Want to be Successful? Turn Your Challenges into Assets

By on July 27, 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.

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Adam Toren

About Adam Toren

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.