For as long as I can remember I’ve been labeled as a “negative person”, it’s not that I’m a pessimist but I can’t seem to be able to ignore the bad things that are in front of me that everybody else likes to ignore on a daily basis.
It took many years before that took shape as an unfair advantage in entrepreneurship. While most people quit because of the pressure or because they faced problems they didn’t expected, I was already prepared because I took my time finding out the mistakes others have made to not make them myself.
But this is not easy, most books about entrepreneurship talk about the good stuff that comes from this path, not many talk about the hard parts about it.
Hell even now there’s few books that cover how to act when things get bad.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- Only the paranoid survive by Andrew S. Grove
- Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull
- The Spark & The Grind by Erik Wahl
- Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
Only 5 books that I can count, how many more are there that talk about the awesomeness that is entrepreneurship.
This image explains better why that is important. When you study failure, you’ll see the mistakes others are making, you see that most people will believe that they’re special somehow and that this is not something that will happen to them. they think they can’t fail.
Not only that but they take this approach to other areas in life, relationships, friends, family, work, finances, etc.
One of the reasons I can’t ignore this, is because I know to the bone that I’m not special, I’m not different from everybody else, the principles that makes other people fail will be what makes me fail.
Use this rule:
Assume failure, assume that YOU will be a failure, assume that failure is the default unless you put in the work to fix it.
Many people are working from a point of view of chasing dopamine (the chemical that makes you feel good), some are so desperate for dopamine that they are absolutely afraid of feeling bad.
And in their need to feel good all the time, they end up ignoring the things that are right in front of them, telling them: “this is something that can make you fail.”
Most people don’t like to think about the “what if” you fail, most people won’t
want to study failure. Most people won’t want to study what happens to companies when the economy collapses.
But if you know that a economic crisis is supposed to happen ever 7-8 years, then not preparing for it is the absolute worst thing you can do.
A while ago I stumbled with this principle, said by Jordan Peterson, talking exactly about why we should take a long time and learn from the most horrible catastrophes of the human story, which obviously most people don’t like to do.
“Why would you look in the darkest places?
Because in the darkest places you can find what still shines. If it can shine in the darkest places, then you know is a real light.” – Jordan Peterson
Become a student of failure, learn what made others to fail and what worked or others in the worst scenarios possible.
Tim Ferriss called this “pragmatic pessimism”, the stoics of ancient Rome called it “Premeditatio Malorum”, use your time to plan what would you do if you were to hit an horrible crisis, prepare for it before it arrives, if you do, you’ll take away the power of such problems.
As Seneca Said:
“What is quite unlooked for is more crushing in its effect, and unexpectedness adds to the weight of a disaster. This is a reason for ensuring that nothing ever takes us by surprise. We should project our thoughts ahead of us at every turn and have in mind every possible eventuality instead of only the usual course of events…
Rehearse them in your mind: exile, torture, war, shipwreck. All the terms of our human lot should be before our eyes.”