How to Respond to Loss as an Entrepreneur

Everyone knows how to win. But only a few know how to lose. And we recently had a loss.

The loss was that we announced during the second week of May that we wanted to have 100,000 YouTube subs by August 31st. When we announced it, we had about 41,000 subs, and we ended up with 83,000 subs by August 31st. We were very disappointed and annoyed. We were very frustrated that we didn’t hit the 100,00 subs.

And then on YouTube, someone left a comment about us not hitting our goal that said, “You know what, Pat? I would really like to know how you handle a loss.” And I said, “What a great idea to do an episode on how to handle a loss, because so many times everybody talks about all of this motivational stuff, but how do you handle a loss?” So today’s video is going to be all about how to respond to loss as an entrepreneur.

I’ll cover the following three things regarding how to respond to loss as an entrepreneur:

• Two different types of goals that people set
• What to do when you set goals
• How to handle a loss and how to debrief when you don’t achieve your goals

Different Types of Goals

Let me start off with the first one. There are two different types of goals.

Some people set too small of a goal, and some set too big of a goal.

Too Small of a Goal

What makes a goal too small? If most of the goals become a reality, the goals are too small. The goal could be:

  • I want to have a job. They land a job.
  • I want to have a place to live. They get a place to live.
  • I want to have three square meals to eat every day. They get those meals.
  • I want to have a car to drive. They get a car.
  • I want to one day get married. They get married.

They hit their goals, but the goals are small and they settle.

Too Big of a Goal

Then the complete opposite is people who set way, way too ambitious goals with small timelines.

For instance. When I got out of the Army at the age of 21, I set a goal of being a millionaire a year after I got out. Now how was I going to become a millionaire a year after getting out of the Army when I didn't know how to do anything? I knew nothing, right? And I wanted to be a millionaire within a year? It didn't happen. I was disappointed.

Some people want to get married and have a kid within a week. Unless you marry somebody with a kid, that is way too ambitious of a goal, right?

Or you say, I want to be a billionaire within the next two years.

Sometimes people say, "Well Pat, isn't it good to think big?" It's very good to think big. But if 100% is impossible, and 0% is guaranteed, your goal should be at 80%.

So what do I mean by that? Here are some examples.

You've got $2,000 in savings right now, and your goal is to have $100,000 in savings within 18 months. I like that.

You're 168 pounds right now and you want to get to 148 pounds, lose 20 pounds, in the next 60 days. That's good. If you say I want to lose 20 pounds in a week, that's not healthy to do that. But if you say within a month or two, okay, that's good.

So again, there are two types of goals; too small of a goal and too big of a goal. You want to set a goal that's reachable but it has to be difficult to reach.

And remember, just like in the world of sports, no basketball team's ever gone undefeated. The greatest basketball player of all time is Michael Jordan, and he missed 45% of his shots and he lost quite a lot of games. He wasn't undefeated. The greatest baseball player of all time was Babe Ruth. He hit three out of 10 times. If you think about it, 10 at best. So don't expect to be perfect and undefeated . But at the same time, you need to be getting your hits, you need to be getting your victories, you need to be getting your shots, you need to be scoring, and winning. So make sure you know exactly how to set the right size goals.

The Process of Setting Goals

#1: Goals and Numbers

Generally, when I think about a goal, I think about a number. For example:

  • I want to lose 20 pounds
  • I want to make $100,000
  • I want to have 5,000 subs on my YouTube channel
  • I want to have $50,000 in savings

In all of these, the goal is tied to a number. So you set a goal, and a number, and you write those two down.

#2: Strategy for Reaching Your Goal

Once you set a goal with the number, you need to have a strategy for how to get there. Take a minute and write out a strategy for how to get there.

#3: Set a Deadline

There has to be a deadline. Goals without deadlines mean nothing. Sometimes people say "I want to be a millionaire," but there's no deadline. You're not going to be a millionaire. You're just winging it. "I want to lose 20 pounds." By when? "I want to make six figures." By when? "I want to have $50,000 in savings." By when? "I want to buy my house." By when?

Deadlines are very, very critical.

#4: Your Ask and Value

The next thing I call your ask, your value, meaning what are you asking for? (the goal) and what value are you going to bring for that goal?

It looks like this:

Here's what I want
And this is the value that I'm willing to bring to get what I want.

For example:

• This is the value I'm willing to bring to make $100,000
• This is the value I'm willing to bring to buy my house
• This is the value I'm willing to bring to save $50,000
• This is the value I'm willing to bring for me to lose 20 pounds.

What's the value? Here's an example:

I'm willing to go to the gym four times a week to lose 20 pounds. The value is how you're going to prove yourself. It has to do with improvements, discipline, habits, etc.

#5: Declare Your Intention

So now that you have a goal with a number, a strategy, a deadline, and your ask and value, you declare your intention.

Here's what I mean by declaring your intention. There's a big difference between you having a personal trainer that you hire than working out by yourself. Here's why. If he says you've got to be at the gym by 6:00 in the morning and you're late by five minutes, there's two things that happen in your mind. One is you saying, "I'm paying $150 an hour and I'm late five minutes - I just lost $10." That's what you tell yourself. Two, you say, "Man, I don't want to be late, because I'm wasting his time. He's going to think I'm not serious." So there's accountability when you declare your intentions.

When you say you want to do something, you've got to tell the world about it, and the world will hold you accountable. You'd be amazed at how much that positive pressure can get you to do something.

#6: Execution

The last one is execution.

Typically I like 90-day deadlines. You can set shorter deadlines as well, such as what you'll do in a week or a month. On Sunday nights I prepare for my entire week. But let's say it's a 90-day goal that we're talking about, and you have a deadline. You declare your intention, and then you execute.

Here's what this looked like for us.

Remember, for our goal, the number was 100,000 subs.

Our strategy was we were going to produce a video that we called Good Voice, Bad Voice. On Facebook, this video did very well, and ended up getting 1.1 million views, and on YouTube it ended up getting around 96,000 views. So that was one of our strategies. We also had a strategy to do two videos a week, and in each of the videos to ask people to subscribe. So we made the ask. Part of our strategy was to provide value, and then ask people to subscribe.

The deadline was August 31.

We then declared our intention when we said, "Hey, we want to get to 100,000 subs by August 31."

And then there was execution. Now obviously, we didn't execute perfectly because we didn't get to 100,000 subs.

How to Respond to Loss as an Entrepreneur

Here's what to do when you don't hit the goal.

The only way this works is if you're brutally honest with yourself.

#1: Identify the Positives

A lot of times when people don't hit a goal they say, "I'm such a loser. I'm the worst." They just beat themselves up because they don't hit the goal.

But even if you don't hit your goal, there are some positives. You need to look at what improvement took place.

So the first thing we did is we sat down and I said, "Guys, we did not hit 100,000 subs. You know how I feel about this. I'm not happy. I think we could have done a much better job. But what good happened from this?"

And then Mario, Paul, and the team started saying things, and one of the good things was how much growth took place in 90 days, compared to the amount of growth that took place in the previous three-and-a-half years. We started our YouTube channel in November 2012, and we were winging it for a couple of years. So it took us three-and-a-half years to get to 41,000 subscribers. From the moment we declared our intention, 90 days later, we got an additional 42,000 subs. So we got 41,000 subs in three-and-a-half years, and 42,000 subs in 90 days, because we had a goal, we had a strategy, we had a deadline, we had a your ask your value, we declared our intention and we tried to execute. So the good was, we got more subs in 90 days than we did in three-and-a-half years.

Another victory we got was the fact that we produced the video, Good Voice, Bad Voice that did very well. It was a six-minute and thirty second video we did not think was going to do that good, but it got a million plus views on Facebook. That was a positive. So the first thing you've got to do is identify your positives.

#2: Identify Your Leaks

The leaks that we found are that we only do two videos a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That means there are no videos on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I felt I didn't have time to do more, but I love some of the feedback I've gotten. You said, "Pat, can you do more videos with just simply grabbing your phone and telling us your experience and giving some value?" And I said, "I can do that."

So I just grabbed my phone and started doing a couple of episodes such as The Greatest Compensation Plan, a video at a restaurant, and others. So a leak was that we could have done more of these.

Another is that we didn't collaborate. We didn't do interviews. Every time we do interviews, they do very well. I don't know a single interview we've done that hasn't done well and brought a lot of people to the channel. We're going to do more of those in the future.

The moment we identified those leaks, we made immediate adjustments with these leaks, and we've done things like recording podcast episodes with John Lee Dumas and Amy Porterfield, and I'm in Harvard Business School as I record this. I'm here for three weeks with very successful people. I can't say who they are, but you would know their names. A lot of exciting things will come from that. I'm pitching something next week that is massive. There's so many things that are going to be coming out soon that helps with this. But because we identified our leaks, we know what areas to improve in.

Step #3: Rank Your Strategy

We had to rank our strategy. Was our strategy a good strategy? Between zero to 10, I'd give the strategy that we had to get to 100,000 subs a five. We could have come out with a better strategy, and I take full responsibility for myself because I'm the leader here. We could have done a much better job with strategy.

And you, as the leader, you need to be honest with yourself and take responsibility if your strategy wasn't the best strategy.

#4: How Would Your Rank Your Level of Execution?

I think for what we had our strategy, our level of execution was fine, because it was a reflection of the weak strategy we had.

#5: How Would You Rank Your Effort from Beginning to End?

I thought our effort for our strategy was good. Could we have gone above and beyond? Yes. Could the team have gotten a little bit more innovative? Yes. Could we have done some things more efficiently? Yes. but how do you rank your effort on what you did? We would probably give ourselves a seven on the effort.

#6: How Urgent Were You?

A lot of times when people set a goal, they either come out of the gates quick, and if they don't get the response that they wanted, they slow down and shut down, and forget about the goal. Or they don't come out of the gate strong. I call the guys that don't come out of the gate strong, "mellows," after Mellow Carmelo Anthony who is known for playing four quarters, but waits until the fourth quarter to play his heart out. What if he played like that from the first quarter? It's like the panic of someone that waits until the last minute to do their homework. You need to play hard from the beginning so you don't have to do it at the last minute.

If you take this approach with your goals, you will start seeing better results. It's all about improvement.

I don't know your work ethic. I don't know how hard you work. I can tell you our team is a very, very hard working team. I'd put our work ethic against anybody else in the marketplace, and you've got to make sure your work ethic is there as well.

Now that I've Given You Some Value

So now that you got some value, this is when I give my ask. And I'm asking you to subscribe to this channel and help us get to 100,000 subs, and then after that we've got to get to a million subs together.

For those of you that are helping us out, thank you so much. For those of you that are subscribers but haven't yet shared my content with others, please do so. And if you haven't already subscribed, please click on the button below to subscribe to my YouTube channel.



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