Contrary to the way it’s presented by President Trump, failure happens to everyone at some point. There are always high points and low points in anyone’s lives or careers. Everyone takes an L at some point and it can seem really hard to get back up from.
But the mindset that helps people through it to become winners isn’t emotional reactions brininging oneself into despair. It’s the opposite.
Even Trump has faced losing properties, bankruptcy, having to retool everything he had when a lot of his real estate game went belly up. There was a really tough time for the real estate market that a lot of people forget, but it knocked a lot of people out of the game.
I knew folk personally who lost EVERYTHING in the financial crisis of 2008. It seems like a long time ago now, but everyone had a lot of trouble then.
The people who win, however, don’t just give up, don’t check out when they get a failure.
They look at it, analyze it, and ask themselves “where’s the opportunity?”
Sometimes it’s hard to see. Sometimes the opportunity takes time. Sometimes you have to move in a different direction but it’s there.
The important part is to not quit.
My own first failure in writing came with a project near and dear to me — The Stars Entwined. I’d been high off the successes of my books Star Realms: Rescue Run and For Steam and Country — both of which had marketing problems in my mind. The first being a game tie-in so non-gammers would be tough getting into it, and the second is Steampunk is a niche genre, so a lot of people voiced they really didn’t want to read a steampunk book.
I thought i had a surefire win with The Stars Entwined. It’s space opera just like my fans like to read, I got a traditional publicist (paid a ton for it!) to promote the book to magazines and the like, and I was gonna rock with it.
Even with the paid publicist, because of my situation, no establishment reviewers or mags would pick it up. I’ve been blacklisted from the mainstream industry so that campaign tanked and did nothing for me. I ended up with very little exposure, and because it was in a crowded scifi genre it didn’t rise to the top and get seen by a lot of random people.
I became stuck. The Stars Entwined only moved a few hundred copies.
I was devastated, but I didn’t show it anywhere. I just kept writing, put my head down, worked hard, and refocused my energies to my steampunk series — several #1 Bestsellers later, and I have a series that’s hugely profitable. It’s still bringing me in great revenue.
I just had to keep moving. And over the course of the time, The Stars Entwined has trickled its way up to over 1,000 sales. I can return to the universe now knowing there’s an audience for it, and people are asking for it. A lot of people just never saw it release!
The lesson is to keep going, keep moving, keep working. You can never win if you quit.
My Dynamite Thor Kickstarter has defied the odds — it’s completely unsearchable on kickstarter, google, no one can find it unless they have my direct link. And I’m FUNDED anyway! We won with the odds stacked against us, and it’s a testament to our mindsets and our great books. Back it here today and enjoy a great superhero read.