Handling Failure

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
Written by Tony Logan

Let’s be honest, failure teaches us far more than success ever will. So how come we don’t know how to handle failure? With social media capturing all of our successful moments it’s very rare that you will see anyone showcasing or speaking about their private or public failures, but it happens to everyone. Failure is uncomfortable and can haunt us like a bad breakup we didn’t see coming. First, we’re in denial. Next, we start to blame ourselves. And finally, we lose faith in ever trying again. But how we handle failure will inform us if we’re ready to handle success because in order to be successful we have to be failures for a short while. Dealing with the results will never be easy, but learning how to deal with them gives us the hope, discipline, and focus we need to get back on the road of success.

Just the facts.

When we look at our failures, the first place we have to analyze is the facts that led to the results. What went wrong? This part is critical because the information from the results can better prepare us for the next opportunity. Dealing with the results in the moment can be unbearable and hard to face because so much emotion is still attached to it. In fact, our first reaction may be to avoid looking at the results altogether or just write it off without ever acknowledging it, but that doesn’t mean the facts aren’t still there. Getting all the facts and just the facts will help you avoid the same failures. The more facts you can pull from the results, the better equipped you are to deal with the future.

Create a plan and make it plain.

Getting the facts from a setback does no good if we don’t learn to plan from it. Sure, you can have the ambition to jump right back into the ring after a knockout, but without a new strategy, it shouldn’t be a surprise if you get the same results. Take time to measure your plan against the facts to make adjustments where needed. It may be that the smallest detail overlooked can make the biggest difference. With new information and a new strategy, success is bound to present if you stick with it.

Stop blaming yourself

After you face the facts, come up with a plan of action. Then, the next and final step should be to forgive yourself. The main reason why handling failure is so difficult is that we internalize and relive the moment every time we think about it. It could have been a mistake you made months ago that still plagues your thoughts like it happened yesterday. If it’s a public failure, moving on is twice as hard because our public perception takes a hit and our venerability becomes visible. Taking accountability for your mistakes is honorable and upright but not to the point where you are tearing down your self-esteem and confidence in exchange. Accept the failure and any role you had in it and learn to move on.

An opportunity to be transparent

We live in an age of influencers, trendsetters, and tastemakers and they all seem to live the perfect life. The only problem with perfection is that it’s unrelatable and unrealistic.  To separate yourself from the pack I encourage you to share your personal failures (the ones you feel comfortable with) as a way to build a connection with people. Own, whatever mistake you made and build a conversation around it and what you learned from it. You may be surprised at how many people will respond and personally reach out to you to share their stories. 

Use energy!

Sometimes an extra burst of adrenaline is all we need for an intense workout that can come at the expense of failure. The physical symptoms after experiencing a devastating loss or setback can come in the form of tense shoulders, aching headache, and a boost of energy. What better way to use this energy than put it to good use? This route can be beneficial for people who often bottle up these emotions. We all know that eventually, everything that is built up will come up, so why not redirect it positively? You’ll come up stronger physically and emotionally, and we sleep like a baby afterwards. I’m all in favor of good sleep! 

We live in the age of influencers, trendsetters, and tastemakers who seem to live the perfect life. The only problem with that image is that it’s not real. Everybody life isn’t as perfect as their caption, and living the ideal life isn’t the goal. To live a meaningful life, it takes risk, and risk requires failure. Everyone will experience failure, but how we can handle is what separates us. Failure is never easy, and we all deal with it differently. The goal is not to avoid failure because that’s impossible especially if you’re daring to do something worthwhile. The goal should be to accept failure as a stepping stone that you can use to help you reach success. As long as you’re learning and growing from your past mistakes, then a failure is never a failure only a setback that’s preparing you for a step up.

More About PIVOT

Are you a person who is not afraid of taking a risk and embraces failure? Then you belong at PIVOT Co-Working! At PIVOT, we host quarterly workshops, and monthly events for our members to help educate and inform them how to grow their business. See why local influencers and entrepreneurs call PIVOT home at our two locations in Catonsville and Ellicott City. PIVOT members know that success doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen through collaboration, conversation, and coffee. Ready to join us? Click the link below to book a tour with one of our friendly community managers.

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Stresses of Being A Freelancer

Written By: Tony Logan

 Being a freelancer is hard work. Waking up whenever you want, getting to hang out in cool cafes during the day, and having the freedom to drop everything to go shopping. I don’t know why anyone thinks being a freelancer is easy!? Ok, in case you didn’t realize I am being sarcastic, but from the outside looking in, this is the image that’s portrayed of being a freelancer, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Being a freelancer has its challenges, just like working a 9-5, except when you’re a freelancer, there are no guarantees! You eat what you kill, and for the first few months, it can be brutal and lonely. And while there are many upsides of being a freelancer, there are a few stresses that come along with it. So, whether you’re thinking about becoming a full-time freelancer or you’re new to the game, these pointers can help give you a real perspective of what being a freelancer entail. Grab your coffee, pull up your notes app and let’s get started.

You have to build a structure

Once you leave the comforts of your 9-5, you are free! Free to do whatever you want whenever you want! Unfortunately, the downside is that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, which leaves no room for structure. The hardest part about leaving a job is learning how to build a structure for the considerable amount of available time you now have. At your last job, you were told when to clock in, when to eat, and when to clock out. Now, that responsibility falls on you. This can be tricky at first, but you can use this opportunity as a way to create the ideal schedule that works for you. If your previous job started early in the morning, but you find yourself doing your best work in the afternoons, change your schedule to accommodate that. Don’t feel guilty about taking more breaks if you need them or doing work on the weekends if you feel like it. The goal is to create a structure that will allow you to get work done, and that can be as simple as just creating a checklist of just five things and knocking them out. Don’t be unrealistic in this approach and allow yourself some time to adapt. Your structure creates the foundation you need to be successful.

 What’s your worth?

A question that is intimidating to any new freelancer can be found in these five words, “How much do you charge?” How you answer that question will set the tone and foundation for that client. If you charge too much, the client might bail, while if you charge too little, you’ll hate yourself, so where’s the middle ground? I hate to say it, but there’s no straight answer for this. However, the first step should be to research what’s the going rate for someone in your industry. This will help you figure what ballpark you should aim for. The better goal is to find a starting rate; this will give you a base. One tool that can assist with this is a questionnaire form for clients to fill-out. A questionnaire will help you to determine a fair price based on the client’s needs, from which you can determine your starting price. As a freelancer, your prices are never written in stone. As you become busier and take on more clients, your time will become more expensive. The opposite can be true in slow seasons–and there will be slow seasons. So, price accordingly and always be open to change, but always know your worth! 

How to get paid on time?

There’s nothing more frustrating and annoying than working with a client who doesn’t pay you on time. It happens quite often, unfortunately, but one way to combat this issue is to provide a contract of agreement before you start anything. Even if the client tries to pressure you to start working immediately because the deadline is urgent, always have your paperwork ready!  Normally when we think about contracts, we assume that the paperwork has to be the size of a high school textbook, which is far from the truth. The agreement should simply layout the work that is being performed, the cost of your service, the deadline, and how the payment will be paid. At the end, you can also mention anything that might void this agreement. For example, if the client decides to change a service that’s not mentioned in the original agreement or if the client decides to abandon the project altogether, they are still held accountable. In this agreement, you can request half up front and the rest once the client approves the work, or you can ask for it all upfront. Either way, the point of the contract is to build trust and to hold you and the client accountable to agreed terms. Even with a contract, the client may still pay you late or try to avoid paying you at all, but at least you have a written and signed agreement to take legal actions. Hopefully, it doesn’t have to go this far.

Burnout is real!

With coffee, anything is possible! But not even a venti latte can stop the inevitable burnout! How we experience and deal with burnout is different for everybody, but the cause of it is pretty common: Taking on too much at one time. For example, at first, juggling two assignments doesn’t interfere with your work because you set times during the day to break up the assignments. But then you take up dog walking for extra cash in the morning, and soon you sign up for a personal trainer at your gym for two days a week, and then you take on a freelance gig for quick cash and now you’re swamped! It can really happen that fast. The best way to avoid a full-blown burnout goes back to one of my initial points of creating structure. In addition to that, decide how much work you are willing to take on per month. If taking on more projects for extra cash is interfering with the quality of your work and is causing you to stress out, it may not be worth it. And that’s ok! Of course, you may lose some extra spending money, but you will walk away with a piece a mind and more control of your time. I know its cliché, but a “peace of mind is priceless.” 

Now that we addressed some of the challenges of a freelancer, I want to end by saying being a freelancer isn’t a lifestyle for everybody. With so many false narratives only showing the lifestyle through a rosy filter, it’s easy to fall for the allure. But, by being mindful of the stressors and challenges that come with being a freelancer you will be better equipped to decide if it’s a lifestyle suitable for you! Remember to give yourself structure, understand your worth and what you bring to the table and always have plenty of coffee on hand. You got this! 

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Check out our other blogs

About Tony Logan
Where should I begin? How about I give you the brief version? I started my writing career in 2008 from blogging and contributing to several men’s fashion blogs. Gaining experience and small notoriety through my writing later created an opportunity for me to become a fashion contributor for The Stndrd magazine. I had my own column titled “Stndrd Style” that profiled fashion-forward celebrities for print and online. Once I stepped-down from The Stndrd, writing was still a big part of my life, so I decided to focus on it full-time. I currently run a book publishing company with my sister called Lift Bridge Publishing, and I also curate content for brands and companies. Aside from writing, I’m a personal stylist, working with clients for editorial shoots, for public appearances and for rebranding purposes. When I’m not working, you can catch me in a local café sipping a white mocha and stealing Wi-Fi.

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Work/Home Life: Is yours out of whack?

How to Tell if Your Work-Life Balance is Out of Whack

In today’s “always on” world, it can feel impossible to really separate home life and work, especially for freelancers and small business owners. Many of us choose freelancing so we can make our own hours, but as the workload increases, it can get hard to keep the work from taking over every spare moment.

PIVOT Work Spaces understands the importance of a healthy work-life balance. Our flexible co-working spaces in Catonsville, Columbia and Ellicott City can help you avoid these 3 signs your work-life balance is off.

1. You’re Feeling Burned Out

Not having a dedicated work space outside the home can blur the lines between work time and off time, leading to burnout. Our to-do lists are always there, and co-locating work and home makes it feel like we have to do both all the time. Burnout can lead to intense physical symptoms and serious procrastination, which can make even simple tasks feel impossible.

2. Isolation Doesn’t Lead to Creativity

Humans thrive on social interaction, and socializing stimulates creative thinking. Even if your work requires alone time to write or make phone calls, studies have shown that working around others can help you feel more energized and productive. Having somewhere else to go where you can be around other like-minded people can present unique opportunities.

3. No One Gets Your Full Attention 

The human brain is not good at multitasking, so when you’re working from home while also trying to get your laundry or cleaning done, you’re really not giving yourself fully to either task. When our attention is split between multiple tasks, each of them takes longer than if we had just done them individually. Getting into a dedicated workspace can help you focus only on work when it’s work hours, allowing you to enjoy your off-time guilt-free.

Co-Working Space in Baltimore

PIVOT Work Spaces offers flexible, modern work spaces for freelancers, small business owners, people who work from home, or anyone who needs shared office space with no permanent commitments. Take a 3-D tour of our locations and learn about our membership options today!