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Why True Entrepreneurs View Setbacks as Opportunities

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For entrepreneurs, failure is the frustration of a desire or objective not being accomplished. It is the breach or impossibility of carrying out a project in which we had invested our will, effort, thoughts, or feelings.

This situation puts the entrepreneur in front of his existential limits and makes him aware of the chiaroscuro of life. It is an experience that can undoubtedly lead to condemnation or hopelessness.

But it can also be a path of redemption, so that failure can eventually become a personal achievement. 

Here we see a setback with other eyes: as a possibility of maturation and authenticity. Personal analysis is always deficient, about the fact that any retrospective exploration – that one does between a stage that closes and another that opens – accumulates failures and errors.

What people call success is nothing more than a certain triumph that has social resonance, and many times you wonder what price you have had to pay to reach that circumstance. Accomplished entrepreneurs, on the other hand, failure, which means that something has not gone as we wanted, can be a lever for personal growth. That means that from adversity, the greatest good can be extracted.

We have seen people succeed too young and then, in a short time, that victory has become a real defeat. On the other hand, there are defeats that, when well assumed, become genuine victories over time.

There are countless examples of entrepreneurs who have battled through setbacks only to emerge successful and victorious in their domain on the other side. They have led exemplary characters, portrayed in their lives, which remained the basis of their success. One thing that remains quite common in their examples is that they have all faced and dealt with difficulties of every magnitude in their entrepreneurship cycle.

Setbacks in business are what make you grow as a person. Setbacks teach what success hides. It is the lucidity of the loser, the clarity of learning that life is the great teacher, who teaches more than many books. We live in a culture where having fun has become a supreme value, where you have to silence what disturbs, worries, or anguish because that is in bad taste.

It is understood then, within this light cultural environment, that defeats are little less than pathologies, unacceptable diseases, unacceptable depressing experiences that must be silenced or hidden because they are ashamed and scandalized.

Setbacks and traumas are inseparable parts of life, and only with courage do they face them. In the ancient world, there was a poly-aesthetic expression, which was the art of fortification in war. Strength is the virtue of those who endure and resist.

The key is to design life for long distances: “It is necessary to have a long vision of the existential play. Weak will use speeches and theories, while strong ones translate it into coherent and positive acts.” The lucidity of the loser consists, in short, of not despair in the face of adversity, accepting that one can open new horizons of meaning and personal conquest in their business venture.

Our personal conclusion is that all of the above are relative truths, but what is one hundred percent true is that every crisis “can be transformed” into an opportunity if we really propose it. This is how business works and has worked for everyone.

Many times we find ourselves in disgust with some things in our life, but it is hard for us to break habits, venture beyond the comfort zone. Change is not easy for anyone. But, when we reach a limit, crisis situations, we are driven out of the comfort zone while “freeing ourselves” from old ties. It’s like a bird. They push out of the nest.

And, it is in that context where we can either sink or strive to see the favorable side of the matter and transform the reverse into an opportunity, taking advantage of the energy that this “jolt” gives us and the new freedom it offers us.

It is the only way we can get stronger from crises. If, on the contrary, we remain in the position of “victim” – although we really are – we weaken. We can all give examples of our lives in which, if the circumstances had not pushed us a little, we probably would not have moved from where we were, even if we felt stuck or hopeless.

We can also delve into the biography of famous “resilient” characters, who not only rebuilt themselves from the setbacks suffered but were capable of incredible feats. To name just a few and random: Warren Buffet, Jack Ma, Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and many other anonymous “heroes” that will never go down in history.

Some may think that your case “is different.” Let me tell you that this is a fairly common self-deception to justify ourselves in inaction, to avoid risks and efforts that we are not willing to make.

Complaining is easier than acting, but is it profitable in the long term?

Suggested homework:

Have you ever tried to turn a setback into an opportunity in business? When?

Could you give examples of people who have succeeded in transforming difficult positive circumstances in business? They can be people close to you or about whom you have read or heard.

Is there currently a difficult situation in your life that you would like to be able to convert into something positive, an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and grow? If so, how do you imagine you could do it? Search two or three different ways, with concrete examples of action.

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