“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan
I’ve faced some pretty serious failures in my life.
I was fired from a job as a youth pastor in my 20s.
I lost $70,000 in one day with one of my investments.
I have made plenty of mistakes.
But instead of having those mistakes define me, I use them to empower myself and grow.
Today, I’m going to share the secrets of how I do this.
Let’s jump into it!
1. How I Look At Failures
We’re going to start with a story from when I was in medical sales.
This was the job I left to do real estate investing full time.
One day, I was sitting in my car.
I opened my laptop and quickly realized that I had lost $70,000 in one day.
My net worth was not even $200,000.
If you do the math, that was over a third of my net worth!
I felt so dejected, ashamed, and disappointed.
The deal was an options trading strategy called an iron condor.
It was a complex strategy, but even so, I felt so defeated when it didn’t work out for me.
Let’s fast forward a bit.
Not long after that loss, I saw a guy named J. Massey at a meetup in Los Angeles.
For those of you who don’t know, Massey is in the short-term rental space.
He asked: “How many of you have lost more than $50,000 in a single real estate deal?”
Around 10 hands went up out of the 50-or-so people there.
Then he asked how many had lost more than $100,000.
He kept increasing the amount until he got to $1 million.
There were two hands up: His hand and the leader of the meetup.
They were both high net worth, of course, but his point was education.
He and the meetup leader had a $1 million lesson with their loss.
I got a $70,000 education the day I lost that money.
Both instances allowed us to learn and grow.
After that experience, I learned that I am not a great options trader.
Failure is only a failure if you don’t learn.
I have a buddy who did some work in Cleveland around the time I used to do single family there.
I did pretty well in that market.
My buddy’s deals didn’t go as well.
He made some mistakes.
The biggest challenge, I think, was that he felt a sense of personal failure.
It wasn’t that the investment had failed.
He had failed.
No one should feel like that.
There are ways you can get over those failures and not let them define you.
2. What to Do When You Fail?
What are the options when you fail?
The first thing you should do is reframe the failure.
When you start saying you’re a failure over and over again, you need to change the tape.
Accept that the investment didn’t work, but recognize you are not the failure.
The failure is separate from who you are.
If you can find the lesson, then something good can come of it.
When I went through my divorce, I was able to write a lot of songs.
I wrote 14 or 15 songs in a couple of months.
That was something good that came out of a very difficult situation.
When I lost $70,000 in one day, I learned I’m not a great options trader.
I’m not the guy who can work that system day after day and follow those rules.
I have other strengths, but that is not one of them.
That failure also led me to multifamily where I’ve had great success.
Journaling is also great.
You can talk with an encouraging friend.
Going to therapy can be very helpful.
For many of us, our self-talk is very negative.
We’ll tell ourselves that we’re not good enough or smart enough.
This typically happens when we’re kids.
Another kid will say something to us on the playground, or our parents will say something, or even a sibling.
We internalize what they say and think that’s who we are.
That’s not true at all!
Even so, I internalized a lot of hurt from other people when I was younger.
It was only when I started to change the tape and say different things to myself that I started to learn what I needed to learn.
This is the reason why affirmations are so important.
3. Why Affirmations Are So Important
Affirmations have a bad rap.
And yet, almost every highly successful person I know does affirmations.
Only 3% of Americans have written goals.
Those are typically the most high-achieving individuals.
Affirmations usually require sitting in front of the mirror and saying things you want to be true about yourself.
When I went through my divorce, I felt no sense of self-worth.
I felt like I’d failed.
As I was going through those emotions, I would say affirmations around worthiness:
I’m worthy of God’s love.
I’m worthy of love and belonging.
After about a year, I really started feeling those things.
Self-talk is super important.
Tony Robbins once said that life is about 80% in psychology or mindset.
If you have the right mindset, you will be so much better off.
You can leave negative self-talk in the past.
If you’re in a place where you’re being negative, you need to correct that behavior.
I’m going to list some failures and successes of a famous American politician.
See if you can figure out who it is!
This person lost their job, then they got defeated when they ran for state legislature.
They failed in business.
They were elected state legislator.
Their sweetheart died a year later.
They had a nervous breakdown the year after that.
They were defeated for speaker and a Congress nomination.
They were then elected to Congress.
They lost the nomination a couple years later.
They were rejected for the role of land officer.
They were defeated for the Senate and the nomination of vice president.
They were again defeated for the US Senate.
Finally, they were elected president.
This is the journey of Abraham Lincoln.
He had so many major defeats.
But history celebrates and admires him.
And his struggles didn’t even end there!
If you’ve read up on Abraham Lincoln, you know he went through many more challenges during the Civil War.
You have to wonder how someone could survive all that.
He had a strong character built up through those challenges.
There’s a verse I love from the Bible.
It talks about how God won’t give us more than we can bear.
When we’re going through difficult times, he’ll give us grace to go through them.
Those experiences make us stronger.
I use these affirmations every morning:
I’m strong. I’m courageous. I’m confident.
Those help me tackle my current goals.
In conclusion, when something bad happens, you can reframe it.
You can change how it affects you.
You can use it to your advantage.
Now I want to hear from you!
What is your biggest investing failure?
How did you learn from it?
Let us know in the comments.
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Disclaimer: I am not your investment advisor. This is for educational purposes only. I am not giving specific advice on what you can do. I am simply giving my opinions.