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Tough Times Need Tough Entrepreneurs

Tough times call for tough entrepreneurs and here is what you need to do in this hour of crisis.


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Deep Malhotra

3 years ago | 4 min read

Apocalypse now or it’s just another day…

“It’s the End of the World!” the news channel in the background announces the obvious, as he switches on his laptop to start his day 15 of work from home. The business has surely been slow since the last few quarters and with the epidemic slowly weaving a web around globally, the last month has reached its new low. The deadly virus in the air there looms uncertainty and darkness about the future.

As he waits for his machine to start, a large poster of the masked superhero stares at him with the quote “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”, trying to absorb the positive thought in the current dull scenario, he tries to reflect on the situation and what he can do differently to tide himself through:

Keep your word: In tough times when there is little value of things around, your word is the most valuable thing. It is easy to make an excuse and deny or delay commitments, but when you honor them you don’t just win trust you win the person. It is important you never break the trust of your team, customers or vendors in such times. And if you cannot keep your word because of some reason things didn’t go as per plan - make sure you communicate. And do not forget to make up for it later. In these times the true guide of life is to do what is fair.

Show grit: A story of building from scratch is always inspirational, but how you can survive the tough times with grit is what can inspire many more. In tough situations, it is your grit that is the differential factor. Because true grit is rewriting your story when you are being written off as then your comeback will be more impactful than how you started off. It is said battles are not won alone, but they also don’t end until the last man is standing. In the end, when it's over and when you look into the mirror, it will reflect the result that you achieved with your grit.

Take the risk: When the going is tough many shy away from taking the risk. A pessimist always sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. It is an opportunity when there is less competition around. At times like this, you need to choose between going ahead and do the unusual or just settle and be ordinary. You need to exit the herd mentality and its comfort zone and be uncomfortable for a while. You never can tell when bad luck may turn out into good luck. But also, once you have reached stability, there is no point being carried away and it may prove prudent to be cautious and safe to sustain yourself to the level you have achieved then. So, it is important to know when to stand back and when to move forward in such times.

Inaction hurts more: In building a business in rough times, you find yourself in many tough situations where too much time and money is wasted before realizing what is broken, and how it can be fixed. It isn’t important to be right all the time, but it is important how quickly you can right your wrong when you see it. Often in bad times, the business is stuck between the difficult choice of letting go or changing the path. More often than not entrepreneurs who are in self-denial mode tend to stick around with a broken model even when they know it isn’t going anywhere because it is difficult to put their hands up and say that this isn’t working. Sometimes letting go can be the bravest thing you can do and sometimes pivoting your business model can save it. Statistically, bad decisions are only the second biggest reason for failure, the first is indecisiveness.

Failure is part of the game: If you have never failed, you have never been tested, and then you haven't seen your best yet. A setback is only an opportunity for you to come back stronger. And at the time of failure it's not your fans, but the critics that will help you keep moving ahead, never ignore them. You might get written off by your critics, but in times like these, you need to need to be the rock you always sought and be the strongest when you feel weakest. Ultimately when the process of building the business gives you a bigger high than the success of it, you realize that getting to success isn’t the goal, to keep going is, without loss of enthusiasm.

As the entrepreneur clicks back to reality with the startup sound of the laptop, getting hold of the stark reality that he is ready to face. He opens his bank website to transfer salaries to his team who have been home for the last two weeks under the threat of the virus and maybe will be at home even longer. But that won’t deter him from doing what is fair and stand by his people. It may be the end of the world as we know it, but he feels fine because he isn’t waiting for a messiah to come and save him. In fact, he questions: What if the messiah that you all are waiting for is counting on you to save the situation?

Is it just another day?

There might be some tough times ahead for the global economy and we all secretly waiting for a saviour in this situation. But what if the saviour that we all are waiting for is counting on you to save the situation?

This article was originally published by Deep malhotra on YourStory.

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