Look at Your Scars and What You’ve Learned from Them

On October 20, 2000 I got some very bad news. I was one of four founders of a company called BIGWORDS.com. We had raised over $80M, won awards for a lot of our accomplishments, and done a good job growing and growing market share. But on October 20th, our investors told us that they didn’t think we could get profitable fast enough and they pulled the plug.

I was devastated. I was ashamed – angry – sad – scared – scarred. And I was not very sophisticated about dealing with failure. I went into a corner to sulk and I almost died of an autoimmune disease brought on by stress and fatigue. (Hear a little more about it here.)

Now, I am the official pitch coach for the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, Johnson & Johnson JLABS, Houston ION, and many other globally renown incubators. I also do a lot of 1:1 Pitch Coaching and Executive Coaching for Founders of startups.

I’m good at it because of all the scars I got on my mostly unsuccessful journey as a startup founder. Those lessons have saved a lot of people I coach from making the mistakes I made. My Origin Story arises out of my scars.

You’ve got a lot to offer based on your scars! It’s about: Insightful Vulnerability™ – noting where you failed and what you’ve learned. Bringing one of these meaningful moments into your Origin Story can make a huge difference in how you relate to others.

So, look back over your scars and consider what you’ve learned. Then pay it forward by sharing your insights and learnings!

How John Bates blew his TED TalkBy JOHN BATES / ABOUT AUTHOR
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