Entrepreneurs: It’s Not What Happens to You, It’s How You Handle It


The saying “it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you handle it,” has been a famous mantra for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. However, it’s only really been something other than what your parents say when something bad happens to you for the last thirty or so years. Tony Robbins, a motivational speaker and writer that has brought success to many people, puts it like this:

It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.

Okay, so Tony makes the phrase more empowering. The original phrase seems to indicate that if a bully picks on you on the playground, you should ignore them. Tony’s phrase makes me think you should punch them in the face and ultimately become the benevolent ruler of the playground.

I know we’ve all been there, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve all dwelled on the stupid stuff we’ve done and it makes us think we can’t rise above and become the great leaders we are meant to be. But as Tony seems to imply, it’s your damn choice. He admits there’s something like destiny in the works, but what that destiny is depends on your actions and what you decide to do with this life you’re given.

Let’s bring this down to a more applicable level for a second. You’ve had two failed business ideas, so obviously the third is going to fail too, right? So you hold yourself back from doing it, even though you know you’ve learned a lot from the last two and think the third might be easier to tackle. You go back to working your miserable 9-5 (it really is miserable, folks, take it from a freelance writer) and you don’t ever realize your dream. You know what’s going to happen?

Someone else is going to eventually take your idea, run with it, make it big, and leave you in the dust. It’s damn inevitable, and that will only throw you more into misery.

And you know what a lot of people think in this situation? They think, “oh, hey. Fate is a bitch. I can’t believe this would ever happen to me.

That self-centered BS is what Tony’s quote is specifically denying you the right to do. If you ever want to make anything happen, you have to make it happen. No one can make you feel worthless without your consent (ten bucks to the person who knows who said this quote), and letting someone else take your idea and throw it in your face doesn’t HAVE to make you miserable.

It can empower you to do great things instead.

It can make you brave, powerful, and rich.

This applies to any situation, not just our example. Take a moment and realize your dreams. Which of them do you want to succeed? Which of them are you willing to focus on until you can’t focus anymore? What are you willing to FIGHT FOR?

Go for THAT. Go for those passions, and remember that it has nothing to do with what bumps you hit, crap you have to deal with, or which bullies you have to deal with. It has everything to do with how quickly you flip them the bird and keep doing big things instead.