WHEN YOU THINK of Oprah Winfrey, what’s the
;rst thing that comes to mind? Broadcast legend?
Media magnate? Journalism icon? For millions of
Americans, ;e Oprah Winfrey Show was a daily
source of inspiration and helped usher in a new generation of television. What few remember, however,
is that the celebrated tycoon was ;red from her ;rst
on-camera job for being “un;t for TV.” Today, of
course, her legacy speaks for itself.
Whether your goal is to run a billion-dollar
empire or a small, pro;table company, understanding how to transform short-term failure into long-term success is a crucial part of building a lasting
legacy. Here are three ways to jump-start the process.
Accept the reality. While many try to overcome failure by rejecting its existence, denial only
prolongs the pain. ;e ;rst step in moving beyond a
blunder is to do the opposite: Surrender to it entirely.
Although it’s unsettling at ;rst, when you accept the
reality of the situation you’ll be able to traverse more
e;ciently through the process and gain valuable
wisdom that may have otherwise been unattainable.
By recognizing the uncomfortable truth for what it
is—a small blip on your path to greatness—you can
channel it into a productive source of inspiration.
Assess the opportunity. Once you’ve identi;ed
the full scope of the situation, you must begin to
gauge the damage and uncover key opportunities
for growth. For me, this process is about asking
three simple yet powerful questions: What did I
achieve? What did I learn? What will I do better
next time? ;is process allows you to reframe failure
in a more productive way and uncover hidden
opportunities the setback has created. It may even
lead to your next great idea.
Build the road map. Many of the world’s most
successful entrepreneurs can trace their triumph back
to one quality: resilience. During the third phase, you’ll
design an actionable game plan. Maybe you want to
begin working on a new project or take an extended
sabbatical to clear your mind. Whatever your strategy
may be, committing to a clear plan of attack will naturally minimize the nagging sense of ambiguity that
o;en accompanies a defeat. ;e best cure for regret is
almost always clear and consistent action.
Failure is never fun. But remember, sustainable
success is not about how many times you fall o; the
horse; it’s about how many times you get back on. C
Michael Parrish DuDell’s new
book, Shark Tank Secrets to
Success (Kingswell; not available at Costco), was released
in May 2016.
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BETTER BUSINESS PLANNING
By Emily McIntyre
HOW CAN YOU use social media to spread
your personal brand?
Who are you? Answer that question and
you’re one step closer to the modern dream
job: people paying you to do what you want to
do. ;e next step is to ;gure out how to meet
those people, and here social media plays a
“Taking control of your personal brand
can lead to all kinds of growth and profes-
sional opportunities,” says Danielle Miller, a
brand specialist and Costco member in
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Whether
you are looking to establish a following or
hoping to secure a job long-term, your per-
sonal brand is a collection of interactions,
quotes, and images you share. Be assured,
whether you “curate” it or not, you have a per-
sonal brand. Here are some tips.
Who are you? Back to that tricky ques-
tion. You can develop a personal brand and
meet your ideal community only if you know
yourself very well. Miller advises that you
embrace your natural gi;s and the things you
love to do. Others don’t have those strengths
or talents: How can you help their lives with
How do you communicate? Once you’ve
determined what you want to o;er and who
you can help, learn where your potential clients spend their time and meet them there.
Spencer X. Smith, a Costco member and
social media consultant in Madison,
Wisconsin, says, “Content-wise, use whatever method feels most comfortable to you.”
Beware of the lure of building a presence
on every social media channel, however. Each
network attracts di;erent users and will serve
Contribute value. You can reduce all of
the studies on social media engagement to
one practice: Make sure you are contributing
value to the conversation. Share content from
others that is relevant to your audience, and
always add to what’s happening.
Post consistently. Once you know what
you want to say to whom and where, be consistent. Smith recommends creating a writing
and posting schedule that helps you create
content. Keep images consistent, and post at the
same times each day or week. Communicating
regularly with the right people is the core of
personal branding through social media. C
Emily McIntyre is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Portland, Oregon.
Turn a zero into a hero