How to Turn Every Adversity You Face into an Advantage Every setback presents an opportunity for growth. Life is a series of unpredictable twists, a fact that entrepreneurs understand all too well.

By Rodolfo Delgado

Key Takeaways

  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is what being an entrepreneur is about.
  • Pay close attention to your users' needs, and you'll see more clearly your path ahead.
  • Allocate some of your time to making allies- it'll help you in the long run.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurship is a wild ride, right? I would know. I've ridden that rollercoaster through storms and smooth stretches. But every time life threw a curveball, I stepped up to bat.

I still remember when one of our key developers had to leave our company for personal reasons right before we launched a massive update — it was scary. I learned to rely on multiple people to do a given task.

Life can flip from incredible to terrifying before you can say "entrepreneur." I still remember when COVID-19 started. My company went from getting high-fives from industry titans to realizing our users couldn't even step outside, let alone upload content.

So, join me on the journey where I turn setbacks into my secret weapons.

Related: 10 Growth Strategies Every Business Owner Should Know

Embracing the crazy swings of life

Here's the thing about entrepreneurship: It's like diving into an ocean of challenges. When I jumped into this sea of business, obstacles seemed like roadblocks. But guess what? They were stepping stones, leading me to growth and wisdom. It's like when you learned to ride a bike without the training wheels — scary but exhilarating.

Big-company solutions often don't apply to us entrepreneurs. "Never rely on just one person to do a given task" would seem like an obvious lesson an industry titan might give you. Well, guess what? We small business owners often don't have the luxury of having multiple employees with the same skill sets.

So what do we do? We get creative. Seek solutions in places you might have never considered. Websites like Fiverr, Upwork and Flexjobs often offer temporary freelance solutions to get you through the day.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable because that is what being an entrepreneur is about.

Related: Creativity, Innovation, And Leadership: The Elements of Transformation

Why cultural roots are a different kind of power tool

In Mexico, we've got this saying: some of the best engineers don't need fancy degrees. They just rocked their resourcefulness like pros, using whatever tools they had. As a Mexican entrepreneur, that gritty mindset is my secret sauce. It's like taking lemons and making the best orange juice you've ever tasted. Like, how'd that happen? We got creative.

When adversity knocks, I knock back. Drawing from my heritage, I tap into the spirit of innovation that's the heart of the Mexican entrepreneurial scene. It's like when your grandma used her secret recipe to turn a regular meal into a feast. Our cultural foundation is like rocket fuel, powering us through the roughest storms.

Related: 6 Obstacles to Creative Thinking and How to Overcome Them

Turning challenges into allies: My game changer

Every entrepreneur's journey is filled with "uh-oh" moments that, with a little twist, become "Aha!" sparks. When my company, Replay Listings, got the side-eye, I flipped it into an invite for collaboration. I turned feedback into business gold, forging partnerships that set the stage for victory.

For example, given that my business is focused on real estate video tours, I started calling real estate agents who have leveraged our technology and invited them for a cup of coffee or even lunch. During that time, getting to know my user base, their needs and their experiences while using our mobile app was really nice. In fact, many of Replay Listings' in-app features were built because they asked us to! Who would have known? Listening to your users is helpful and essential when learning your businesses' areas of opportunity.

Pay close attention to your users' needs, and you'll see more clearly your path ahead.

Innovation through tough times

Picture this: a partnership I'd banked on suddenly vanished into thin air. One minute, we were chatting, and the next? Poof! They pulled a vanishing act. Now, instead of moping, I spun it around. I diversified my partnerships to ensure my venture's future wasn't hanging by a thread.

Life's got a funny way of switching things up. Hard times can be your secret ingredient to success.

As I've mentioned before, It is obvious that not relying on a single employee to do a specific task is advised, but diversifying talent does not need to come at an extra expense. It often needs to take the shape of more partnerships, collaborations, or allies within the industry.

Allocate some of your time to making allies — it'll help you in the long run.

Finding gold in the rough

As we sail through this entrepreneur sea, remember that every crash can be turned into a smooth wave. Just like I've learned from my Mexican roots and my own ups and downs, the trick is to tackle challenges like they're stepping stones.

As I navigate the tumultuous waters of entrepreneurship, I realize that the wild ride is not just about braving storms and smooth stretches. It's about harnessing every twist, turn and curveball to my advantage. Entrepreneurship isn't just about building a business; it's about building character and resilience.

Rodolfo Delgado

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of Replay Listings

Rodolfo Delgado is bringing transparency to the real-estate industry. He created Replay Listings, the first listings platform in the U.S. focused on unedited video content.

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