I believe an entrepreneur’s journey is more unique than the average journey. It involves many events that will try to break you and destroy you. Are you up for the challenge? Most entrepreneurs do not allow adversity to get to them; they have faced it head on. It isn’t easy when there are multiple people and entities against you, but you still decide to keep going. There have been many moments in my life where it was 50 against one, and I had to believe that somehow, the truth would prevail and shock everyone. It usually does, and this is part of the conditioning that comes with leadership. Most leaders can’t be good leaders unless they have faced a tremendous amount of adversity. They had to go through events that completely destroyed them to challenge them and see if they can come out the other side. These challenges are what ultimately build character and the core values important as an entrepreneur.
Here are a few tips I have learned along the way:
Transcending is a superpower
Many people didn’t understand me on this journey. They didn’t appreciate or know me for who I really was—that was the most painful experience to go through. People will have their own narrative of you. They have their projects, and sometimes, you are the person to blame for everything. This was often the case for me. Too many people didn’t understand who I was. I always wondered why and how I could fix it. The truth was that I wasn’t going to fix anyone’s else perspective on me, but I had to keep going. Eventually, the truth would prevail. This is where transcending worked in my favor. When I kept flourishing into the person I was meant to be, people began to see they made a mistake. They realized they misjudged me. That is the problem with intellectuality these days. We tend to judge too quickly, and then when we find that the person is capable of so much more, we regret our judgments. When you keep going, people will realize they lost something good, and you were right all along.
Always take ten steps forward
I often had to always think on my feet. When plans didn’t go my way and something completely unpredictable transpired, it was time to think ahead. I would have to think of ways to get myself out of the mess I was in. I would also have to create many plans, so I had many different paths to turn down if one didn’t work out in my favor. For example, I remember when I was suddenly hit with a lost deal at my company that I had been counting on for four years. It got to the end of the funnel, and they decided not to move forward. It was the most devastating year because we were all counting on the revenue. I immediately contacted the first three companies I knew would help us meet our company goals and who would also value the service. They were not as big as the deal we lost, but they made up for most of it. The smaller deals closed faster, and we were able to make ends meet. This is why it is important to have multiple plans created before executing one and hoping it will work out. They say, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
You always need to be vigilant about people’s next move. For example, my dad passed away, and I knew people were going to start claiming things that were not theirs. I had to make a move before anyone else when it came to anything that belonged to my father. I already started working with an attorney prior to anything going forward, so I had a head start. Most people wait until the last minute; this gives people a chance to get their act together before you. My advice is to always be executing, no matter what. You will stay ahead of the crowd.
As an entrepreneur, we are hit with so many different decisions—it is unreal. Once we deal with our circumstances, we always wonder why things happened a certain way. I call this the web effect. We go in so many different directions, looking for an event’s silver lining to help us understand why we went through it. In most cases, it is tough, and you may not even know why until years down the road. This has been the case for many of my losses in the past two years. I always wondered why me and why now. I was always a curious cat who wanted to know the silver lining and how things were connected to the big picture. The truth is, sometimes, we just never know why things are the way they are. When you look back, you can connect the dots and try to make sense of certain circumstances that changed your life.
As an entrepreneur, it is important to prepare yourself for the unknown. It is an adventure and a journey. It will take time to go through obstacles and discover who you really are. In the end, you will see how adversity has changed you for the better. It is truly a gift in disguise that gets everyone deeply wondering why and why them.