This is a reverse-guesting episode where I was interviewed about my story in starting up SEO Hacker as the leading SEO Services company in the Philippines.
How do you usually recover from setbacks?
First, I remove myself from failure.
Don’t say that “I failed”. Rather, say that it was a mistake and move forwards.
A lot of entrepreneurs personalize failure. That is the mindset of a loser. You will be buried under a mountain of failure rather than standing on top of it.
If you separate yourself from the failure and see them as lessons, then it’s inevitable for you to get better.
With that, recovering from setbacks gets easier.
People who personalize the failure never get better because they are traumatized by it. They don’t want to try again because they believe that they will repeat it and fail again.
One of our core values is experimentation. We have a short excerpt there that I wrote: “We try new things in the spirit of having a positive outcome”.
There’s an implicit mindset behind it. That is to be courageous. Have the courage to try new things.
No one goes to a gold mine to dig for dirt. But we have to dig through the dirt to get the gold.
You also have to have the tenacity, the grit, the resilience in the face of rebellion, betrayal, and failures.
They’re heavy words because they happened to me, but I have changed because of them.
People who give up in the face of adversity will not succeed. You have to have the strength and will to win and keep moving forward.
That is what we see in most successful people nowadays. They all failed. Most of them failed in a big way, but they still got up.
Elon Musk almost went bankrupt after selling Paypal, but now he’s as famous as ever.
Steve Jobs said in his Stanford speech that “It was bitter medicine, but the patient needed it” In line with him getting fired as CEO of Apple. After that, he sold Pixar to Disney, was reinstated as the CEO of Apple and made it the number one company in the world.
Know that you’re going to fail. But you don’t have the strength and resilience to get back up especially in the face of adversity, then you’re just going to stay in the mud.
You said that you’re ruthless in your decision-making process and speech. Are you still struggling with these?
Yes. There is a part of me that it became instinctive. I don’t like being ruthless, but it’s now my natural tendency for me to say things that way.
There are times when I hurt people’s feelings. Sometimes people argue that it’s because of my Dominant personality. I don’t use that as an excuse. I know I have to improve on that and so I try to first delay my first reaction to every opinion that I hear.
I also tell the truth. Trying to be less ruthless doesn’t mean you should sugar coat your opinions. You have to be clear. You have to make sure that your message gets across.
That being said, there’s a difference between being ruthless because of your clear and being mean.
Being mean is personalizing the fault and blame. That’s wrong.
If you’re being ruthlessly clear, you might shut down some opinions, but that’s because you’re trying to prevent them from making mistakes and protect the company. All because I have been in their place.
There are ways to say things better. I know that I don’t lie and I’m not mean but people say that I’m ruthlessly clear depending on the people I talk with.
The people who get hurt by it will not tell me that they’re hurt, then probably spread gossip.
What else do you struggle with?
I think one of the ways we can improve as an organization is the reporting system.
Everyone is accountable but it’s not clear what’s really happening on a big picture perspective.
It could be avoided if we had a big picture reporting system.
Personally, I want to improve my sleeping habits. I want to wake up early around 6 or 6:30 in the morning. A lot of people are saying that it’s difficult, but it’s something that I want.
Again, for me to be able to rise to that goal, I need to fall back to my systems.
This is something that I hope I’m able to achieve by June this year.
Adjusting my entire lifestyle is difficult. I won’t be able to work on creative things at night, instead, I need to do them early in the morning. It’s better but I’m not there yet.
For now, there are two ways to go about it.
First, I will lack sleep every day until I am able to wake up early in the morning.
Second, I should force myself to cool down and sleep at a certain time. It’s healthier, better for my decision-making abilities, but is harder to do.