You Must Have This to be a Successful Entrepreneur

“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” Edwin Louis Cole

If you’re anything like me, you hate to fail. But let’s face it, if you’re an entrepreneur, as much as we would like our business success to be a steady, upward trajectory, the true picture is more like a roller coaster ride. Stuff happens. We make mistakes. Other people make mistakes. Things outside of our control affect our business.

All business owners experience setbacks. The most successful entrepreneurs experience their fair share of failures and catastrophes as well. What separates the successful entrepreneurs from those who never realize their dreams boils down to one crucial factor: Resilience.

Pick an entrepreneur that you admire, and delve into their story. I’m willing to bet that at some point they encountered what appeared to be an insurmountable setback. An immovable obstacle. A gi-normous failure. And yet, they persevered.

What do you do when things go horribly wrong? When you get sucker punched and knocked down onto the floor? I’ll tell you what I do. I lie there and I feel sorry for myself. I tell myself I give up, that it’s impossible, that I can’t do this anymore. I blame myself and I blame everyone else. I wallow in it. Until I can’t stand myself another minute. That usually takes about an hour. But if the failure is huge enough, I can potentially wallow for a whole day or more.

And then something miraculous happens. A little glimmer of hope in a corner of my brain says, well, maybe, if I do this a little differently……, and I start to bounce back.The key here is to grab onto this glimmer of hope when it appears. If you smash it back down (and I know, it’s very tempting to do just that), and tell yourself not to fall for it, because another failure is just around the corner, then you’re sunk.

If at this point you’re a little worried that you might not be resilient enough to become a successful entrepreneur, you will be happy to know that you can learn to be more resilient.

Our thoughts create energy, energy creates our actions (or in-actions), and we can control our thoughts. When we first experience a failure or setback, we might feel a lot of self doubt, helplessness, and despair. When we are in the midst of blaming ourselves for something and feeling helpless and even apathetic towards changing it, we won’t take any action that will cause change. We will stay on the floor, knocked out of the game. Some people stay there indefinitely. They never bounce back.

But there are several ways that you can pick yourself up and get back in it. Below are three of them:

1. Get angry. Think of what really pisses you off about the situation, and feel that anger. While anger as a motivator is not positive and ultimately not sustainable, it does get your juices flowing enough to break the cycle of wallowing and start doing something about it. As long as you move beyond the anger and don’t allow yourself to become consumed by it, anger can be a good temporary solution.

2. Ask yourself the question: “can I bounce back from this?” Notice that I didn’t say to TELL yourself “I can bounce back from this.” While affirmations are helpful, they can take weeks to sink into your brain, and if you don’t really believe it, then it doesn’t do you much good. On the other hand, asking yourself if you can do it has a remarkable effect on your brain. Your natural tendency will be to search for an answer, and in that search for an answer, you will start looking for and discovering ways to bounce back.

3. Connect with your purpose. We all have a reason, a “why” we do what we do. If you understand what your deeper purpose is, then you will be able to motivate yourself to keep going. Your purpose is something you care deeply and feel passionate about. It doesn’t have to be noble or grand (although it can be). Spend some time exploring what your purpose is, and remind yourself of it every day. If you know your purpose, it will be the driving force behind what gets you out of bed in the morning, and it will keep you going through all of the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. Ultimately, it will drive you to succeed!

Donna Leyens Pumpkin Plan your BizWritten by:

Donna Leyens

1 reply
  1. Donna Leyens
    Donna Leyens says:

    We all have our own coping mechanisms. Please share your stories here of how you bounced back from a business set back or failure. Your story might help and inspire others to recover from their own tough situation!

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