5 Ways to Overcome Adversity.

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Every entrepreneur encounters adversity. It’s an inevitable part of the risk-reward equation that comes with this career choice. The question is not if you will face adversity, it is how you face and overcome it.

Adversity comes in any number of ways: an unexpected downturn in the economy, a business decision that doesn’t pan out or some external factor that negatively impacts your enterprise’s operation. Use these proven strategies to effectively deal with adversity:

1.Re-visit your passion. Adversity, whatever form it arrives in, usually brings with it a huge emotional impact. It can stop you dead in your tracks. Its partners are frustration, anger and denial, any of which can lead to a negative spiral. When you sense these emotions taking over, take a step back. Think about your reasons for becoming an entrepreneur. Review the steps you have accomplished so far. Remind yourself of the success you have achieved. Above all, put the current situation into its proper perspective: another issue to deal with on your path to success. Re-build your courage and your commitment. This is what entrepreneurship is all about.

2. Face the facts. As a business owner you have a bias for action, but continuing to implement ideas or activities that aren’t producing desired results is a recipe for disaster. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Is your business achieving its desired outcomes? If not, why? No matter the cause, being aware of both expected and actual results is the starting point of dealing with adversity. Getting to the facts, rather than avoiding reality, is the first step to overcoming adversity.

3. Clarify your situation. Less than stellar results can come from any number of business-related issues, areas or factors. They can stem from specific impact points. You need to clearly and objectively identify the source of the problem(s). Is this an external factor you had no control over? Is this an internal area that hasn’t worked out as planned? Is this a business decision, made with the best of intentions, that hasn’t worked as anticipated? Adversity often arrives as a huge wall that overwhelms and incapacitates. Work your way back, focusing on the individual criteria that created the situation. Focus brings clarity, clarity creates direction, direction fuels action.

4. Revise your plan. Determining a fact-based perspective is the single biggest step in overcoming adversity. Re-visiting your business plan and revising it to accommodate your current situation allows you to become more objective about the requirements for future success. Once your situation and its options have been set to paper, you can focus on the required actions or resources. This new tool acts as a barometer for current conditions, feeds your confidence and can be shared with others to gain input and feedback. Adversity is an indicator of a need for change. Confirming what you need to change, clarifying it as part of your plan and committing to positive action will dissipate adversity’s impact.

5. Redouble your efforts. Now that you have dealt with adversity’s emotional impact, clarified the realities of your situation and the reasons for it, and revised your plan to accommodate your current and future needs, it’s time to get to work. Adversity will always be a part of your entrepreneurial environment. Focused activity that uses adversity as part of gaining experience will always re-build confidence and accelerate results.

NOTE: Use adversity to your advantage by:
• Not wasting time and effort on its emotional content.
• Focusing on the facts of your adversity.
• Improving your planning.
• Committing to results-focused action.

Are you dealing with adversity? You are not alone. Let’s talk. Email me at info@NetworkingForResults.com with “adversity” in the subject line. I can help.


Michael Hughes is known as THE Networking Guru. To find out more about him and receive a complimentary copy of his ebook “Managing the Networking Experience,” visit his web site at www.NetworkingForResults.com.

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