“Build your networks. Work your networks.” -Eloho Gihan
We all love a good success story: the underdog who takes the win, the hero who triumphs over insurmountable odds, the victim becoming the victor. These stories inspire hope and action, but what about our failures?
Too often we hide our failures under shame or embarrassment instead of seeing them as achievements of growth. Like growing pains, failure is a necessary part of our journey to success. It’s ok to admit failure, it’s ok that you don’t have everything figured out. Celebrate your victories and failures because every experience is an opportunity for growth.
“We are all works in progress,” says Eloho Gihan-Mbelu, Managing Director and CEO of Endeavor Nigeria, a former investment banker and private equity investor. Beyond the metrics and titles, Eloho encourages us to share our stories. There’s knowledge to be gleaned in every experience, even the ones that end in failure.
Here are some of her tips from episode 24 of My Dream Big Club’s podcast:
1. Reframe how you think about tasks
Many times in our life we try to focus on ten different things and give only 10% of ourselves for each task. Instead, Eloho provides us with a better way to approach our goal-driven mindsets.
First, establish a time frame, this could be the two hours you have after coming home from work. Then come up with 5 goals and tasks that you could accomplish. From there, ask yourself a series of questions such as “What do I have the energy for? Which one will I enjoy the most? Which one is the highest leveraging task?” and so on. Then choose the task that best fits your answers. Notice how we didn’t say to finish all five tasks, that’s another one of Eloho’s lessons.
Be forgiving toward yourself. Celebrate the tasks that you have completed without feeling guilting for the one task you didn’t finish. If you had ten goals and you completed nine of those goals, be proud of yourself. Rather than feeling guilty or anxious for the one task you didn’t accomplish, forgive yourself and take pride in the nine tasks that you did accomplish.
2. Solve problems that you understand
This isn’t about problems that you have the technical skills for. Rather, this is about the problems that you understand and might be trying to figure out for yourself. What problems and frustrations do you face at this moment? Within that problem is a potential business idea. Taking that problem and broadening it beyond yourself to see if it’s something that might be meaningful to enough people that there is value in trying to solve it. From there, Eloho says, it’s a matter of finding the best way to solve the problem. The best way to do that is through customer feedback. Asking clients or potential customers about the problem and every aspect of it can ensure that the solution is not just meaningful for you but that it creates a product that’s valuable to others.
3. Share Your Story: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Eloho is a big believer in telling stories. She shared with us the story of how her father started his own airline business with a group of friends, and says that those stories are what she uses to inspire others. Giving a platform to other entrepreneurs not only amplifies their voice, but also helps us to learn from their experiences. The challenges that they face, but also their failures can inspire and educate us in our own endeavors.
“Culturally, we don’t tell enough stories, because we are afraid of failure,” Eloho says. Be comfortable with whatever shape your story comes in, whether that is failure or success because each story is inspiring in its own way. Learn how to tell stories verbally, or written, or condensed on social media outlets- whatever way you want to share your story, share it.
Embrace your story: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Click here to listen to MyDBC Podcast Episode 24 and catch up on other episodes.