As a Thrivetime Show business coach, I see my clients overcome adversity every day, every week, month after month. Sometimes the adversity is something as simple as isolating the objection during a killer sale. Other times, it can be a challenge such as navigating the economic trials coming from the coronavirus pandemic. Either way, if you are an entrepreneur, you know you are no stranger to trials and adversity. However, the reward is greater for that reason. As an entrepreneur, you know you have to get creative on how you push through that adversity. In order to give a little bit of motivation for my business coach clients, I thought it might be helpful and optimistic to make a list of entrepreneurs, rainmakers, and cultural shakers who faced adversity and came out on the other side.
1. Isaac Newton
During the plague of London, Sir Isaac Newton made discoveries at Cambridge University during the social distancing required to help fight the spread of the plague. He made lemonade from lemons. He overcame adversity by turning to the thing he loved, math and science. Because of that, he changed the world as we know it.
2. Sarah Blakely
At one point in her life, Sarah Blakely was afraid of rejection. She was afraid to be told “No” again and wanted everything to avoid another door being slammed in her face. Before founding Spanx, she was a door-to-door fax machine salesman. Sarah Blakely recalls crying in her car, lying to her boss about being on a sales call to avoid, just one more rejection. Learning how to overcome this adversity she faced, she became fearless when pursuing her solution to the problem that we now have as Spanx.
3. Oprah Winfrey
From a traumatic, abusive, poverty stricken childhood, Oprah Winfrey overcame MAJOR adversity to build the media empire we now know and love. Oprah finally became America’s first black millionaire due to hard work, persistence and her will to play the cards that she was dealt better than anyone else. That, is overcoming adversity.
4. Warren Buffett
Everyone thought Warren Buffett was crazy when he continued to purchase stocks in the global credit crisis of 2008. His quote sticks out to me particularly this week when he said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” Warren Buffett made 99% of his wealth after his 50th birthday because of his ability to overcome adversity.
Ultimately, the challenges we will face in months to come are unknown at the moment. One thing I do know as a business coach is that entrepreneurs are no stranger to adversity. Another thing I know, entrepreneurs are also no stranger to overcoming adversity. Life gives you lemon-ona-virus, make lemonade.