Oklahoma Tornado Puts “Challenge” into Perspective

I just wrote about the challenges of being a solopreneur for a guest post (to be published later this week on ReflectingGainmindshare.com). As I watch and read the news coverage of the Oklahoma City area twister, however, the hurdles and obstacles that I’ve touched on seem incredibly small and insignificant by comparison.

Reality check.
While most challenges we face as solopreneurs are foreseeable, there will always be the unexpected and unimaginable. Disasters can strike and they don’t care about how well you’ve written your business plan; they don’t care that you just signed on your biggest client ever; they don’t care if your website ranks on the first page of Google or whether you’ve got 2 or 200,000 followers on Twitter. Disasters happen to struggling people and to successful people. They can happen to anyone.

Be appreciative.
I don’t mean to freak you out or make you feel like disaster is inevitable, but I do ask you to recognize that there is so very much in this world that is not within our control. Despite preparedness, some turns of events are bigger than we are. I think it’s important for us to realize that and to be grateful for all that we have – no matter how imperfect or unpolished – each and every day.

Please keep your hearts with those in Oklahoma as they deal with challenges that are far beyond what most of us will ever encounter.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fortune Cookie Friday: “You Will Be Fortunate In Every Thing.”

Fortune Cookie Friday has returned! And with it, more profound business advice from within those folded confections we all love to crack open after a nice pint of chicken lo mein.

 

“You Will Be Fortunate In Every Thing.”

My last Fortune Cookie Friday post focused on how to facilitate and attract “good news”. But sometimes, despite your best efforts and intentions, you’ll find yourself faced with less than positive responses and results.

Success is never “a given”, and you’re bound to encounter a few occasional steps backward before your business continues to move forward. Setbacks can be a thorn in the solopreneur’s side. They can distract you from providing the quality your clients deserve. They can deflate your self-confidence and stamina.

They can do those detrimental things and more, but they don’t have to. Not if you don’t let them.

Your attitude toward adversity in business can do more than make you difficult or easy to deal with day in and day out. It can also affect your future success. If you view even negative experiences as learning opportunities, you truly will be fortunate in every thing. That type of open mindedness allows you to objectively take stock of situations that seem hopeless so you can:

  • Dissect them to figure out what went wrong.
  • Identify why they went wrong.
  • Determine if you can do something to avoid the issue again in the future.
  • Make your business stronger by taking action and making changes.

Turning lemons into lemonade is a skill set that all entrepreneurs should practice daily. Although none of us want to roll out the red carpet for bitter experiences, challenges do have a sweet side – after you acquire a taste for them!

How do  you deal with setbacks in your business? How have your failures or challenges helped you move upward and onward?

Don’t Give Up! – Fortune Cookie Friday Post

It wasn’t too long ago that one of my Fortune Cookie Friday posts focused on persistence as a key characteristic of solopreneurs and small business owners. This week’s nugget of wisdom from within my fortune cookie centers on a similar quality…

“It is not in your character to give up.”

If anyone tells you it’s a breeze to be an entrepreneur, they’re flat out lying to you. It can be fulfilling beyond anything else you’ve ever done professionally, but it’s hard work. Times get tough and there will be moments when you think – if only for a fleeting moment – of throwing in the towel. But as a solopreneur, “It is not in your character to give up.”

So many variables can plant the seed of self-doubt when you’re building a business.

  • Competition
  • Long hours
  • Clients with unreasonable expectations
  • Marketing challenges
  • Financial constraints
  • Prohibitive regulations

All challenges deserve your time in evaluating how they’ll shape your business’s future, but don’t ever enter into assessing them with the thought that you might give up. Instead, view obstacles as hurdles, not road blocks.

Hurdles can be jumped over.

Road blocks stop you short.

After doing due diligence, the possibility exists that a challenge will be deemed insurmountable. But don’t ever adopt an attitude of expecting that to happen. When up against adversity, tell yourself: “It is not in your character to give up,” before you research to find if  you’re faced with a hurdle or a road block.

What small business hurdles challenge your positivity? Have any obstacles ever shaken your confidence as an entrepreneur?