Crush Failure: Own Your Success

Jessica mah

InDinero founder Jessica Mah makes success look so damn easy.

By age 20, she had already founded several companies and graduated from UC Berkeley. Now, she’s running InDinero, a software platform that helps small businesses manage their finances. She’s raised $1 million, managed a 7 person team, and overseen billions in customer transactions.

Wow, you might think — how’d she do it? She must be a total prodigy, huh?

Without a doubt, Jessica Mah radiates talent. She kicks ass. She’s an unstoppable force of nature. But she’s totally human — just like you and me. And she’ll be the first to admit that she isn’t perfect.

Weaknesses Spark Brilliance

In a post about her days as a grade-school entrepreneur, Jessica explains that “by coming to terms with my failures, I’m more prepared to classify which type of amateur entrepreneur I am, and thus preventing myself from failing in the same way again”.

By owning her success, her weaknesses just don’t stand a chance. Same goes for you. Why are you so afraid of failure? Even the most amazing people have lessons they need to learn. There’s no secret to it. Be confident, figure out what to do better, and get shit done.

Success Is 90% What You Learn

Just in time learning (JITL) is something you need to get good great at. It’s what all the successful entrepreneurs know to do. They learn as they go. They ask the right questions to the right people when they need to know it.

The trick is to learn how to learn. And pinpointing what you don’t know.

Focus on learning and getting the right advice in near-real time. Trying to anticipate the skills and information you will need to acquire months before you actually need it can result in a lot of wasted time.

Keep executing. When it comes to success, 90% is learning, stamina, and momentum. The rest is luck and being at the right place at the right time. (But you can make that happen, too.)

Get Your Hands Dirty

Fear comes from not knowing what’s going to happen next. Your business could very well collapse. You could lose a shitload of money. But you could also hit the jackpot.

If you get scared and never try, nothing will ever happen. You have to get your feet muddy and hands dirty. Calluses and blisters? Even better.

“Entrepreneurship requires a special kind of courage — you must face a great deal of uncertainty as you launch and maintain your business,” Virgin Founder Richard Branson said in an Entrepreneur article.

Outsmart the End

Saying “game over” is never easy. But businesses fail for all kinds of reasons. And when they do, you can’t keep beating a dead horse. You need to move on by pivoting, pursuing a new direction, or closing shop altogether (when nothing at all can be salvaged).

“After significant financial, emotional, or psychological investment in something, leaders can have an incredibly difficult time writing it off,” Business Insider writer Max Nisen said.

But the sooner you stop chasing your tail, the sooner you can start over. Giving up on a bad idea does not mean giving up on your dream.

Your Thoughts

Have you ever transformed weakness into brilliance? Share your story of how you made it happen against all odds.

Image courtesy: Jessica Mah

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  • Rank Watch

    Interesting, inspiring and motivating story. I guess she is going to be the next in line start-op young billionaires.

    • Dan Martell

      Rank, thanks.

      Honestly, who knows .. no guarantees / only proof that she has the right attitude and tenacity.

      It’s anyones game.

  • LollyJean

    Great, great post Dan!

    • Dan Martell

      Thanks LollyJean!

      Appreciate the comment.