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Many entrepreneurs, of which I have been one, feel guilty about setbacks along their entrepreneurial journey. Usually, this is false guilt, and unnecessary. It causes needless stress, lowers expectations and self esteem, slows progress, and hurts relationships. Guilt can cause us to lose focus and perspective, too.

Look at it this way: Having a job is like travelling through the jungle in an armoured car. Pretty safe. (Until you lose it and can’t get another…) Being an entrepreneur is like travelling through the jungle on foot. If you were making your way towards your objective along unknown paths and you got attacked by a bear, would you feel guilty about that? Surely not. How about if you fell into a hole, or into the river, or got attacked by savages? You couldn’t feel guilty about that. Or about getting lost.

As long as, after you recovered from your injuries and found your way again, you continued heading in the direction of your goal, that is. If you quit and went running back to your mama or sold your soul to ride in one of those stinky armoured cars, then, perhaps, you should feel a tinge of guilt; you didn’t have what it takes to succeed in the world of business, also known as the real world.

We make mistakes. We get lost. We get attacked and slandered and people steal from us: that’s the world of the entrepreneur. But we’re prepared to handle the pain and the disappointment, to overcome the setbacks, solve the problems, beat back the enemy, and eventually, we succeed. It always takes longer and costs more than we expected. But we do what others won’t do now in order to have what others won’t have in the future. And in the process, we grow and evolve as people. We learn important lessons about life and relationships and money and value and values.

Maintain perspective. Some things cannot be avoided. Even buses and ambulances and snow ploughs slide into ditches on black ice. The parasites and losers will always attack those who are more successful than themselves. Bears attack people indiscriminately. Mature, experienced, successful business owners will agree with what I say – we’ve all been through the wringer, and we all survived. We learned patience and faith. Don’t be embarrassed or guilty; rather, become more motivated.

Robin Elliott   LeverageAdvantage.com

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