The Antidote to Frustration & Failure

This is the type of post I write that gives me chills when I think about it.  We’re not gonna talk about some new strategy or cutting-edge trick that’s working right now.  I’m not going to give you the 7 steps, or 5 ways, 3 Tactics, or anything like that.  This post is for those who are feeling, frustrated, lost or even broken.

You may be searching for those 5 steps right now, but the best gift I can share is a story, and the lesson behind it…

We’re going back to a time when I was personally frustrated.  On a scale of one to ten, I was an 11.  I had recently moved back home with my parents, because I couldn’t afford to live on my own.  I was sitting in front of the computer from the moment I rolled out of bed, until I got too tired to work some 14 hours later. This feeling of FRUSTRATION was so strong, I can still remember exactly how it felt today.  And in this post, I want to share a strategy for dissolving this frustration and turning it into your biggest ally.

The dictionary defines frustration as “The feeling of being upset or annoyed, esp. because of inability to change or achieve something.”  You feel frustrated when something isn’t working.  When you’re putting forth your effort and not seeing your results.  I remember feeling powerless, confused, broken.  But worst of all, the more I forced something to work, or pushed harder, the more I could feel my goals slip further and further away.

Still a little embarrassed to admit, I was so confused, that I went and saw a physic.  The first thing she told me, “You’re Frustrated.”  (No sh*t Miss Cleo!) “You need to practice patience. What you are creating now is simply preparing you for the next thing.  And it simply takes time to all unfold.” It wasn’t  exactly what I wanted to hear, but  I obliged, and went searching for some patience.

I wish I could tell you I had some eye-opening, breakthrough moment where I was flashed with inspiration and all the answers came flooding to me like John Travolta from that movie Phenomenon.  Not quite.

It was more of a gradual understanding, that I’m still discovering to this day.  But today, I look back at the past five years of entrepreneurship, and I see ONE POWERFUL TRUTH: that everything I did (whether success or failure) simply prepared me for the next leg in my journey. In fact, I look at where I am today, and somehow all of the required skills that I use today, were somehow acquired along the way…without me ever knowing that I would one day need them  (chills).

In High School, I started a business selling junk like old motorcycles on eBay.  I learned simple things like how to build a website, write copy, and even develop basic systems.

In college, I went to film school.  (Oh hey, I make online videos today!) Not because I wanted to make movies, but because I didn’t know what else to do with my life.

I became a bartender because I wanted a job that was “cool.”  Because working for other people sucks, I leveraged my bartending knowledge into an Event-Staffing Company where I provided a staff of 15 bartenders and servers to weddings and private events all across Southern California.

Then, when I was fed up with that business,  I decided to create an online course teaching others how to bartend.  Even at a low bargain price of $197, it didn’t sell. Well, not a first.

I used my “film school skillz” and put some silly videos of me bartending up on YouTube.   Then, April 18th, 2008 I made my first sale.

I started doing cool stuff with video, and people wanted to know how I was doing it. The list goes on and on.

The point is this… At each one of these “legs” in my journey, I had become FRUSTRATED.  I wasn’t happy.  I always wanted more.  Yet…each of those experiences were ESSENTIAL in order to prepare me for where I am today.  If I could go back and do it all over again, the only thing I would change is the meaning of my circumstances.

That’s what this article is about… No matter where you are in your journey (which never ends by the way), you may be feeling frustrated…or stressed…or unfulfilled.

My question for you:  what if this place you are in RGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW is essential for your growth?

What if your “Success” is inevitable, and the only thing standing in your way is time?  Would you still be frustrated?  Would you still be frustrated if you KNEW your destination was inevitable?  …would you still be stressed…confused…or lost?

If it weren’t for my years of FRUSTRATION and Struggle, I wouldn’t be able to share this story or help and inspire others.  Because let’s face it, no one wants to hear the story of the person who was born successful and never struggled a day in their life.  If you feel you are struggling right here, right now, this is just the juicy part of your story that you’ll get to share one day, and inspire others.   And as someone much wiser than me once said…

“There is no such thing as a happy ending to an unhappy journey.”

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  1. Elise Groves says

    Excellent words of wisdom, James. Don’t be embarrassed by seeking out the psychic’s help and even though it didn’t seem like it at the time, their words were completely words of truth. Patience, Grasshopper.

    Being in business is not easy, as we all know. We all ‘hit the wall’ at multiple points on our journey and get frustrated, but that is exactly why it causes us to make better decisions and/or take different directions. Pain avoidance is much more powerful than pleasure!

    Great post, and if you want the name of an incredibly powerful psychic that I consult with that has opened my mind tremendously to the possibilities of what lies ahead, don’t be embarrassed. Contact me and I will share her contact information with you. It’s a whole lot cheaper, and much more fun and enlightening, than a high priced therapist or ‘business consultant’.

  2. Mark says

    Hey James,

    I think we all need to be reminded of this. Read any self help book no matter how good it is and never look in it again?

    My take away is FOCUS & TAKE ACTION. oh and BTW for me it’s on that ONE thing. Just ONE thing at a time.

    Thank you brother!

  3. says

    The levels of frustrations have been quite high of late despite having put out those efforts in blogging, YouTubing and meeting people in person. Thank goodness that I am a glass half full kind of guy.

    ~ Clarke

  4. says

    It’s a LEARNING CURVE i think most newbie’s go though and will keep going though .Most give up to early and on to the next shiny object only to do it again.

  5. says

    When things don’t come exactly when I want them to, I really try to practice the magic of “Active Waiting” – never idle, just preparing for the next opportunity! Great post, James!

  6. says

    Thanks James,
    That’s just what I needed to start my day.
    Your quote struck home –

    “What if your “Success” is inevitable, and the only thing standing in your way is time?”

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