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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Staying Positive in the Wake of Business Startup Challenges

Entrepreneurs and business owners represent a class of very ambitious, talented and relentless individuals. Those that make the cut know that staying positive while business challenges rock the boat can mean the difference between success and failure.

"Entrepreneurs are not easily discouraged," Kauffman Foundation CEO Carl Schramm said according to a USA Today article. "In boom times and in tough times, roughly 600,000 firms are formed every year in America — about one per minute. For a lot of entrepreneurs, when they have an idea, it becomes a passion, almost an obsession," Schramm said. "They cannot not do it."

If you find yourself with the drive to succeed even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, resolve to remain upbeat throughout business downturns.

Remember the Greats

All of these individuals encountered what could have been crippling challenges. But, all refused to give up:

  • Thomas Edison submitted over 1,000 patents, but only a select few were viable ideas.

  • Soichiro Honda interviewed for an engineering job with Toyota Motor Corporation and was turned down. During his bout of unemployment, he started making scooters in his garage until his neighbors encouraged him to start his own business.

  • Lucille Ball, Harrison Ford and Fred Astaire were all told at one point that they were terrible actors, but each continued to audition.

  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, but remained positive. Jordan said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed."

Take a lesson from these iconic individuals. They failed early on, but returned with vigor to become proof that talent and persistence breeds success.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Encountering pitfalls and stumbling from time to time is part of an entrepreneur's cycle of success. However, those choose to respond appropriately in ill-fated situations will emerge from the trial a stronger business owner. Follow these steps to fail with purpose:
  • Accept Responsibility: If you're at fault and won't admit error, it's impossible to learn from the situation. If the pitfall you've experienced was in fact happenstance, determine what actions you could have taken to better mitigate the negative impact.

  • Drop the Guilt: Wallowing in self-guilt will cloud your judgment and make the situation worse. Take a few minutes to mourn your error, then resolve to start the clean-up with a clear head.

  • Seek to Understand Why the Error Occurred: If it helps, write out a timeline that contains each event that lead up to the fallout.

  • Resolve to Avoid Repeating it: Make a list of actions you can take in the future to ensure it won't happen again.

Seek Support

Many business entrepreneurs will tell you that they didn't accomplish great feats completely on their own. Many successful business owners have partners, mentors, advisers or individuals who offered emotional support. If you find new business challenges to extend beyond what you can handle, ask advice from an expert or seek an outside opinion. At times your proximity to your business challenge can cloud your judgment.

If you're an entrepreneur, the chance of you making it big without encountering major challenges is slim. Actively work to stay positive and use trials as opportunities to overcome difficulty and improve.


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posted by Tiger Leasing @ 2:06 PM


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