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Adversity and Tenacity

May 3, 2010 5 comments

Rocky BalboaOne of the true tests of any startup team comes not when everything is going well, but when there are bumps in the road. Over the course of time, I’ve come to believe that the best entrepreneurs have an innate ability to deal with whatever adversity comes their way. When a challenge arises, instead of feeling self-doubt or casting blame or giving up, they seem to have a way to absorb the “body blow” and turn it into energy to move the business forward. In the words of Nietzsche, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

The best entrepreneurs see an obstacle in front of them, and don’t sit and think about the size of the obstacle in front of them. Instead, they immediately start thinking about how to go around, over or through the obstacle, without even worrying about the size. This tenacity is a really critical attribute of almost any entrepreneur. In fact, I think one of the reasons some of us like startups is that there’s a new puzzle put in front of you every day to solve. One day it’s hiring, another day it’s a partnership issue, but every day there are challenges and when you throw customers in the mix, the puzzle gets even more complex.

Startups are always a struggle. If it were easy, someone else would’ve done it before you. I find it’s important to celebrate the victories and learn from the defeats, but to not get too high or too low as you continue on your path.