Overcoming entrepreneurial setbacks

overcoming setbacks

You, as an entrepreneur may want to make a difference in the world, through your business as a vehicle. At the same time, you want your business to be highly profitable to provide you with the lifestyle that you and your family desire.

However, there is a downside to all this. That is, as an entrepreneur, you’re fully responsible for the success or otherwise of your business.

And yes, there is nothing more disheartening than seeing your business not doing as well as you dreamt it would be after years or months of hard work. Or it can just be the fact that you are stuck with no growth to your business. This for many, can result in anger, in depression and at worst, it could even affect your self-esteem.

The common reaction then is to blame someone, blame the staff, the accountant, the economy, the bank or anyone who has some involvement in your business.

Here’s where the ordinary businessperson can take a leaf out of how successful entrepreneurs play the game.

The truth is, ALL entrepreneurs have setbacks…that’s the nature of the game. You take risks, sometimes they pay off and sometimes they don’t.

Here are some examples:
-Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company, Apple.
-Donald Trump was negative US$800 in net worth at one stage
-JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame was a single parent, suffered domestic abuse and even attempted suicide.
-Napoleon Hill, author of ‘Think and Grow Rich’ started and failed at several businesses, and suffered major depression when his partner was assassinated (He eventually sold 70 million copies of his book).

Yet none of them let these setbacks hold them down.

What’s their secret?

The secret can be found in this statement from JK Rowling:

“I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged.”

Lesson 1: “I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was…”

Firstly, acknowledge your position. Be aware of your setback, don’t sugar-coat it or make it worse than it really is by letting your emotions attach to the situation. Don’t assign blame because you’ll lose the lesson contained therein. Just be aware and acknowledge the facts.

Lesson 2: “…and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me.”

Second, focus on your vision. Do you want to impact your community with your business? Or do you want to leave a legacy for your children? What was the original vision for your business… and what would it take for you to fulfil that vision?

Lesson 3: “Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged.”

Finally, believe that everything happens for a higher purpose and reason. Maybe it’s that you need to tweak your brand positioning, improve your systems, launch a new product or rework your marketing.

Believe everything happens because there is a great life lesson for you that’s worth much, much more than your setback.

Napoleon Hill sums this up best, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.”

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