The Entrepreneur’s Playbook: How Much Can You Take

There are countless problems and challenges that an entrepreneur must face in the normal course of running a business. No matter how well you run your business, and no matter how well you try to mitigate these problems and challenges, there is no escaping them. Stuff happens.

If you aren’t happy with the problems and challenges that occur in the normal course of business, your unhappiness will grow as your business grows. Problems grow larger, and they grow in number.

  • You are going to experience periods of slow growth, and potentially financial losses. Some of these challenges will be caused by mistakes and miscalculations you have made as an entrepreneur and leader. Some of the challenges and problems you experience will be caused by factors outside of your control. You do not have to like slow growth or losses, but these are normal occurrences in business.
  • You are going to experience customers who do not value you as a business partner, and in the worst case, as a human being. They will work inside companies with dominator hierarchies, and they will treat you poorly. This will occur in the normal course of business, and all that will be left for you to decide is if you are willing and able to fire your nightmare client.
  • You will have key employees become disgruntled and leave. You will have other key employees poached by your competitors. Occasionally, you will have an employee that believes they can run a better business than you can, and that employee will leave and start a company doing exactly what you taught them to do.
  • You will have competitors steal some of your best clients. In some cases, you will have become complacent and neglected the client, essentially driving them into your competitor’s arms. In other cases, your competitors will make promises that you can’t keep, and promises they can’t keep. But they will win the business nonetheless, no matter whether or it is fair.
  • At some point, you are likely to have an employee you trusted steal money. You are also likely to have a lawsuit or two. You are absolutely going to have to pay more taxes than you would like to pay. You are also going to comply with government mandates with which you do not agree.

You never have to feel good about any of these things. They are not pleasant occurrences, and they never feel good. That said, you should not be overly upset, discouraged, or defeated by the things that occur in the normal course of running any business.

The growth of your business is limited by how much you are willing to deal with complicated business problems, issues, and challenges, without becoming overly emotional, and without giving up. These are all choices that we all make on a regular basis in business.  Do we choose to continue, despite the challenges we have no control over, or do we give up? Success often hinges upon how much we can take.

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