As an entrepreneur, you know that challenges are par for the course. It includes fickle customers, cash-flow problems, unpredictable economic downturns and belligerent investors.
It doesn’t matter what you do; whether you sell website templates online or go door-to-door selling washing machines, you will encounter adversity every now and then.
The most successful entrepreneurs handle all business challenges thrown their way without losing their stride. Many of them, in fact, secretly get their full satisfaction from overcoming these obstacles.
Let’s take Bill Gates as an example. Did you know that his first venture, Traf-O-Data, failed because he could not solve simple technical problems early enough? He didn’t make any excuses, though. He identified the problem and found a solution. Years later, he credited his business success with Microsoft to the lesson he learned from his first venture.
Most people also don’t realize that Richard Branson — one of the most successful entrepreneurs worldwide — has a reading disorder that made him a very poor student. This means that he faced a lot of challenges well before his start-up effort.
Despite all that, Branson was able to use his powerful and dynamic personality to take him to the next level. These days, he is well known for hundreds of companies and many are technologically advanced.
As a small business owner, you may have been intrigued by the fact that entrepreneurial adversity energizes some individuals while reducing others to despair. You can choose which direction to take, just follow these principles for overcoming challenges in business.
1. Learn from failure — always maintain a positive attitude
According to Thomas Edison, every failure is an experiment. He didn’t make any excuse for his 10,000 light-filament failures.
Instead, he soberly responded after being challenged by his various contemporaries that he had just found over 10,000 ways that don’t work. Despite saying all that, he finally succeeded.
2. Prioritize your health
Realistically, unhealthy people easily give up when faced with entrepreneurial challenges. Smart entrepreneurs, however, always try to find time for outdoor physical activities or rest.
Working non-stop doesn’t work; it only leaves you fatigued and eventually less productive.
3. Communicate — create strong relationships with others
When it comes to entrepreneurial adversity, an isolated position can be very difficult to defend.
Most often, successful entrepreneurs are always willing and ready to reach out and ask for help from advisors and peers. They usually communicate their business challenges, fears, and goals, and listen to guidance and feedback from others. Humility is key.
4. Practice resilience by refocusing on your business strengths
According to researchers, human beings are all born with resilience or innate self-righting ability that can be hindered or helped by circumstances.
Obsessing about weaknesses and problems hinders resilience; on the other hand, identifying and building on your strengths can increase resilience and lead to greater success.
5. Associate yourself with smart people
Always keep in mind that the most successful entrepreneurs in the world go beyond the need to control all aspects of their businesses and make all decisions.
In this case, you need to actively solicit business-minded individuals who are very strong and highly experienced in specific areas and who you can trust to make decisions in that specific area. This will help overcome your entrepreneurial adversity.
6. Instead of accepting adversity as an exception, treat it as the norm
It’s also important to bear in mind that some entrepreneurial adversity is inevitable in every business — regardless of how small or large the business is. Therefore, adversity must always be treated or handled as any other unknown, instead of treating it as the end of the world.
Many entrepreneurs actually thrive in entrepreneurial adversity and get full satisfaction from solving various business challenges, whether in making website templates or dealing with a rude customer.
Experienced entrepreneurs and leaders will always tell you that it is how you anticipate and deal with the inevitable challenges that determine your success. Treat it the right way and you will definitely see your company grow.
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Originally published at www.bookmark.com on June 27, 2016.