Roll With The Punches

Trouble and strife-just how well do you handle them?
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This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Your ability to handle adversity may matter more than an innovative product or key opportunity, according to Gideon Markman, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Markman recently studied and measured the adversity quotient (AQ) of 200 patent inventors and found their responses to adversity made all the difference between success and failure.

An AQ is simply the measurable pattern of how individuals respond to adversity of all types. If you retreat from problems rather than meet them head-on, your AQ is probably pretty low. AQ scores range from 40 to 200, with 147.5 being the international average.

The good news is, your AQ can be improved. AQ improvement workshops are offered around the country. So the next time adversity strikes, don't shrink back; learn how to move forward.


Ellen Paris is a Washington, DC, writer and former Forbes magazine staff writer.


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Edition: July 2017

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