping you find that groove that&#39;s eluding you, here are some other things you should have been told when you were growing up.</p> <h2>Keep Your Head in the Clouds</h2> <p>Can you imagine what our world would be like if we didn&#39;t have visionaries? If people like Einstein, the Wright Brothers, and Steve Jobs had never let their imaginations wander? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">Ways to Boost Creativity</a>)</p> <p>We come into this world with amazing ideas, but as we get older, we&#39;re conditioned to suppress it in favor of a more practical reality. And practical is fine. But there&#39;s a reason that you have the ability to ponder the impossible and postulate the outrageous &mdash; it&#39;s the quickest way to access your genius.</p> <p>As personal development author Byron Pulsifer puts it, &quot;Adults tend to suppress their imagination, and are too quick to give up their dreams. Don&#39;t let the child in you disappear &mdash; imagine, dream, and believe in yourself.&quot;</p> <h2>You Will Fail</h2> <p>Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and then went on to lose every election he ran for. Until, that is, the age of 62, when Britain elected him as their Prime Minister. Columbia Pictures told Marilyn Monroe that she wasn&#39;t pretty or talented enough to be an actress. A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he &quot;lacked imagination.&quot; And it took Thomas Edison some 1,000 attempts before successfully creating the light bulb. When asked about all the previous attempts, he responded, &quot;I didn&#39;t fail 1,000 times. It was an invention with 1,000 steps.&quot;</p> <p>You too, will fail... and over your lifetime, it&#39;s quite likely that you will fail often. And when you do, you&#39;re going to think about giving up. But just because you didn&#39;t succeed doesn&#39;t mean you won&#39;t succeed the next time around. In fact, that&#39;s the other half of this equation: You will fail, but you won&#39;t always fail.</p> <p>Learning to embrace that idea is what allows you to learn from the experience and perhaps even conceive a better way of doing things. It&#39;s what will help you develop a resistance to other peoples&#39; ideas about what you can and cannot do, and it&#39;s what enables you to pick yourself up, brush yourself off and try again. Because the fact that you didn&#39;t, doesn&#39;t mean that you can&#39;t. It just means that you haven&#39;t yet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">How to Learn From Your Mistakes</a>)</p> <h2>Success Is Subjective</h2> <p>And while we&#39;re on the subject of success &mdash; remember that it&#39;s different for everyone. What makes you happy might not make me happy and vice-versa, and only you can decide what &quot;that&quot; is.</p> <p>The day I decided to become a freelancer wasn&#39;t the first time I had walked away from the corporate world. Several years prior, I got the notion that it was time to make a change and rather than sending out resumes, I applied to wait tables at a local bar. On paper, it was probably the dumbest thing I had ever done &mdash; my corporate job offered full benefits and a generous salary, complete with an expense account and a car allowance.</p> <p>The waitress job on the other hand, offered none of those perks. In fact, the only guarantee I had was the $2.01 hourly wage; the rest was up to me.</p> <p>But despite all that uncertainty, I felt invigorated. I was free, and for the first time in a long time, I was happy in my work again.</p> <p>You have to define what happiness means to you, even if it doesn&#39;t match the blueprint that society considers to be the norm. We have this notion that with the right car, the right house, the right job or X amount of money, we&#39;ll be happy, but money and things will only take you so far. True success &mdash; and the happiness that goes with it &mdash; will come when you&#39;re doing something you love. And that&#39;s something no amount of money can buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defining-what-financial-success-means-to-you">Defining What Financial Success Means to You</a>)</p> <h2>Your Permanent File Isn&#39;t Real</h2> <p>That enlightening conversation with my guidance counselor wasn&#39;t the first time I had spoken without first thinking things through. Quite the contrary, it seemed I was always ruffling feathers &mdash; and each time I did, I was told the infraction was going in my permanent file.</p> <p>And at the rate my teachers were writing in it, I knew that file was going to haunt me for the rest of my life.</p> <p>Of course, you and I now know that file wasn&#39;t real. In fact, other than having nice transcripts when applying to college, no one really cares what you did in high school, much less junior high or grade school.</p> <p>But even though we know the file doesn&#39;t really exist, the stigma of it tends to stay with us. We have a tendency to confine ourselves with all sorts of limiting labels. We were never any good at math, ergo we could never be an accountant or a scientist or teacher. English wasn&#39;t out best subject, so even though we have a great idea for a story, maybe writing a book isn&#39;t really in our future. We weren&#39;t popular or athletic or academically advanced in school, so we shouldn&#39;t expect too much success in the grown up version of reality either.</p> <p>But actually, just the opposite is true.</p> <p>What and who you were yesterday doesn&#39;t define you now any more than who you are now defines who you&#39;ll become tomorrow. Yes, our experiences help to shape our perceptions and beliefs but we are free &mdash; at any time &mdash; to decide to perceive something differently and believe something new. Those labels and limitations we put on ourselves aren&#39;t real and they have no bearing on your potential.</p> <p>Just like that make-believe permanent file.</p> <h2>Forget About Fitting In</h2> <p>At first glance, you might think that we Americans have &quot;being different&quot; down. We&#39;re taught a history that&#39;s filled with rebellious ancestors who couldn&#39;t help but stand up and stand out. Our entire society is built upon the ideas of equality and freedom, specifically so that each of us can choose to define the &quot;pursuit of happiness&quot; for ourselves.</p> <p>And this aversion to fitting in was seemingly reinforced loud and clear from day one. &quot;Don&#39;t worry about what the other kids are doing,&quot; our grownups told us. &quot;If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?&quot;</p> <p>But really, our grownups weren&#39;t saying &quot;don&#39;t follow&quot;&nbsp;&mdash; they were saying &quot;follow the right people.&quot;</p> <p>And to some extent, that&#39;s not bad advice. Modeling your path after those who were successful before you is never a bad place to start&hellip; the problem is, we&#39;ve taken that one step further and started using those models to define &mdash; and limit &mdash; what success actually means.</p> <p>As a result, we&#39;ve lost our ability to adapt. We&#39;ve forgotten how to think outside the box and instead of embracing the uniqueness that brought us here, we greet it with hate and fear.</p> <p>But the thing is, those crowds aren&#39;t really looking for another follower&hellip; by their very definition, they&#39;re looking for a leader. And therein lies the irony: if you really want to fit in, you have to stand out and lead.</p> <p><em>What else do you wish your guidance counselor had told you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-19"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure">7 Surprising Benefits of Failure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-unbelievable-visualization-board-success-stories">3 Unbelievable Visualization Board Success Stories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/motivating-yourself-and-others">Motivating Yourself and Others</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development failure motivation success Wed, 23 Oct 2013 10:24:03 +0000 Kate Luther 1042515 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Solve Your Problem http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-solve-your-problem <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-solve-your-problem" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4991286872_36536ddd6c_z.jpg" alt="woman on a walk" title="woman on a walk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have problems. Whether it&rsquo;s something that&rsquo;s been dumped on you at work, something at home, or something else entirely, life rarely goes 100% according to plan. No matter how large or challenging the problem, there&rsquo;s nearly always a solution of some sort. All you have to do is find it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-a-problem-why-you-should-figure-it-out-yourself">Got a Problem? Why You SHould Figure It Out Yourself</a>)</p> <h3>1. Speak Positively</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to think about saying positive things about yourself, but it can be much harder to execute. And yet, thinking positively about yourself will make it more likely that you&rsquo;ll be able to solve a hard problem. Make a list of things you&rsquo;re good at or things you like about yourself. Then put them in the present tense, starting with &quot;I am &hellip;&quot; You&rsquo;ll end up with a list of statements like, &quot;I am happy,&quot; &quot;I am successful,&quot; and &quot;I am creative.&quot; Post the list where you can see it, and read through it at least once a day. If you&rsquo;re comfortable, read it out loud. Hearing your own voice say these things will be even more powerful.</p> <h3>2. Remember Past Successes</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re struggling to find a solution, it&rsquo;s easy to think about all the times you&rsquo;ve tried and things haven&rsquo;t gone the way you wanted them to go. Instead, deliberately ponder your successes. No matter how small the success, think it through. Think about what made the success happen, and think about how you can recreate those things in your current situation.</p> <h3>3. Learn From Past Failures</h3> <p>If you can&rsquo;t get your mind off your past failures, use them instead. Examine each one carefully. Take some time to turn it over and over in your mind. Determine what caused you to fail. Is it something you can improve? In that case, come up with a plan to avoid that this time. Was it something out of your control? Then let it go, knowing that you can&rsquo;t control everything. Then, turn back to your problem and see if you can&rsquo;t find a solution now.</p> <h3>4. Wear Clothes That Make You Feel Attractive and Comfortable</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s so much easier to think creatively when you feel good about yourself. That means not only knowing that you look good, but not having anything to distract you. So, even if those stilettos make your legs look amazing, avoid them if you&rsquo;ll be in pain all day.</p> <h3>5. Take Some Time Away</h3> <p>If you pursue a solution and it really won&rsquo;t come, then maybe you&rsquo;re burning out on this problem. While it&rsquo;s great to get away for a day or two, a simple walk around the block or even down the hall can help you feel refreshed. Time away from a project also gives you perspective, so you can see things from multiple points of view when you go back.</p> <h3>6. Get Moving</h3> <p>When your brain focuses on one thing for too long, it starts to think in the same patterns over and over. Change your brain&rsquo;s focus by moving your body. In addition, you&rsquo;ll charge your system with endorphins, which make you feel good and will also help you think about the problem more creatively.</p> <h3>7. Wonder and Wander</h3> <p>Another way to help your brain get out of a rut is to let it wander for a while. Many times, you&rsquo;ll find yourself making connections between things that didn&rsquo;t seem connected before, and you may end up with a creative solution to your problem or at least a new pathway for inquiry. If this is hard for you, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newISS_01.htm">create a mind map</a>, so you can see all of the ways that different ideas might connect.</p> <h3>8. Go Outside</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re pondering and pondering a problem from the same point of view, get up and move outside. Going outside not only changes your perspective, but it also charges your system with D vitamins. Finally, getting outside may give you enough of a perspective change that you&rsquo;ll find new patterns for your mind, which may generate new solutions.</p> <h3>9. Watch Other People</h3> <p>If nothing is working, take some time to watch how other people work. If there&rsquo;s someone in particular who solves problems well, ask them how they do it. While some people are just wired that way, others have taken the time to learn techniques that could benefit you, too.</p> <h3>10. Ask Questions</h3> <p>Asking questions about the problem in front of you not only makes sure you have all the relevant information, but may generate an idea that becomes your solution. Sometimes, other people have a piece of data that they don&rsquo;t realize pertains to your problem. When you ask them questions, those tidbits can come out and you can utilize them.</p> <h3>11. Make a List</h3> <p>When you feel like you&rsquo;ve tried everything and nothing has worked, begin to write down your ideas&nbsp;&mdash; the ones you&rsquo;ve tried, the ones that seem crazy, and the ones that seem like they&rsquo;d take an act of God to accomplish. Writing can help your brain make new connections and seeing an idea on paper might help you see that it&rsquo;s not impossible after all.</p> <h3>12. Breathe Deep</h3> <p>Take 5-10 minutes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/super-solid-yoga-tricks-to-help-you-relax">focus on your breathing</a>. Feel each breath come in and go out. Lay all other thoughts aside. An answer may come to you while you&rsquo;re breathing or it may not, but no matter what, your mind will be in a better place to come up with a solution when you&rsquo;re done.</p> <h3>13. Take a Blast From the Past</h3> <p>Even if no one has had your specific problem before, people have probably had similar problems. Do some research to find out how people solved these similar problems in the past. While you may not be able to utilize the exact same solution, just knowing that they solved the problem will help you calm down to find a solution of your own.</p> <h3>14. Think Differently</h3> <p>This has come up throughout this article, but it gets its own point because it&rsquo;s so important. Do whatever you have to do to get your brain out of the rut that it&rsquo;s in. Do jumping jacks. Call someone you haven&rsquo;t spoken to in years. Go someplace new for dinner. All of these things can trigger a new connection in your brain, and it just might be the one you&rsquo;re looking for.</p> <h3>15. Remember the Alamo</h3> <p>To some people, the Alamo was a huge failure. However, the men there dug deep, dug in, and held on until the very end. While they didn&rsquo;t get to see the solution to their problem, they inspired people in their own time and across time into the present. Remember that finding a solution to your problem, while important, is only the small picture. In a big picture world, what looks like failure could be more of a success in the long run.</p> <p><em>How do you solve those impossible problems? What has worked for you?</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-solve-your-problem">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-benefits-of-failure">7 Surprising Benefits of Failure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-deal-when-you-work-with-someone-you-hate">8 Ways to Deal When You Work With Someone You Hate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-one-good-financial-reason-why-you-shouldnt-live-in-the-present">Here&#039;s One Good Financial Reason Why You Shouldn&#039;t Live in the Present</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-mondays">12 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Mondays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks failure how to be positive problem solving Tue, 26 Feb 2013 11:00:36 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 967888 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Attitudes That Breed Financial Failure http://www.wisebread.com/6-attitudes-that-breed-financial-failure <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-attitudes-that-breed-financial-failure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/54389823_88dbffdf7d_z.jpg" alt="frustrated man" title="frustrated man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Financial success or failure is often the result of attitudes &mdash; both conscious and unconscious &mdash; that affect our behavior. No amount of budgeting and self-control can help us when we&rsquo;re up against ingrained ideas about money management, spending, and debt. If you&rsquo;re having a tough time shifting your financial behavior, maybe it&rsquo;s time to change your mind about money. Here are six common attitudes that work against us financially. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-making-tough-financial-decisions">The Secret to Making Tough Financial Decisions</a>)</p> <h3>1. Stuff Is Just as Good as Money</h3> <p>Besides a few important exceptions like our home, car, and other necessities, objects are seldom as valuable as cold hard cash. When you trade your hard-earned money for objects, don&rsquo;t fool yourself into thinking they retain even an approximation of their retail value for very long. Typically, by the time we file our receipts, depreciation, changing styles, or new technology has reduced our treasures to trinkets.</p> <h3>2. I&rsquo;ll Start Saving When I Make More Money</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s no optimal time (or salary range) to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-savings-changes-you-can-make-today">begin the good habit of saving</a>. Setting your course early in life, regardless of how much money you make, establishes a routine and habit that can be tweaked as your financial realities and goals change. Many people tell themselves &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t make enough to save,&rdquo; but isn&rsquo;t the flip-side of that &ldquo;I make so little that saving is essential&quot;?</p> <h3>3. Time Is on My Side</h3> <p>Twenty-somethings may disagree, but time really does fly. Saving early and often will compensate for most financial mishaps. The twin powers of habit and compounding interest can make huge nest egg from even the most modest income.</p> <h3>4. Little Things Don&rsquo;t Count</h3> <p>Volumes have been written about the &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-keeping-your-latte-factor-will-help-you-save-money">latte factor</a>,&rdquo; and various savings gurus argue the point ad nauseum. I&rsquo;m not a proponent of total self-denial, but there&rsquo;s something to be said about how our little habits and mini indulgences can, if left unchecked, add up to big expenses. Understanding how our own personal latte factor (whatever it might be) erodes our larger financial goals is important first step in becoming more savings savvy.</p> <h3>5. Debt Is No Big Deal</h3> <p>Everybody carries some sort of debt, right? Wrong. Simply put, most debt is draining, and there&rsquo;s real freedom to be found in avoiding it. Besides the interest, the worry, and the depletion of readily-available cash resources, debt limits our opportunities &mdash; and that <em>is</em> a big deal. With the exception of a home and education, seriously consider how consumer debt is foreclosing on your options. What choices would you make if you didn&rsquo;t have debt? If you could do it all over again, what debt would you avoid? Do you still emotionally embrace debt even while being intellectually against it?</p> <h3>6. My Lifestyle Should Constantly Improve</h3> <p>We live in a society where the arrow on the chart is always expected to head north. We&rsquo;ve even come to see consistency or stasis as some sort of warning sign. Companies are expected to cut costs and make more money; consumer spending should increase quarter after quarter; factories are expected to expand. Even our homes should grow, as we trade that &ldquo;starter home&rdquo; for something larger. But what&rsquo;s wrong with a bit of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lifestyle-upgrades-beware-the-diderot-effect">satisfaction in what we already have</a>? Why can&rsquo;t our lifestyles, after a certain point, remain relatively constant as we work toward our financial security? Maybe it's time to embrace debt-free living as the ultimate new luxury item.</p> <p>When we change our attitudes about money, we change our relationship with it. And when we recognize how culture is a big part of how we&rsquo;re conditioned to think about our finances, we can slowly start to shift that thinking. In short, the quickest and most powerful thing we can do to reinvent our financial lives is change our minds. &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-attitudes-that-breed-financial-failure">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-is-more-than-a-way-to-spend-money-part-1">Frugal is More than a Way to Spend Money, Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-alternative-housing-options-you-can-afford">5 Alternative Housing Options You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-ways-summer-will-cost-you">7 Surprising Ways Summer Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle attitude failure money myths Wed, 20 Jun 2012 10:24:13 +0000 Kentin Waits 935245 at http://www.wisebread.com Abandon Losing Strategies http://www.wisebread.com/abandon-losing-strategies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/abandon-losing-strategies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chess_game.jpg" alt="Guys playing chess" title="Guys playing chess" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Popular culture praises persistence. We go so far as to invent words like &quot;sticktoitiveness&quot; and repeat aphorisms like &quot;try, try again&quot; and &quot;who dares, wins&quot; and &quot;never give up, never give in.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-the-sort-of-person-who">Not the Sort of Person Who&hellip;</a>)</p> <p>The fact is, giving up is often the right strategy. If you're spending more than you earn, the sooner you give up, the less of a hole you'll be in. If you're living in a house you can't afford, the sooner you give up, the sooner you'll be able to put your finances right. If you're working at a dead-end job in a declining field, the sooner you give up, the sooner you'll be able to make the changes to put yourself on a path to success.</p> <p>I wrote a four-part series on getting by without a job (it starts here: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Part 1 &mdash; Losing a Job</a>) that walks you through the specific moves you need to make when your income collapses. It's all about preserving what cash you have, cutting expenses, finding ways to bring in some money, and getting what you need to survive without money.</p> <p>That doesn't mean it's going to be easy, and not only because popular culture is so opposed to &quot;giving up.&quot;</p> <h2>Obstacles to Giving Up</h2> <p>The two biggest obstacles I see are self-image and the design snowball effect.</p> <p><strong>Self-Image</strong></p> <p>I've read many accounts of people whose income collapsed, but who took no action to cut expenses. They simply rode their life into the ground, even when they could see disaster looming ahead. When you ask them why they didn't take the sort of drastic action that could have averted total collapse, the answer almost always has to do with their self-image: they're not the sort of people who take in borders, have a roommate, move in with their brother-in-law, send their kids to public school, do manual labor, etc.</p> <p>If you're not the sort of person who does those things, then you can't do them &mdash; even when they're the solution to your problem.</p> <p><strong>Design Snowball Effect</strong></p> <p>Everybody's lifestyle has critical dependencies on a few early decisions. I call this a &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/designing-your-life">design snowball</a>,&quot; because of the way a few small decisions produce a vast avalanche of consequences. An example I've talked about in the past is the decision to own a car, which locks in thousands of dollars a year of expenses, but enables a much wider range of employment and housing options. Abandoning that decision requires that you change everything else. The decision to own a house is another one, if for no other reason than that abandoning that one will require you to abandon most the stuff that used to fit into that house, but that won't fit into wherever you end up living. (I have some personal experience with that one.)</p> <h2>How to&nbsp;Abandon&nbsp;Losing Strategies</h2> <p>Whichever obstacle is keeping you from abandoning your losing strategies, I have two ideas that might help.</p> <p>The first is to suggest that you look at your life as an adventure. Whatever the losses in abandoning a losing strategy (and they may be huge), big changes also mean big opportunities. When you're confronting the avalanche of changes the design snowball can produce, be sure to include on the list all the things about your life that you <em>want</em> to change &mdash; because this is probably the best chance you'll ever have to escape a boring career or a bad boss or an oppressive neighborhood or acquaintances who drag you down.</p> <p>The other is a purely tactical idea, drawn from a post I wrote long ago &mdash; set aside part of your emergency fund as untouchable . . . until you make drastic changes. (The post was <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-second-emergency-fund-you-never-spend">A Second Emergency Fund You Never Spend</a>.) The idea is that a few thousand dollars isn't going to make much difference <em>now</em>, if you've got a losing strategy. But a few thousand dollars will make a huge difference later. When you're looking for a tiny apartment to replace your big house, you're going to need a damage deposit. Money that wouldn't even pay the registration on your car will buy you a perfectly adequate bicycle. (Heck, money that would pay the insurance on your car will buy you a perfectly adequate motorcycle.)</p> <p>Make a plan up front that you'll never spend down the last of your emergency fund (or use up your retirement savings, or go into debt), just to stave off collapse for a few more weeks. Abandon losing strategies. Abandon them ruthlessly.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/abandon-losing-strategies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-good-manners-make-you-wealthier">5 Ways Good Manners Make You Wealthier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about">20 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes But No One Talks About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-amazing-life-lessons-from-scrooge-mcduck">4 Amazing Life Lessons from Scrooge McDuck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-personal-finance-tips-for-extroverts">6 Personal Finance Tips for Extroverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">How to Learn From Your Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Personal Development change your life failure financial disasters Fri, 09 Dec 2011 11:24:46 +0000 Philip Brewer 819654 at http://www.wisebread.com Tax Deductions: The Bright Side Of Failure http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/tax-deductions-the-bright-side-of-failure <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/tax-deductions-the-bright-side-of-failure" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/tax-deductions-the-bright-side-of-failure</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/tax-deductions-the-bright-side-of-failure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000003954669Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not every project or <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/writing-off-losses-on-your-taxes-1" target="_blank">business activity succeeds</a>. Savvy business owners know that failures can be instructive and eventually lead to success. Thomas Edison once noted that &ldquo;I have not failed. I&rsquo;ve just found 10,000 ways that don&rsquo;t work.&rdquo; But what happens to the costs put into these failed endeavors? Fortunately, the tax law provides some relief.</p> <p><strong>Aborted Business Ventures</strong></p> <p>What happens if you spend time and money investigating a business or start a venture that never takes off? Say you hire an architect to build a factory but never get city approval or financing to build it? The good news: The costs of an aborted business venture are immediately deductible under the right circumstances. The tax treatment depends on whether you are or are not already in business.</p> <p><strong>Startups that Never Start</strong></p> <p>If you are not yet in business, then the key for deducting expenses related to a business that never got off the ground is proving that you have gone beyond a general search and have focused on a specific business. Once you have focused on a particular business but the deal falls through, you can write off your expenses.</p> <p>Mere investigatory costs are not deductible. For example, you travel to check out various business opportunities, but none seem promising. None of your travel costs are deductible.</p> <p>But say you like one of the business opportunities you see, and you begin drawing up contracts. Then, the deal falls apart and you walk away. In this case, your travel costs to check out this business opportunity, as well as your legal fees for the contracts, become deductible. In one case, a would-be business owner paid $25,000 to buy a franchise but then learned that the area he was assigned was saturated with businesses that were losing money; he walked away and wrote off his investment.</p> <p><strong>Projects that Never Prosper</strong></p> <p>If you are already in business and a particular activity, such as construction of a new facility or launch of a new product, fails, the costs can be immediately deducted as an ordinary and necessary business expense.</p> <p><strong>Years in the Red</strong></p> <p>If your revenues for the year are less than your expenses, which can easily happen when you invest in a new idea, such as expansion into a new line of business, you may have a net operating loss (NOL) for your company. If so, you can carry back the loss for two years (or five years for federal disasters) and offset income in those years to generate an immediate tax refund. Refunds from NOL carrybacks can be made in two ways.</p> <ul> <li>By filing amended returns for the carryback years. C corporations use Form 1120X, <i>Amended U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return</i>; other business owners use Form 1040X, <i>Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return</i>.</li> <li>By filing for a &ldquo;quick refund.&rdquo; C corporations use Form 1139, <i>Corporation Application for Tentative Refund</i>; other business owners use Form 1045, <i>Application for Tentative Refund. </i>Forms can be found at the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/foia/ig/sbse/sbse-04-0911-083.pdf" target="_blank">IRS website</a>. Refunds usually are issued within 45 days.</li> </ul> <p>If you can&rsquo;t use up your NOL in the prior two years (or if you elect <i>not </i>to use the carryback), you can carry the NOL forward for up to 20 years, offsetting your profits and lowering your taxes for years to come.</p> <p><strong>Final Word</strong></p> <p>Failure is part of an entrepreneur&rsquo;s business life. Work with your tax advisor to make sure that your business losses generate tax gains to the greatest extent possible.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barbara-weltman">Barbara Weltman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/tax-deductions-the-bright-side-of-failure">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-tax-deductions-for-bloggers-and-freelancers">101 Tax deductions for bloggers and freelancers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center Taxes failure small business tax carryback tax write-offs Sun, 16 Oct 2011 17:55:55 +0000 Barbara Weltman 747233 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Learn From Your Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/make_mistakes.jpg" alt="Presentation slide on making mistakes" title="Presentation slide on making mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Failure is often championed as a critical step in the path to eventual success. The accomplished are those who know how to learn from their mistakes, not people who never make mistakes.</p> <p>Billionaire Richard Branson is among those <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/13-business-leaders-who-failed-before-they-succeeded">very successful business leaders who have overcome failure</a>. As founder of <a href="http://www.virgin.com/">Virgin Group</a>, he says that he routinely learns from mistakes such as the <a href="http://www.livemint.com/2010/08/02205701/IDENTIFYANDLEARN-FROMMISTAK.html?atype=tp">Virgin Cola fiasco</a>. The abilities to overcome obstacles, understand why you made a mistake or experienced failure, and take corrective actions &mdash; along with the willingness to abandon a failing venture &mdash; are keys to success.</p> <p>Closer to home, my teenage son recalls this (paraphrased) quote from inventor <a href="http://www.thomasedison.com/index.html">Thomas Edison</a> in reference to his experiments: &quot;I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.&quot; As such, he has been encouraged to try new things, take risks, and learn through trial and error.</p> <p>In theory, I understand the concept. Learn from your mistakes in order to move forward in life.</p> <p>But, how, precisely, does this process work? How do we learn from our mistakes rather than repeat them, hoping for better results the next time? How do we stop simply persevering and start getting things right?</p> <p>Here are steps you can take to learn from your mistakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fixing-mistakes-7-steps-for-any-situation">Fixing Mistakes: 7 Steps for Any Situation</a>)</p> <h3>Recognize the Mistake</h3> <p>The first step, and the most crucial, is recognizing when you have made a mistake.</p> <p>You may blame circumstances for a setback rather than admitting that you did something wrong, either deliberately or unintentionally. It&rsquo;s true that a particularly freakish set of conditions may have nullified the effectiveness of your right action, and such a situation may never occur again.</p> <p>My son, who seems to have an innate ability to learn from mistakes, sets a limit on tries (his number is five) before starting to troubleshoot problems; at that point, he realizes that something is wrong with his approach or there is a factor that he has not considered.</p> <p>To determine if you are repeatedly making the same mistakes, consider patterns. Do circumstances that you have mentally labeled &ldquo;unusual&rdquo; occur repeatedly? If such situations are really the norm, then come to terms with the idea that you are making mistakes over and over.</p> <p>Take time to reflect on your actions (or absence of actions) in order to determine whether you made a mistake, whether someone else was at fault, or whether uncontrollable circumstances were not conducive to success.</p> <h3>Pinpoint the Cause of the Mistake</h3> <p>Determine the specific action that was a mistake. Figure out what caused an error or triggered a series of missteps.</p> <p>Bad habits can lead to simple mistakes. For example, you may routinely leave late for work, causing you to take unnecessary risks on the drive to your office; you may overbook your calendar and find that you forget or miss appointments; or you may multitask so often so that you don't pay attention to important conversations and miss details that cause errors.</p> <p>Whether you find yourself navigating new territory or going over old ground, there may be many possible causes of mistakes. Consider all factors.</p> <p>For example, as a job hunter, you may have made a mistake when you made an innocuous comment deemed inappropriate by an interviewer. However, your remark could have been insightful, relevant, and appropriate in another setting with another employer or hiring manager. In this scenario, the mistake could have been caused by one of these errors:</p> <ul> <li>Being careless in your speech<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Responding too quickly and forgetting to ask a clarifying question that would have allowed you to craft a more appropriate response<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Failing to research companies to understand which comments are acceptable and which are not<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Pursuing opportunities with organizations that are not a good fit with your professional style and capabilities</li> </ul> <p>Consider both the big picture and small details when analyzing what went wrong.</p> <h3>Dissect Your Rationale and Find the Flaw in Your Thinking</h3> <p>You can readily identify what went wrong if you can define what you hoped would happen and why. How did you imagine things would unfold? And how did things actually happen?</p> <p>Think about your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed">goals</a>, whether for a work project, a blind date, an email exchange, multi-year business initiative, or a training regimen for a 5K. Evaluate your strategy, plans, and execution in order to analyze your current situation and determine what has happened to prevent you from realizing your objectives.</p> <p>Ask yourself questions like these:</p> <ul> <li>Were my goals reasonable and attainable? Did I make a mistake in setting goals?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Did I make accurate assumptions about my capabilities and the challenges? Did I make a mistake in judging the situation?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Did my strategies make sense, given circumstances and goals? Did I make a mistake in charting my course and choosing my methods?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How logically organized, feasible, and complete was my plan? Did I make a mistake in creating the plan?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Did my team, colleagues, friends, and I follow the plan? Did I make a mistake in executing the plan?</li> </ul> <p>Narrow down where you may have failed.</p> <h3>Be Ruthless in Your Judgment of Yourself</h3> <p>Consider your actions from an outsider's perspective. Think about what you did and whether you made a good decision given the information you had at the time. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, analyze your approaches, and be honest about whether you had the capabilities to avoid missteps. Very often, this ruthlessness will allow you to see more clearly and understand what you should have done instead.</p> <p>You don't need to publicly confess your mistakes in order to learn from them. And you certainly don't need to condemn yourself as a failure. But if you reflect on how you contributed to mistakes, then you are much more likely to correct yourself and succeed the next time.</p> <h3>Research</h3> <p>Do research to find out how other people have approached situations similar to yours. You may not find the exact answer, but you can get a sense of what issues you should consider in understanding and recovering from your mistake. This information can be useful when you speak with others about your challenges, showing that you have considered possible problems and helping you to engage in a meaningful dialogue.</p> <h3>Listen to Other People</h3> <p>Often, you need outside help to learn what you&rsquo;ve done wrong.</p> <p>Sometimes people will point out your mistakes. Occasionally, these folks can give you valuable insights. But beware of those who dispense one-size-fits-all advice, which is generally not helpful.</p> <p>A better way to learn from your mistakes is to ask for advice from an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-become-an-expert">expert</a>. Find someone who is wise and trustworthy, who is willing to listen to your explanations of what you've tried so far, and who has experienced success in the areas in which you want to excel.</p> <h3>Apply What You Have Learned<o:p></o:p></h3> <p>After you have determined what you did wrong in the first place, start behaving in a different way. Try a new approach. Implement a recommendation.</p> <p>If a situation seems complex, fix one thing and then continue making adjustments. You may find that eliminating one type of mistake gives you clarity to recognize and correct other problems.</p> <p>Look at your results. Notice what happens when you make mistakes and when you take the right actions. Experiencing success gives you motivation to be ruthless with yourself in future endeavors. You won't stop making mistakes, but errors and failures won't bother you that much; you'll just keep learning as you go.</p> <p><em>How do you learn from mistakes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-learn-from-your-mistakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong">Change Your Life by Learning How to Admit You&#039;re Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-learn-something-new-every-day">11 Ways to Learn Something New Every Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-ways-to-invest-in-yourself">Great Ways to Invest in Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development failure learning learning from mistakes Mistakes Wed, 28 Sep 2011 10:36:12 +0000 Julie Rains 709327 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Business Leaders Who Failed Before They Succeeded http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/13-business-leaders-who-failed-before-they-succeeded <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/13-business-leaders-who-failed-before-they-succeeded" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/13-business-leaders-who-failed-before-they-suc...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/13-business-leaders-who-failed-before-they-succeeded" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000006193434Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s often said that success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. For these 13 eventual business successes, it might be said that success is ninety percent failure.</p> <p><b>Akio Morita</b></p> <p>Morita co-founded Sony, a multi-billion dollar company. But the company's beginnings were not so rosy. Their first product was a rice cooker, but it burned the rice. However, this didn't stop them from moving on to building bigger and better things.</p> <p><b>Bill Gates</b></p> <p>Before building his empire, Gates started a business called Traf-O-Data which went nowhere and he dropped out of Harvard. But his passion for computers and his vision of the opportunities led him to start Microsoft.</p> <p><b>Colonel Sanders</b></p> <p>Surprisingly, the Colonel's famous secret chicken recipe was rejected over a 1000 times before a restaurant accepted it. He founded KFC when he was 65 years old.</p> <p><b>Evan Williams</b></p> <p><span>Before co-founding the social media giant Twitter, he founded a company called Odeo, a podcasting platform. Soon after, Apple announced that the iTunes store would include a podcasting platform, making Odeo obsolete.</span></p> <p><b>Frank Winfield Woolworth</b></p> <p>Before starting the Woolworth Company (now Foot Locker), Woolworth worked at a dry goods store. His boss did not allow him to wait on customers because Woolworth &quot;didn't have enough common sense to serve the customers.&quot; The Woolworth Company was one of the original five-and-ten-cent stores, which is the model Sam Walton used to start Walmart. Woolworth's eventually became one of the largest retail chains in the world.</p> <p><b>Fred Smith</b></p> <p>While studying at Yale University, Fred Smith presented a business idea to his business management class that received a nearly failing grade. The idea was for a parcel service that could deliver packages overnight. Smith ignored the grade and founded FedEx.</p> <p><b>Henry Ford </b></p> <p>Ford's first two car companies failed and left him broke. But that didn't stop him from founding Ford Motor Company and become the first to apply assembly line manufacturing for cars. He became one of the three most famous and richest men in the world.</p> <p><b>Mark Cuban</b></p> <p>Before making billions selling his company to Yahoo, Cuban failed at a variety of jobs. He failed as a carpenter, as a cook, as a waiter (he couldn't open a bottle of wine). He says of his failures, &quot;I&rsquo;ve learned that it doesn&rsquo;t matter how many times you failed. You only have to be right once. I tried to sell powdered milk. I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Rowland Hussey Macy</b></p> <p>Between 1843 and 1855, Macy opened four retail dry goods stores that all failed. He learned from those mistakes, and hit it big with his next store in New York City.</p> <p><b>Richard Branson</b></p> <p>Even the fifth richest person in the UK didn't get to where he is now without a few failures along the way. Along with his famous Virgin Records and Virgin Airlines, he also developed Virgin Cola and Virgin Vodka. The fact that you don't recognize them says it all.</p> <p><b>Soichiro Honda</b></p> <p>Honda initially applied for a job at Toyota as an engineer, but was turned down. Being jobless, he started making scooters at home, which he sold to neighbors. With the support of his family, he founded Honda, the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer and one of the most profitable automakers.</p> <p><b>Thomas Edison</b></p> <p>Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history (holding over 1000 U.S. patents), was told as a boy by his teacher that he was too stupid to learn anything, and suggested he go into a field that did not require intelligence. He tried more than 9,000 experiments before he created the first successful light bulb.</p> <p><b>Walt Disney</b></p> <p>Disney was fired by an editor because, &quot;he lacked imagination and had no original ideas.&quot; His first animation company went bankrupt and it's said that he was turned down hundreds of times when he sought financing for Disney World. The Walt Disney company makes average revenue of US $30 billion annually.</p> <p>If you're still waiting for success, do what these thirteen did and don't give up. Maybe you just haven't failed enough yet.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/13-business-leaders-who-failed-before-they-succeeded">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-embrace-failure-keep-going-and-win">How to Embrace Failure, Keep Going, and Win</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ramp-up-your-business-by-specializing">Ramp Up Your Business by Specializing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-get-a-bank-loan-8-other-ways-to-finance-your-business">Can&#039;t Get A Bank Loan? 8 Other Ways To Finance Your Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center business failure persistence small business success Wed, 03 Aug 2011 18:43:53 +0000 Lynn Truong 629789 at http://www.wisebread.com I Just Think Things Should Work Properly too, Mr. Dyson. UPDATED 7/7/09 http://www.wisebread.com/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dyson.jpg" alt="Dyson sucks" title="Dyson sucks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don&rsquo;t own a lot of stuff that&rsquo;s considered top of the line. Hardly anything in fact. But I do have the &ldquo;Rolls Royce&rdquo; of vacuum cleaners &ndash; The Dyson DC14 Complete (well, it was top of the line when we bought it, costing over $500). And it sucks. Boy, does it suck.</p> <p>When my wife and I first got married, we couldn&rsquo;t afford the holy Dyson. We wanted one. We lusted after one. But instead, we bought a Kenmore from Sears and it did us proud for five years. It needed a clean now and then, but it was quiet and ran well.</p> <p>Then, in 2006, we decided to bite the bullet and use what little savings we had to buy the vacuum cleaner we would keep forever. The vacuum cleaner that never loses suction. The vacuum cleaner that all sorts of people were swooning over. </p> <p>We ordered our DC-14 Complete and I picked it up a few days later. It sure looked pretty. And it cleaned the floor like nothing we&rsquo;d ever had before. In fact, we cleaned an area with our old vacuum, then went over the same area with the Dyson. We picked up dirt that the old vacuum simply couldn&rsquo;t lift. Terrific! We sold the Kenmore for about $50 (it had originally cost about $250) and put our beloved Dyson in pride of place on the top floor. </p> <p>Then, after about 18 months, problems began. Very occasionally, it would make a noise that sounded like a lawn mower having a panic attack. It was horrendous. The kind of noise that makes you think the whole thing is falling apart. We would turn it off, turn it on again and it would go away.</p> <p>But after another few months, the noise became more than an occasional event. And after just over two short years of owning a Dyson, a $539 marvel, it had gone from something we loved to something we loathed. </p> <p>We called Dyson and the customer service department was far less appealing than the eloquent Mr. James Dyson in his ads. I was on hold for a while, then a quite abrupt CSR took me through a &ldquo;home fix.&rdquo; It didn&rsquo;t work for long. When I called back, just a few weeks later, I was taken through the same fix. It didn&rsquo;t work at all. </p> <p>That&rsquo;s when I asked about my five-year warranty, the one that comes big and bold on all the packaging and the adverts. I was told that my warranty had already ran out. &ldquo;After two years?&rdquo; I said, shocked. &ldquo;Yes&rdquo; I was flatly told. &ldquo;Two years.&rdquo; I was given the name of a local authorized repair shop, but I would have to cover the fix myself. </p> <p>Now, I did some digging. As it turns out, the earlier Dyson machines didn&rsquo;t come with the now famous five-year warranty. It looks like it was introduced because the machines that Mr. Dyson just wants to work properly, don&rsquo;t actually work properly. A lot of them have faults ( I looked through over 100 complaints before writing this article) and that was just the tip of the iceberg. So, perhaps the five-year warranty was introduced to overcome some of the complaints being registered on the web?</p> <p>I wrote to Dyson to see if I could get some kind of help with my own Dyson vacuum, a machine we can now only use when our little girls are outside because the noise scares them so much. I was hoping that I could get some kind of good will resolution, after all, I paid top money for a vacuum that lasted less than two years before developing a fault&hellip;you&rsquo;d expect better than that from a $150 vacuum from WalMart. </p> <p>I received a short reply from Dee Carter, another helpline representative, who told me:<br /> <em><br /> &ldquo;Thank you for contacting us! I apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused you. According to our records the vacuum was purchased in 2005 and at that time the vacuum came with a limited 2 year warranty. We will be more than happy to refer you to a local Dyson authorized repair center to have the vacuum inspected and repaired. Unfortunately the repair will be an out of pocket expense. Again I apologize for the inconvenience.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>I'm not sure where Dee got her information from, but I still have my receipt from March of 2006, so Dyson's records are wrong. But that's of little consequence, because the two year warranty has expired anyway. Ironically, if I'd bought the same vacuum a few months later, this wouldn't be an issue. </p> <p>So, I&rsquo;m on my own. And I&rsquo;m left with three options:<br /> 1: Pay a lot of money to have my Dyson repaired<br /> 2: Sell my Dyson and buy a new one<br /> 3: Sell my Dyson and buy a Hoover bagless model<br /> 4: Do nothing and vacuum wearing earplugs. </p> <p>Right now, I&rsquo;m looking at option three. I worked hard to pay for a vacuum of this quality, and it turned out to be a fa&ccedil;ade. And I write this to warn you all of the Dyson vacuum cleaner and the possible consequences of buying one. Yes, you&rsquo;ll get a five-year warranty. But it may suffer from many problems in those five years. And when they&rsquo;re up, you&rsquo;re looking at stiff repair bills. </p> <p>If only things really did work properly. It&rsquo;s nice in theory, right Mr. Dyson?</p> <p><strong>UPDATE:</strong><br /> Well, after I posted this story I was contacted by a Dyson customer service representative. From the sounds of it, she was the head of customer service relations. Anyway, after a few minutes of empathizing with my situation, AND telling me that I was just a few months short of buying a vacuum with a 5-yr warranty, I was told that there was nothing she could do. Actually, let me rephrase that...there was nothing she was allowed to do. She could, in fact, have easily picked up the bill for the repair of this broken machine, but it is against Dyson's policy to treat any customer any differently. Although, I suspect if I were someone famous or rich, that would work a little differently. I did wonder why she had contacted me to tell me something I already knew; they weren't going to help. She said she'd get back to me. That was a few weeks ago. So, I bit the bullet and forked over the money to have the machine repaired. While my machine was in the shop we borrowed a Miele, and yep, my wife fell in love with it instantly. So, I guess the Dyson will be going away soon, never to return. What an awful situation that Dyson could have so easily put right.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-youre-being-upsold">8 Sneaky Ways You&#039;re Being Upsold</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping breakage complaints Dyson failure reports vacuum Mon, 08 Jun 2009 23:25:16 +0000 Paul Michael 3241 at http://www.wisebread.com Get ready; This will be the most successful blog article of all time. http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-this-will-be-the-most-successful-blog-article-of-all-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-ready-this-will-be-the-most-successful-blog-article-of-all-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/619307160_019d96a443.jpg" alt="ladder" title="ladder" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="313" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>So, what do you think of that? Like most people out there with common sense, myself included I hope, there&#39;s no question that’s a very silly name for an article. It almost begs for failure. So why then did Robert Lane name his son Winner? Doesn’t it seem like an impossible name to live up to?</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>The story is highlighted in “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. It’s a fascinating read, controversial to say the least, and I highly recommend it. Grab yourself a copy from Amazon or your local library (the frugal choice).</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/freak.jpg" alt="freak" title="freak" width="240" height="240" /></p> <p> <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061234001?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread07-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0061234001">Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything</a><img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisebread07-20&amp;l=as2&amp;o=1&amp;a=0061234001" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><span>In this true story, Robert Lane named his first boy Winner. Imagine being saddled with that moniker from an early age? And as you can guess, things didn’t turn out so well for Winner Lane. He became a small-time crook, racking up 31 arrests before being jailed for two years. And at the time the book was published, Winner Lane was living in a homeless shelter, trying to get his life back on track. He’ll be around 50 years old now, I do hope he’s found that better life.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>But like all great true stories, this one has a flip side. Winner has a younger brother. And his name? Loser Lane. Yep, the father who made one terrible mistake with the name Winner decided to go one better and name his younger son Loser!</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>What do you think happened to old Loser Lane? Well, despite being saddled with the rotten name, he was a model student and athlete. He went on to earn a scholarship at an elite prep school, then on to Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, before finally joining the police force. Loser, known to his friends as Lou, is now a respected detective in the South Bronx and is known as an all-around great guy.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>Did their names jinx them both with good and bad luck from day one? Should any of you prospective parents think about calling your next kid Loser? I hope not. What I think this does show is that whatever you may think, there is a lot in a name. Freakonomics also shows studies that prove ethnic-sounding names have given people a distinct disadvantage in the hiring field. And no-one in this day and age needs any kind of ball and chain when facing this uphill struggle we call life. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span>Can financial success and a great career come from a name? Can failure and destitution be blamed on a name? Personally, I wouldn’t want to take the chance with my own name, let alone those of my children. Food for thought.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-this-will-be-the-most-successful-blog-article-of-all-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-simple-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-medical-records-theft">7 Simple Ways to Protect Yourself From Medical Records Theft</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-can-learn-from-gilmore-girls">6 Money Lessons We Can Learn From &quot;Gilmore Girls&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-purchase-rang-up-wrong-could-the-law-be-on-my-side">My Purchase Rang Up Wrong! Could the Law Be on My Side?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-be-ashamed-to-be-on-public-assistance">Should You be Ashamed to be on Public Assistance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs children failure fate names success Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:01:19 +0000 Paul Michael 2141 at http://www.wisebread.com When you stretch and stretch and the ends don't meet http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-stretch-and-stretch-and-the-ends-dont-meet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-you-stretch-and-stretch-and-the-ends-dont-meet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/308130511_3711e3e5d7_m.jpg" alt="Stretched Out" title="Stretched Out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="160" height="240" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes wanting something and trying for it aren&#39;t enough. The honest truth is that, no matter how frugal you are, no matter how extensive your emergency fund, no matter how good your invetment portfolio, things can come up that ruin your financial situation. We don&#39;t like to think of these things (or, at least, I don&#39;t!), but they can happen. My family could be out on the street next month, despite our careful planning and tracking of our finances, and so could yours.</p> <p>it&#39;s probably not as drastic as all that. Most people don&#39;t have catastrophes that large suddenly loom up and ruin everything at once. But sometimes things happen that sap the budget over the long-haul--things like unemployment, chronic illness, or caring for a parent or another loved one over months or years. </p> <p><strong>Telling the Truth</strong></p> <p>When these things do happen, it&#39;s important that we tell ourselves the truth. As human beings, we don&#39;t function well when we hide from what is real. It somehow rots inside of us, which makes us do all sorts of things that we don&#39;t understand. So,in situations where we&#39;ve stretched our dollars as far as we can and it isn&#39;t far enough, there are several things that are real. First of all, the situation is bad. It&#39;s not going to get better on its own. Those things that we have been trying are not working, and we need to do something drastically different. </p> <p>On the other hand, it&#39;s also true that we are only human. We are not supposed to foresee the future. We are not supposed to live without anything comfortable or luxurious &quot;just in case.&quot; Most of the time, we haven&#39;t caused the problem. Many times, we are also helpless to change it.</p> <p><strong>Why Bother with the Truth?</strong></p> <p>Balancing these two pieces of knowledge can be incredibly difficult. It&#39;s hard to look at a painful situation and say, &quot;This is bad, and I can&#39;t fix it.&quot; However, just acknowledging all of these as true has enormous power. It frees us, because it allows us to handle ourselves with dignity as we negotiate our way out of the precipice into which we have fallen. It allows us to hold on to a solid sense of self even though things are bad, because we know who we are and what we are responsible for in the mess in which we find ourselves. This self-knowledge helps us look the bankrupcy judge in the eye, or hold our children close even when we feel frantic ourselves. It permits us to talk about the situation without shame, guilt, or fear. </p> <p>Telling ourselves the truth in bad situations also frees our creativity. It allows us to begin thinkng outside of our usual ruts. Because it shows us what is realistic, it inspires us to do what we CAN rather than dwell on what we can&#39;t. I may not be able to make a bad situation better, but I may be able to help my husband, or my child, or even myself deal with it better. I may not come up with a plan-to-beat-all-plans that avoids bankruptcy, but I may be able to file before my family is completely destroyed financially. I may not be able to save anything from the burning house, but I may be able to gather my family together and grow our bonds deeper even as we watch our possessions being destroyed.</p> <p>Finally, telling ourselves the truth helps us refrain from making things worse. When I acknowledge the reality of my situation, I;m less likely go out and spend more money because I don&#39;t really know where I am financially. When I admit what I can and can&#39;t do in the situation, I can grieve my losses. They don&#39;t create empty spaces in me that I try to fill with unhealthy things (which usually have a finanical impact!). When I&#39;m not making things worse, I also have that much more energy to work at making them better!</p> <p>Telling ourselves the truth won&#39;t solve our problems, be they financial or otherwise, but it does help us deal with bad situations better. Sometimes, that&#39;s all we can do and many times, it makes all the difference in the world. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-stretch-and-stretch-and-the-ends-dont-meet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/abandon-losing-strategies">Abandon Losing Strategies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-this-will-be-the-most-successful-blog-article-of-all-time">Get ready; This will be the most successful blog article of all time.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-decide-if-its-a-fund-worthy-emergency">8 Ways to Decide if It&#039;s a &quot;Fund-Worthy&quot; Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-credit-repair-mistakes-that-will-cost-you">8 Credit Repair Mistakes That Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-football-teaches-us-about-money">9 Things Football Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance failure making the ends meet stretched out Wed, 31 Oct 2007 17:54:15 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1341 at http://www.wisebread.com