Setback or Setup?

I have been listening to the podcast “How I Built This with Guy Raz” for some time now. Their tagline is spot on: “How I Built This” weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.”

It is fun and educational to listen to stories of successful entrepreneurs and the journeys they took. The one thing every single person featured on this show has in common is that they experienced setbacks along the way.

Sometimes, they were denied funding by an investor, sometimes they made ill-advised deals and lost control of their company, and sometimes they had problems in the supply chain that caused them to run short on inventory.

The question for these entrepreneurs was not whether there would be a setback, but when that setback would occur.

What was a setback for these people?

Was it an excuse for failure?

Or was it a setup for future success?

In every single case, these people had to develop a plan to overcome the obstacle they were facing. What could they learn from the setback to give them a better setup for the future?

These are not superhuman people who could see a clear road ahead—they are just like you and me. They experienced some adversity and had to make a choice going forward.

We can do the same thing in our lives. We can decide that a setback is a setup for future success. We can learn from the situation, make a choice, and move on to success.

The older I get, the more I realize that this is the key to pretty much everything—take a setback and make it a setup. Make that choice, and move on to a successful future.

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