How to Overcome Adversity

Carol Forden How to Overcome Adversity  Life is streaming along at a fast pace; the family is healthy, the kids are doing well, involved in extracurricular activities and getting good grades in school.  Everyone seems to be doing well.

The business you founded is ramping up after overcoming a significant setback that would have put most our of business.

Then out of the blue, your business partner goes bad. Granted there were plenty of signs that he was up to something. However you thought he was a team player and found out the hard way, he wasn’t.

What do you do?  Everything you worked for, your life savings are invested into the business.

The business partner [who is  3rd generation inherited millionaire who had never built a business before] wanted to force the company into a 363 bankruptcy with him as the stalking horse.  He had no experience in the industry and was an investor.

He had no clue how to run the business and had dollar signs for eyeballs.

The company had begun to scale with national retail distribution in almost every national retailers and was in the thick of out license talks with the #1 consumer products company in the world and one of Warren Buffet portfolio company’s.

The out license upfront fees could have been worth multi-millions.

The company still had several hurdles to overcome and needed to deploy its marketing plan in full before national retail stocking was completed and complete the out licensing agreements.

Driving demand is critical for any product, be it a new product launch or a line extension.  No retailer wants a ‘dead’ product on their shelves, taking up valuable shelf space that does not return a profit.

No retailer wants a ‘dead’ product on their shelves, taking up valuable shelf space that does not return a profit.

No out license partner wants to get caught up in an internal company or partner issue.  These actions destroy trust which is a must for any

These actions destroy trust which is a must for any potential partenrship.

This was my first real experience and hopefully my last experience with a  “business divorce,” that cleaned me out financially and left me liable for the actions of this partner.

Carol Forden How to Overcome Adversity

How Do You Recover?

To overcome adversity, you need to have the stamina to stand through the storm.

You must be unshakeable in your ethics and integrity even in moments of uncertainty and brutal attacks on your character. Along with the ensuing legal battle against an unethical attorney representing a dishonest business partner.

Overcoming adversity isn’t impossible.  There are critical steps that you should take as you are moving through the event and recovery:

  • Surround yourself with supportive people

    Be careful with the people you surround yourself with. These individuals will impact your mood and your outlook on current events and life overall. When you are in a heightened state, both emotionally and physically, it’s important to have good people who are supportive and encouraging around you. You want individuals who are ethical and with high integrity to be available.

    By nature, we tend to conform to those around us. Conformity is the change of behavior caused by another individual or group of people.

    When experiencing adversity, it’s imperative that your inner circle reflect your values, ethics, and integrity.

    Overcoming adversity can be a challenge; when you have a supportive team helping you move forward, it’s much easier to keep pushing through.

  • Start investing in yourself. 

    There is no greater investment than the investment in your personal development. Experiencing adversity is a great excuse for people to slack off and take charge of their lives.

    We all face adversity in some way, every day.  Some days its far worse than you could have ever imagined.  Why one individual succeeds and comes through adversity and another does not is how they deal with it.  Some of us will allow challenges to defeat us.

    What we need to focus on is developing into a stronger and wiser individual because of the challenge. Developing your internal world is the beginning of the comeback.  It’s about starting that momentum moving forward rather than backward.

  • Stop making excuses

    When we’re afraid of the future and the unknown we tell ourselves lies and excuses, it’s an easy trap to fall into.  What will you do next?  How will you support your family?

    It’s easy to set yourself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy with your thoughts and they can either defeat you or lead you to new opportunities.

    To achieve your dreams, it will be because you made the decision to be proactive and move forward.  To take on new opportunities and rebuild your life. This moment in time does not define you; it is a learning lesson and how you employ this lesson is what will define you.

    Excuses can define you and limit your opportunities and outlook. Have the courage to do what seems impossible; you conquer excuses by taking this step and overcome the mental hurdle that is self-inflicted.  To hustle and start again.  There are bigger and better things in your future; you just need to open your eyes to the possibilities.

  • Write

    There is something therapeutic in writing down your thoughts. Regardless of the length of your journal entries are, the process of writing down events, feelings and more allows you to reflect. There are many benefits to writing:

    • Allows for self-expression
    • Help give feedback about your life
    • Allows you to comprehend the current situation
    • Allows you to think outside the box
    • Allows you to reflect and plan
    • Allows you to see missed opportunities that you can capitalize upon

    Whatever emotions, feelings or thoughts come to mind, write it down. Writing in a journal helps you overcome adversity and move forward.  Consider it a purge that allows you to think clearly.

  • Let each success energize you

    Let every success no matter how small lead you.  You are empowered and setting yourself up for greater victories. You cannot be enslaved by disappointments and set backs.

    Accept that every disappointment is is a step forward in your destiny and no matter how bad things are today, you are destined for greater things.

    The greater the adversity, the greater the bounce back.  You are motivated to recover both emotionally and financially and will if you empower yourself.  Your skill sets have been enhanced by how you handled yourself professionally throughout this ordeal.  You this as motivation to move on and prove others of this fact.

  • Believe in your skill sets and yourself

    This isn’t the first time you’ve experienced a setback nor will it be the last.  This may be far worse than anything you’ve experienced to date. However, it will make your stronger.

    Mentally and enhance your skill set; you will learn from this experience and never repeat the same mistakes.  You have survived every hardship you’ve had to date and will survive this. In the past, you have found the strength to overcome adversity, maybe not at the same scale.  However, there is no reason to think you won’t be able to do the same this time.

    Write out a list of past adverse events and how you overcame them.  Then write out a list of your successes, and you’ll see that you are far more resilience than you may have realized.

  • Look Forward and Focus on the future

    Learn from the past and rapidly shift to applying those lessons to the future.

    • The past cannot be changed, so lingering on it serves no purpose. The future holds opportunity and real possibility.

  • Refuse to quit

    Giving up and quitting solves nothing. Anyone who wants to improve their current circumstances has to go through a personal struggle of some kind. Remember, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.  There are many benefits of moving forward and gaining resolve, inner personal strength.

The Lessons Learned

The lesson I learned is that if you do is go into a partnership with anyone or a group of people everyone needs to bring something different to the table, a different skill. Someone may be good at technology. Someone else may be good at sales. Another good at manufacturing and you may be good at accounting.

If they don’t bring a skill, then they don’t add incremental value above and beyond the money they were contributing, and the money isn’t worth it; DO NOT allow them into your company.

Bottom line I just wouldn’t do it.  Their greed and need for control will outweigh any potential benefit.

The Future Holds Great Opportunity…

As entrepreneurs, we are a strong and risk takers, or we would not have leaped on faith in our abilities.  You did it once; you can do it again.   We all have a dreamer inside of us. Nothing is impossible if we are willing to persist and persevere.  Tenacity is a skill of the strong willed.

No one can stop you; anything is possible if we are willing to hustle and persevere.  Persistence and determination are the hallmarks of a true entrepreneur.

The secret of champions is overcoming adversity. By adopting the right mindset, not accepting “no” for an answer, or accepting excuses, and being energized by success, you can overcome anything that life has to throw at you.

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