I once had a setback in business.
I felt hurt and betrayed. “Woe is me” was written across my forehead.
Whilst I was regrouping, I took the opportunity to speak to older, wiser entrepreneurs.
One of these was Denis O’Brien, an Irish billionaire introduced via a mutual friend. We met in New York for a coffee.
After hearing out my sad story Denis said, “And so? What’s the problem?”
I naturally was taken aback. It seemed to me my story warranted at least a modicum of sympathy.
“Business is rough and tumble. Toughen up.” And that was the end of our coffee.
From that moment on I stopped expecting the world to fight fair. I stopped whinging when things didn’t go my way. I stopped complaining when I saw illegal or unethical behaviour from others.
Instead of seeing the world for what I want it to be, I started seeing it for what it is.
Rough and tumble doesn’t mean breaking the law or doing things your kids will be ashamed of.
You just need to toughen up.
Betrayed by a partner? Screwed by a customer? Let down by a bank? Not paid your bonus?
That’s life. Life ain’t fair. Toughen up.
Stop feeling like the world owes you something. The world owes you nothing. You must fight for everything.
Get in there, get your hands dirty, and don’t cry when someone sticks a finger in your eye.
Have confidence in your talents, have the guts to chase your dreams, be tough enough to stick it out.