“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”— Winston Churchill
Mr. Churchill must have been referring to entrepreneurs who, despite all the tough times they go through to build a business, do not seem to tire pursuing their goals to succeed. Their constant struggle in the very competitive world of business does not faze them.
So what does it take to be an entrepreneur?
One outstanding quality of a real entrepreneur is that he does not easily give up or back out. He believes that success does not depend on the number of setbacks he suffers but on how many times he bounces back to attain his goal.
Among the many obstacles that entrepreneurs have to face are:
1. They are oft times taken for granted by others because of their age. Either they are too young or too old to be taken seriously.
2. Their opinions are either too idealistic (they stick too close to the norm of business ethics); or too unrealistic (they come up with ground-breaking innovations).
3. They are faced with uncertainties and doubts. Sometimes their family and friends make matters worse with their pessimistic predictions.
4. They may make wrong or unsound decisions that adversely affect their investment.
5. They may lack certain skills or expertise to meet situations that come up unexpectedly.
Being very optimistic in their outlook, entrepreneurs overcome these struggles with the following strategies:
1. They are not afraid to take calculated risks. They are aware that any business carries a certain degree of risk so they try to anticipate them by having plan A or Plan B to back them up in case they fail the first time. They do not allow failures to paralyze them in taking decisive actions if necessary.
2. They know how to learn from their mistakes. They do not consider these setbacks as failures but hard lessons to learn from so they are not repeated in the future.
3. They never stop learning, alone by reading books or by attending seminars relevant to their businesses.
4. They believe that “no man is an island” in the business world. They value relationships with their fellow entrepreneurs and clients. They are open to suggestions and constructive criticisms.
5. They participate actively in commercial events that may provide them with the right and valuable exposures for their business.
Entrepreneurship is an ongoing state of life. Reaching the top is not the end for entrepreneurs. They have to maintain that position so they cannot afford to be complacent or remain static. Competition is an endless struggle in the world of business and they can easily slide down the ladder of success.
Nevertheless, real entrepreneurs are always up to this challenge. They know that these risks are what keep them grounded and bring out the best in them.
Now, if that is not optimism, I do not know what is!