Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bounce! by Barry Moltz

Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success by Barry Moltz

We all love to share our success stories in business. But, there is so much to learn from our failures. One key to learning from our failures is to be prepared for failure, develop the humility to deal with problems and to develop the keys that we need in order to be resilient.

Bounce! This seems to be the year where people discuss resiliency and how to bounce back. I’ve personally reviewed four or five books about improving our lives, making needed changes and moving on. The full title of this book is Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success. Its an inspiring title and the book is very good. When we think of failure, we need to also think about bouncing back and starting over

In the United States and in other countries around the world people are facing very tough economic times and it doesn’t appear that will change drastically in the near future. We see huge companies failing and/or being taken over by the government or being sold on a pretty regular basis. If multi billion and multi million dollar businesses are failing, doesn’t it make sense that other businesses consider that failure is possible and to be ready for the possibility? No one is saying that failure is inevitable, but develop the mindset and skill set that make it easier for you to face failures and the situations we encounter as a business faces tough times.

Barry Moltz built his original business reputation at IBM. That’s where I initially heard about him, but he decided to leave IBM and start his own business venture. At one point in the book, Moltz mentions how his stature and income increased each year while he was at IBM and he had the mistaken opinion that the trend would continue even when he left IBM. That’s something I’ve heard from people who left a fulltime job to begin their own business. That can be one of the first things to rattle a new entrepreneur. The steady paycheck and job security disappear overnight.

Moltz gives the example of a rubber band ball that is created by wrapping rubber bands and creating a ball. Each band increases the size and strength of the ball. Through the pages of Bounce!, he shares the key “bands” we need to create sufficient bounce. They include:

Environmental and Cultural DNA – Attitudes in your country and associates about success and failure have an impact on how you view these elements of business.

Humility – Humility has the ability to lift us up or to pull us down. If you fail, will you wallow and brood over it or will you understand that people fail and pick yourself up and move on?

Face Your Fear of Failure – Failure is always possible. No matter how qualified or prepared we are in business, it is always possible to fail. Its best to be prepared for that possibility. If we never fail, that’s wonderful. But, if it does happen, be ready to deal with it.

Give Up Shame About Failure – This is not simple, but it is necessary. Once you decide to stop feeling shame over failure, tackle the things thrown at you by others. Some people will be obnoxious about any failure, but you need to be convinced it’s a temporary situation and move forward.

Failure Offers a Choice – How many people do you know that are stuck in a “no win” situation because they decide to stay in a failing business instead of admitting defeat? Give yourself the choice to say, “It’s not working” and get out of a losing situation. Make the choice to fail and move on to something better.

Be Careful About the Risks You Take – As your decision making skills improve, you are better qualified to make careful decisions and to limit the potential for risk and failure. Make sure that you understand the full risk and the full benefit of any major decision you are going to make.

Refine and Improve the Process to Improve the Outcome – Business goes through cycles and its important to understand that the processes we use make a difference in the outcomes we get.

Develop Patience About Success and Failure – We must be realistic and many times we don’t succeed as quickly as we hope. So, patience is needed. Set realistic goals and work toward these. Even when progress is slow, goals and benchmarks enable us to see the progress that is being made.

Develop Your Own System to Measure Your Success and Failure – Most people realize that just having money is not a guarantee of happiness. Decide what you need to feel successful. No one else’s idea of success should guide you – what makes you happy? Once you know that answer, strive to be happy.

Place Value on Action and Progress – Read the book, but then realize that you need to make things happen. Your experience is a great way to build confidence and the humility to face the tough situations and to move on to bigger and better things.

Those points are the key elements that the book covers and is built around. The longest chapter in the book, is Chapter 5 Forget the Archetypes: Messy Lines Teach Humility. At first glance this was interesting and a bit confusing because we all know that strong entrepreneurs need confidence, to be self assured and to be strong. So, why did Moltz include such a long chapter about humility? He discusses ego and how it does and does not help a business person. He discusses how humility is crucial is facing problems and failures in a way that helps us start over and rebuild or future.

There is so much great information in this book, but I highly recommend that no one skip the last chapter, Read This Book – Then Throw It Away. He makes great points including the fact that planning is great and needs to happen, but we also know that you will never succeed or fail until you take the leap and actual work to make it happen. Anyone who is waiting for the “perfect” time to start will be waiting forever. There is never a “perfect” time.

Do sufficient research and planning and learn to make sound decisions. Then develop true and positive humility and move forward. It’s also critical to realize many great people have failed, some failed in huge ways. The great people, large and small, are the ones who pick themselves up and start over. There is always another possibility and another opportunity. Will you move on and find your next opportunity?

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