Dealing with defeat

By Adrian Harvey

Some people just can’t handle it and if you know you are one of those people you should never start your own business! Why? Because running your own business is like taking two steps forward to get kicked in the nuts and fall 5 steps back to leap forward 7 steps and step back 1. It is basically a roller coaster ride of wins and defeats.

Some might say the word defeat is too strong but I am a super competitive person and I just hate losing. Every setback we have is like a defeat – some are minor, some not so minor.

The herd here at Elephants don’t forget know that I deal with defeat badly but quickly! I stamp my feet, shout and sulk for 5 minutes (literally) and then get back to sorting the problem. The key point being no matter how great the setback, I bounce back.

But yesterday I was taught a lesson in handling defeat like a man not a child! My builder was told his newly laid floor failed building inspection and having spent a week working on it, it would all have to come up and be re-built to correct standards.

Had this been me receiving this ‘good’ news I would certainly have had a proper hissy fit that most of the county would have known about.

But Niko stoically received the news, shrugged and immediately set about rectifying the situation.

Ok you could say Niko should have known better and should have got it right the first time, but let he who hasn’t screwed up at work, be the first to throw stones.

What I admired about Niko was how he almost instantly accepted it was a no win situation, a situation where jumping up and down like a 5-year old was unlikely to help matters. He dealt with it and quickly transitioned into solution mode.

I guess I would like to handle defeat(s) as maturely as Niko but everyone is different and I have learned to burn off the irritation with myself quickly so that I can move on and not dwell on the loss.

Perhaps, those of us that live in a roller coaster world of success and failure, victory and defeat, all to varying degrees, have our own strategies for dealing with the losses and the defeats.

The way I look at it, it doesn’t much matter (provided others aren’t hurt in the process) how you deal with the defeat but how quickly and effectively you rectify it and move on.

One has to have tasted failure to truly enjoy success.