Young: Overcoming adversity enhances personal, business growth

There are new studies that highlight how entrepreneurs can flourish in tough economic times.

As I have written about often in my column, entrepreneurs are not born, but are created.

This often occurs when a person feels ready to make that jump into business, and come across an entrepreneurial opportunity that excites them enough to pursue it.

I’ve recently learned about the Canadian Federation of Independent Business along with a few U.S. business organizations that have completed studies that highlight how entrepreneurs can flourish in tough economic times.

It is this latter trumpet call that has prompted me to collect and share some thoughts today about dealing with adversity.

Adversity is undoubtedly another means to discover your capability if one is to embrace the notion that entrepreneurs seek solutions to problems in the world around them.

In that context, adversity can bring out the best in us. Adversity, it has been written many times, serves as a barometer to measure the greatness in an individual .

The true potential in each of us surfaces at times of adversity, particularly if we don’t give up.

Problems are the price of progress and the obstacles of life. Indeed, when seeking entrepreneurial success, problems are intended to make us better, not bitter.

Adversity does have its simplistic advantages. It helps us to unleash our  potential within, which is where I believe the phrase that was given to me by my eldest son Craig,  a social entrepreneur and university vice-chancellor in Mozambique, came up with the idea of “the fire within.”

He was referring to the passionate emotion behind our entrepreneurial spirit.

Will adversity come on the way toward the fulfillment of your entrepreneurial destiny? I offer a resounding yes to that question.

We can’t avoid some form of adversity in our daily life, let alone the creation of our beginnings of the entrepreneurial dream.

Adversity is part of life. The adversity itself is really not the problem, but how we deal with it is what matters.

Adversity can make or break an entrepreneurial venture—poor business planning, poorly thought out financial requirements, inadequate analysis of the perceived opportunity and needs in  the marketplace are some of those adversarial benchmarks.

But perhaps the greatest gift you can offer yourself is to embrace a temporary crisis that requires you to “try your wings.”

Those who know me well know I love the illustration using the eagle.

An eagle is that special creature that can look at the sun and fly towards it without blinking an eye.

The best of an eagle is demonstrated in adverse situations. The mother eagle, as her young eaglets begin their growth, commences to destroy their nest, making it very uncomfortable to the tiny birds.

It is done for purpose as when the nest is totally destroyed, the tiny eaglets are forced to fly.

One way you will discover your purpose and discover your entrepreneurial wings is through adversity.

You and I are designed to conquer our environment, solve problems and achieve personal goals.

We will find no real satisfaction in our daily life nor our entrepreneurial dream life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.

I draw for you a quote from a management text in my library that goes like this: “He who knows no hardship will know no power of endurance; he who faces no calamity will need no courage; mysterious though it is, the characteristics in human nature which we all love best grow in a soil with a strong mixture of troubles.”

George Bernard Shaw, the Irish dramatist, said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances.

The people who get ‘it’ in this are the ones who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”

Quite beautiful words that says eloquently to let   every stumbling block we encounter become a stepping stone.

Adversity is an opportunity to bring out the best in you.

Let this be our number one entrepreneurial rule: Can you stick it out when the going gets tough?

Whether conventional business, politics, military wars or entrepreneurial pursuit, we often hear the same message  repeated” “ Don’t give up the ship.”

Please remember, adversity is different for each of us. For some, it means not meeting the entrepreneurial goals we have set out.

For others, running out of money and not being able to make the new venture launch occur.

So I conclude with this final thought— when faced with adversity within the framework of your entrepreneurial dream, your first step might be to summon forth the courage and inspiration that came from your original vision.

You came to this place for personal change and challenge because of something you wanted to achieve in your life.

It was more than money and fame. You embraced your perception of the entrepreneurial dream out of a true passion.

So before you attempt to overcome your adversities, reach inside your heart and remember what got you going in the beginning.

I’m certain you will discover more about yourself than you could have possibly imagined.

Adversity is never permanent, but your passion for life, love and the entrepreneurial spirit can prevail.

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