by Per Wickstrom
Getting fired, drowning in debt, going through a divorce, and fighting addiction: It can be hard to view these difficult life events as positive forces, but that’s what they are.
My personal rock bottom was a constant battle with addiction that raged for more than 22 years, but now I enjoy a life of sobriety, helping thousands of people on their path to recovery. I was able to turn my low point into a breakthrough to success.
Virtually every industry is filled with people who experienced failure before success. Bill Gates, Akio Morita, Harland David Sanders, Henry Ford, R.H. Macy, and Walt Disney are just a few of the icons who some thought would never amount to anything. The right attitude and an actionable plan allowed them to come back from their temporary setbacks and become some of the most successful businessmen in history.
How to Turn Rock Bottom into a Foundation for Success
High and low points are common throughout our lives. It’s easy to be positive during the highs, but it’s the lower points in life that allow for true progress. If you hit rock bottom:
- Be brave and hopeful. While you may find yourself financially unstable, the hardest condition to recover from is being spiritually and emotionally broke. The first step to rebounding is to remain optimistic and hopeful. If you can view your situation as an opportunity instead of a burden, you’ve found the key to doing great things in the future.
- Determine why you failed. Henry Ford experienced two major failures: First, the Detroit Automobile Company was dissolved by its board of directors after the changes to its prototype took too long, and he later left the Henry Ford Company because of excessive pressure to get the automobile to production.
Determining the reason you failed is critical for making a solid, actionable plan that can succeed. Ford recognized that a lack of time to perfect his masterpiece – and unnecessary meddling by financial backers – caused him to fail. Armed with this knowledge, he was able to create the first affordable automobile and change American industry with the moving assembly line production method.
- Discover your weak points, and plan how to avoid them. You need to discover why you were susceptible to the cause of failure and find a method for avoiding the problem in the future. In the Henry Ford example, he was vulnerable to failure because his need for utter perfection in design was incompatible with the current business model. He avoided this weakness by creating a different type of company that played to his strengths.
- Take advantage of the “nothing to lose” mentality. A person with nothing to lose has everything to gain and, thus, is more willing to take risks. Take advantage of this mindset; having this mentality gets you out of your comfort zone and keeps you from focusing too much on uncertain outcomes.
When we’re caught in a landslide of failure with our world crumbling around us, it’s hard to see how we could ever succeed. Before Walt Disney built one of the most successful corporations in the world, his small animations company went bankrupt. It was his optimism and determination that set him on the right path. So next time you feel like giving up, just remember: At some point, even Walt Disney couldn’t pay his rent.
Per Wickstrom is the CEO and founder of Best Drug Rehabilitation. BDR firmly believes that a holistic approach to treatment is the best route to recovery. He has overcome great personal obstacles and now seeks opportunities to help people beat their addictions and build better lives.
Martin Lopatka | Courtesy of Author