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Q: What are your tips for dealing with unexpected events that tend to happen when you're starting up that may cause you to scramble?
- Jordan Bowerman
A: Regardless of how well you prepare, there will always be setbacks when you’re launching a business from scratch.
That’s why it is so important to start small and prove an idea in the marketplace first. This way, you can more easily pivot and adapt. Unforeseen circumstances are inevitable, so rather than being scared of them, here are three tips for confronting them head on:
1. Adopt a growth mindset. No matter what happens to your business once you hit the market, believe that everything is a chance for you and your business to learn something new. Too often, young entrepreneurs run from obstacles, rather than recognizing tough times as opportunities for growth. You don’t have control over everything that happens, but you do have 100 percent control of what meaning you give those events. Ask yourself, 'How can we learn from this? And how can we provide more value to our customers based off of this information?'
2. Map out different scenarios. How many sales-per month would you need to break even over six months? A year? Two years? How would you use $150,000 of funding if you had it in month one? I would try to think through ten different scenarios and make your best guesses as to how you would handle them. Make sure to come up with situations on all ends of the spectrum.
3. Be excited for the unknown and unexpected. Many times it is the unexpected events that reveal an opportunity for a game changer in the marketplace. If you are excited for these unknown and unexpected events, you will be in a better position to capitalize on them. We live in a world that is constantly changing and we can never plan for everything, but we can be enthusiastic about future opportunities.
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Joshua Medcalf is an entrepreneur who founded Train to be CLUTCH, a business and life consultancy through which he works with top performers all over the world from many different professions. Medcalf has created some of the first mental training apps in the world for soccer, basketball and golf and started a nonprofit that trains athletes in one of the toughest housing projects near his home in Los Angeles. He is also the director of mental training for UCLA women’s basketball. And when time permits, he travels around the country doing workshops for a variety of business, sports and school groups.