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  • Want to be Successful? Turn Your Challenges into Assets

    27 July 2012

    Choosing the path to wallow in self-pity and disappointment has never led anyone to achieve their goals. When faced with a tough obstacle in either a personal or professional setting, throwing in the towel the minute a goal seems difficult to achieve or even downright impossible ensures failure 100% of the time.

    We’ve all heard the clichés only likely to actually motivate a high school kid facing a pile of homework: “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” “When one door closes, another one opens.” Eye-rolling aside, adopting the right mentality can be a vital asset. There is a specific characteristic that all successful entrepreneurs possess: “Logical positivity.”

    What is Logical Positivity?

    Life can’t be all sunshine and rainbows, and it would be absurd for any business owner to expect that. Logical positivity is the concept of living day-to-day with the mentality that every tough decision, obstacle, or bad news will bring you one step closer toward reaching your goal successfully. A superficial smile when the worst case scenario comes into reality is not the idea here. Being positive isn’t about pretending everything is fine by thinking things will work themselves out either; rather, it is taking a winning perspective over a self-defeating one to keep forward momentum on any project. It’s about accepting obstacles and using them as an advantage, not sweeping them under the rug.

    Many business owners succumb to incredible amounts of stress because they choose to crumble under tough situations rather than embrace the opportunity at hand. So, how does greeting a tough obstacle with open arms work to the advantage of the most successful? There are three clear reasons to adopt this mentality:

    1. Knowledge is Power

    Bad news, ugly results on product testing, negative consumer opinion, and surprise last-minute changes to vital aspects of the business can become true assets in the eyes of the right beholder. Armed with this information, a business is able to move forward with a much clearer knowledge of what exactly the consumer wants and does not want.

    2. Profit and Loss Saver

    Learning that consumers are uninterested in a certain product or service before a large amount of funds are directed at that initiative can be priceless to a business. Rather than hiding one’s head in the sand to the fact that an idea is blatantly losing money, the positive and logical business owner will stop the financial bleed and analyze exactly why an idea failed. A drain of funds serves as a concrete demonstration that there is something not working, and may serve to point out another approach that will work. At the very least, it will signal time to take a different approach rather than allowing the business to fail because of a defeated attitude.

    3. Beat the Competition

    A lack of fear in facing the music and making necessary changes can put a company leagues above the competition. Many times, proactively monitoring the circumstances facing a business and utilizing this information to swiftly alter a concept or business approach will beat out the competition before they even know they face an ugly obstacle.

    Bad news and good news alike, the most successful business owners embrace the information and use it to their advantage. Even after countless hours of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, when faced with a halting obstacle the only winning approach is to accept the reality of the situation and let the big information become an asset rather than a brick wall.

    If an obstacle arises and things simply cannot be mended, accepting then taking the new information to understand exactly why an idea failed is a major advantage when facing competition. It is unlikely that the competition has the same painstaking knowledge and may be facing the same certain fate. Using the facts to pivot in any given market offers a completely new opportunity to succeed.

    Another way to make the most of business-breaking information is to offer this helpful insight to the competition. Help the competition? Consider offering up the newfound knowledge to the competitors for a big payday down the road. A small business may not be able to have the sort of rebound needed to overcome this nasty obstacle, but the big guy may. Offer consultations with the competition to financially benefit you, all the while utilizing the information to better the market as a whole. Make lemonade out of lemons!

    Remember that the daunting new obstacle may have just saved large amounts of money by informing decision makers to choose an alternate business route. It could also be that holding a positive outlook on obstacles viewed as absolutely impossible may lead the business down a completely unanticipated path toward achieving success. Obstacles need not serve only as flashing, insurmountable roadblocks; they are also a unique opportunity to take advantage of a different approach.

    Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.

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    9 Responses to Want to be Successful? Turn Your Challenges into Assets

    1. Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon July 27, 2012 at 6:53 am #

      “Being positive isn’t about pretending everything is fine by thinking things will work themselves out either; rather, it is taking a winning perspective over a self-defeating one to keep forward momentum on any project. It’s about accepting obstacles and using them as an advantage, not sweeping them under the rug.”

      This has got to be the best definition of positivity I’ve heard. Great article altogether – but really liked that quote – exactly how I look at it!

    2. Adam Toren July 27, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      Thomas, Thanks for the comment. Yes, I’m glad you pulled that quote out as it is truly powerful and should be read regularly by us Entrepreneurs!

    3. Trent Dyrsmid July 27, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      Hey Adam,

      I couldn’t agree more that the mental game is 99% of the challenge. To keep my attitude in gear, I start each day early with exercise, and while I’m exercising, I think about what I’m thankful for. I also visualize all the things that I want to create in the future.

      To some, this may sound odd, but consider this: if you want to change your physical fitness, can you just go to the gym once?

      Hardly. Creating a physical transformation takes time and a consistent effort. A mental transformation is no different…except the impact on your life/business can be absolutely amazing.

      If you doubt that, just think about all the good things that you have in your life today. Guess what? All those things were at one time, just a thought in your mind!

      Cheers,
      Trent

    4. Paul Nyambe July 27, 2012 at 10:04 am #

      This is a powerful article Adam. Indeed challenges in business are another part of the game, but it is rather the entrepreneur’s job to always figure out a way to keep up in a forward momentum. Thanks for the reminder.

    5. Ann July 28, 2012 at 12:22 am #

      Yes Adam, cash flow is KING

    6. Jessica July 30, 2012 at 12:23 am #

      “Accepting obstacles and using them as an advantage, not sweeping them under the rug”. this is something everyone should keep in mind, find out the solution to the problem, just waiting isn’t positive approach ever as problems never solve automatically some movement is required to get rid of them.

    7. Segun Akiode July 30, 2012 at 5:52 am #

      Wow, Adam – ‘Logical positivity’ is new learning tool for me. “Logical positivity is the concept of living day-to-day with the mentality that every tough decision, obstacle, or bad news will bring you one step closer toward reaching your goal successfully.”
      Great post, thanks for sharing :-)

    8. Anna August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

      Spot on. I believe that whether or not you take on a challenge says a lot about your character. Sure, tasks can seem overwhelming and challenging at first, but often we gain much more from the struggle than we lose. Great points and an interesting way of looking at challenges. Thanks for sharing!

    9. Anton Volney May 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      50 Cent and Robert Greene talk about this in one of the chapters in their book. The chapter was called “Turn Shit Into Sugar.”

      I have also found personally that my biggest failures often come with the seeds of my biggest leap forward.

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