What would Steve Jobs be if he wasn't booted from the company he founded, Apple? As you can read in Jobs' biographies, his exile gave him a new perspective on the computer industry - and some much needed humility. And Stewart Butterfield, if he didn't fold his ambitious video game startup, would never have created Slack. The rubble of Butterfield's $17 million gaming company led to the billion-dollar communication platform you likely use every day.

In fact, I'd challenge you to find any successful entrepreneur - nay, businessperson - who did not have success without a so-called failure preceding it. The highly recommended The Daily Stoic - a must-have audiobook for entrepreneurs - has a particularly outstanding quote on this phenomenon:

The task of a philosopher: We should bring our will into harmony with whatever happens so that nothing happens against our will and that nothing that we wish for fails to happen. - Epictitus

Accept anything that happens as part of a bigger plan that will help you succeed in the long run. It may sound Pollyanna, but it is some of the wisest advice you'd ever hear.

In my book The Productive Bite-Sized Entrepreneur, I call this key strategy The Whiskey Method: Look at the blow as a step within your successful narrative. The popular Johnnie Walker ads a few years ago did just that, showing a timeline of a person's road to reaching their goal - warts and all. Today's so-called failure can, if not will, give you the fuel, insight and guidance to move to the next level in your career. And victory will be that much sweeter in the context of a setback.

Put yourself in the future and picture yourself looking back to now. If you're telling the story of your life and your career, would this part be the cliffhanger? Then you are in the most riveting, important part of your own personal tale. Embrace it.

You want to succeed? Assume that any stumbling block, big or small, will have you falling forward into greatness - just as it did for every entrepreneur you admire.

Published on: May 23, 2017