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Adversity is an old wooden ship

Oh wait – Diversity is an old wooden ship. Right? Thank you, Will Ferrell for that gem.

So many GREAT entrepreneurs have the ability to overcome adversity. Problems arrive on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. The folks that can overcome powerful odds against them, are the ones that succeed. Having a great team and support system always helps. But the truth is, it comes from within. No one can ever have sympathy or empathy for an entrepreneur going through struggles.

Recently, Finish Line Shell Repair went through a serious ordeal that caused me to have sleepless nights, a depleting bank account and the inability to have FUN at anything. I felt alone. I spoke to about a dozen people that experienced similar events but they could never truly relate. I heard one person say “luck has you beat?” Man, did that really strike a chord! It’s true. I thought for so many weeks that it was all bad luck. That I was in this situation because luck was against me and there was nothing I could do about it. When that gets planted in the head of an entrepreneur – you better walk away because he/she will COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN. They won’t listen to a word you say and won’t accept any advice…because no advice in the world can help BAD LUCK.

Luck wasn’t the problem. I wasn’t seeing the problem as reality. I was seeing it as a disaster.

I looked up the definition of Adversity and there wasn’t a single word in that definition that I did not feel. Pain. Suffering. Disaster. Misery. It was terrible.

I was probably the last person you wanted to spend time with. One of my biggest strengths, I have found through this tough time, is my ability to get through the difficult times and laugh adversity in the face. Was it easy? No. Did the employees at Finish Line want to strangle me? Absolutely. I attempted to keep my cool as best as possible and in the end we forged ahead and became a stronger company. I became a stronger man.

The best leaders are the ones that can keep their cool in the face of adversity. They are the ones that when the shit hits the fan, they maintain their posture, their control and face the problem instead of cowering away. It’s so easy to be on the bottom – it doesn’t take any effort any drive. But it calls on everything in you to be on top – you have to harness your WILL and say “I am going to challenge myself! I am going to make it!”

We made it.