Your personal life: lessons from the startup world

Within the last few years, a major shift has occurred in the world of building and managing tech startups. We've become ok with, and shall I say even embrace two previously tabu ideas: 1) failure, 2) business model pivots.

First, failure is OK, and is actually encouraged as long as you do it early (fail fast), or really, really learn from it. Dissect the event and learn from it, you'll be better prepared for new challenges.

Second, we're encouraged to “pivot,” or change direction if that direction is more inline with what we feel is right for the company. A famous example here is that Caterina Fake's Flickr started as a gaming website, and made a pivot to social photo sharing early on.

These two thought processes are also the meat of happiness in your personal lives.

As you live your lives, you'll have successes and failures – as long as you're trying, it's inevitable. You've been taught only to embrace the success and view the rest as, well, failure – and failure in the bad way.

I encourage you to see the positives and negatives in every situation. So what if you didn't do as well on the test, or so what if you missed the bus. So what if you've been laid off, maybe you should stop “looking for a job” and go make one!

If that frightens you, keep in mind that every single one of us is ultimately self employed. Our job, no matter the official description, is to do the task we have before us as well was we can, with the tools available. If your “boss” or customers aren't happy with the product, what happens?

Many people are doing things outside of their chosen degree. Maybe you have a masters in theology, but opening a flower shop is more interesting? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Do you have a degree in something with no great financial opportunities ahead? Here's an idea: pivot. The most important thing you can do with your time is to keep the psychological peace at home. The definition of peace “at home” means different things to different people, though one thing is common and always near the top of the list: being able to pay your bills.

So, go get a job at Target. Or maybe a local coffee shop. Put yourself outside of your routine – it's almost guaranteed to present amazing opportunities, doing things you never would have imagined.

You have the power to change everything about yourself – every second of every day. Embrace it.

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michael

Husband, father, epic adventurer, perpetually curious, rule breaker, startup guy, innovator, maker.

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