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Learn to Adapt in the Face of Adversity When something doesn't work, don't run away. Move through the obstacle to achieve your goal.

By Sid Kemp

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

How do you run your business?

  • Do you run away every time you get burned?
  • Or do you learn a lesson and look for ways to win the next round?

If you're ready to learn and grow, you can start thriving today. You can have a great life, enjoy your business, make your dreams real and escape financial difficulty. The same is true if you're a business owner--and even if you're an employing looking to do a better job or simply get a new one.

You are your biggest asset.
I'm willing to bet you have problems. Why? Because we all do. I'm also willing to bet you have a solution. Why? Because you are the solution. I mean this in a very practical way. People are born great. People are born with natural intelligence. We can look at our problems and solve them. It's a natural gift we all share.

Research from the field of Emotional Intelligence indicates that if we take an attitude that is both realistic and optimistic, we achieve maximum relaxation and aptitude. Some athletes call this being in the zone.

You are your biggest obstacle.
You are also the solution. If you don't think you are, your thinking is the obstacle. When we fall into the blame game, we are the obstacle, because we are losing energy to the blame game. When we fall into the hopelessness trap--thinking things will never get better and that there's no solution--we are the obstacle. This type of thinking drains our energy.

Some people get mad when told they are the biggest obstacle to their own success. I feel differently. Instead of getting mad, I'm reminded that the problem is inside me, that I control it, and I can change what I'm doing and the outcome.

Adjust your attitude.
When I talk about attitude, I'm not talking about some vague feeling, positive thinking or rah-rah. I'm an engineer. The attitude is the orientation of an airplane as it approaches its target. If the plane is upside down, it's going to have trouble dropping bombs!

So what is the right attitude in business? "When the winds of change begin blowing in your life, make time to connect with the essence of the circumstances that are evolving and make plans to infuse your new conditions with those core characteristics," says Kim Fulcher, CEO of My Life Compass coaching community.

Steps for making an attitude adjustment:

  1. Know your goal. Keep your eye on the prize and read your goals aloud daily.
  2. When an obstacle comes up, stop. If you're driving down the highway and there's a boulder in the road, you don't crash into it. Stop! Breathe. Clarify your goal, and acknowledge the obstacle.
  3. Ask yourself: "How can I get where I want to be?"
  4. Make a new plan. The new plan takes the obstacle into account. The goal may stay the same, get delayed or change. But the essence of the goal stays the same.

Be glad you don't have to change anyone else. You don't even have to change yourself. All you have to do is do things differently.

Sid Kemp is president of Sid Kemp Enterprises , the premiere solution for small business problems. Kemp's consulting services help small-business owners solve problems and improve profitability fast, leading to long-term success. Kemp is the author of the bestseller Ultimate Guide to Project Management for Small Business and eight other business success books. Kemp is an author, motivational speaker, trainer, consultant and executive coach--he'll do whatever he can to help you "Fix Your Business."

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