Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

September 30, 2013

How To Stand Up When Life Pushes You Down.

The pursuit of success either toughens you up or beats you down. Sometimes both at the same time.

Usually the path around obstacles has little to do with how smart you are or who you know.

Finding your way past insurmountable odds is less about what you’ve learned in a business course or the tactics or strategies you apply to every day enterprise.

Success is about heart. Especially when everything seems wrong.

It’s about courage. About understanding fear and failure.

About the quiet moments where you wonder if this will be the one time you where you don’t make it.

The truth is that there is a lot to business that you need to learn. No matter what you learn in business class or in a training program, nothing quite compares to what you learn from the brutality of life — what you learn when you’re on the way down.

Those are the lessons that will toughen you up. Those are the memories that will give you heart.

Because you are more likely to fail because you give up than because you don’t know what to do. You’re more likely to fail because you give up than because you make the wrong decision.

You’re more likely to fail because you give up than because you hire the wrong people or because you put them in the wrong position or because you don’t manage debt well or because you don’t capture the obvious market trends that everybody else sees.

The most likely reason you’re going to fail is because you lose hope.

You lose heart. You stop fighting when you’ve been punched down. You stop standing up.

You stop moving forward. Along the way you lose the most valuable thing going for you. Your heart.

  • Ever been made fun of? Sigmund Freud was booed off stage the first time he presented his theories to a group of scientists in Europe.  He went on to win the Goethe Award for his work in psychology.
  • Can’t seem to win? Winston Churchill failed his sixth grade and lost every public election he ever ran in for more than six decades.  He went on to become Prime Minister at the age of sixty-two.
  • Have trouble keeping up? Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four, couldn’t read basic words until he was seven, and was expelled from school.  He went on to revolutionize physics with his theory of relativity.
  • Broke or struggling financially? Henry Ford failed at farming, being an apprentice, and as a machinist — going bankrupt five times.  He went on to modernize mass production.
  • Feeling rejected? Charles Schultz had every cartoon rejected that he submitted to his high school yearbook and was rejected by Walt Disney.  He went on to create the most popular cartoon series ever.
  • Not smart enough? Leo Tolstoy flunked out of law school and was labeled “unable to learn” by his professors.  He went on to become one of the world’s greatest novelists.
  • Can’t get promoted? John Creasey failed as a salesman, a desk clerk, a factory worker, and an aspiring writer — getting 754 rejection notices by publishers.  He went on to write more than 600 novels and is considered one of the greatest mystery writers ever.
  • Keep striking out? Hank Aaron failed his tryout with the Brooklyn Dodgers and went 0-5 his first game in Major League Baseball.  He went on to hit more home runs than anyone ever in baseball.

Think about that the next time you’re wondering what to do.

Maybe you just need to stand back up and do what you did yesterday.

And then do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And every day after that. For the rest of your life.

It’s not what you don’t know from textbooks that’s holding you back. It’s that when you look in the mirror in the morning you aren’t really sure if you have enough heart to make it.

Got heart? If you don’t, go find some.

Don’t ever stop believing that what you want to achieve is entirely possible — even if no one has ever done it before.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.