New Year, New Vertical..? How A Fresh Perspective Can Aid Entrepreneurs As They Get Started On 2024 The new year, with its blank canvas, offers a chance for a reset.

By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Have you heard about a psychological concept called "learned helplessness"? I became aware of this term only recently, but it essentially refers to a condition in which an individual, after experiencing a number of negative events outside of their control, has learned to believe that they have little or no control over their environment. As a result, they find themselves in an almost constant state of despair, and they feel powerless in the face of any adversity that might come their way.

2023 has now come to an end, and for those of us who have found the past year to be quite a tumultuous one, whether for reasons inherent to yourself, or for factors pertaining to the state of the world right now, I think it's fair to say that learned helplessness is a phenomenon that we need to be wary of as we step into 2024. And this is especially true for entrepreneurs, whose journeys -while expected to be a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows- can weigh heavily on their spirits when faced with one setback too many.

The new year, with its blank canvas, thus offers a chance for a reset- and forging ahead, despite of everything, is almost certainly the best way to combat learned helplessness. So, rather than dwelling on what went wrong with your business plan, how about spending your time figuring out an entirely different revenue stream? Maybe it's worth looking into a new vertical to pad on to whatever you have been already offering. Or perhaps the golden ticket idea is to be found in an avenue that has been hitherto unexplored.

At the end of the day, it's worth remembering that a founder's journey is defined not by the challenges they face, but by the tenacity with which they are confronted. I've often felt that perseverance and steadfastness aren't given enough credit as principles that are integral to entrepreneurial successes, but at junctures when learned helplessness has got one questioning one's abilities, their criticality simply cannot be ignored. Resilience, after all, is not just an abstract concept; it's a transformative force that can propel us forward. Full speed ahead!

Related: Mistakes Are A Part Of Any Innovator's Journey- Let's Simply Not Make Them The End Of It

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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