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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going



The hardest game I have ever experienced is business. I’ve been a boxer, trained as a fighter and have power-lifted. Business still beats all of them. It’s 24/7, relentless and unmerciful. You can make billions or lose everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a basement entrepreneur, the rules of business do not discriminate on dollars. It’s open country and the success is fair game if you have the stomach for it.

As most of my readers know I usually write about tax and estate planning, but this week I want to talk about the greatest game you’ll ever play. In the past week I have had two mind provoking conversations with individuals and another three meetings with clients who are on the verge of taking their business to the next level. All of these have centered around the uncertainty of growing their business and growing as an entrepreneur and business owner. As a child of the 80’s, the song “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” by Billy Ocean came to mind looking back over these conversations and as luck would have it, the title for this post as well.

I have the great fortune to see numerous clients from many different businesses and walks of life. Although, it amazes me how constant the worries and fears are across all industries and individuals. Below you will find six concepts that I have found to be true for myself and from other successful business owners who I have been blessed to know:

  • Ask: If you don’t ask you will never receive. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked only to be surprised at the doors that have opened and opportunities that have happened as a result. Don’t be afraid to push outside of your comfort zone and just ask. You have nothing to lose.
  • Persistence: The key to any undertaking is persistence. It’s about having the grit to persevere when the odds are stacked against you and still pull through. Not many individuals can stare down the impossible and keep moving along. If you can master this, then you’re half-way there.
  • Network: This is talked about to death, but it is true. Having contacts and multiple connections will propel your business and aspirations to greater heights. Mastering the art of holding a conversation and being able to interact with any  individual while also listening is a worthy art to have.
  • Mental toughness: Like persistence, having the mental toughness to hone in on your goals and step away from the trees to see the forest and focus on the big picture will pay dividends in spades. Many entrepreneurs get caught up in the day to day activities and operations and often forget to take a step back. This often leads to a business going in an opposite direction or wandering aimlessly with no set goals on how to achieve specific targets.
  • Practice: The old adage of practice makes perfect is spot on. You can’t be the master of your craft or a few solid skills if you don’t practice and get those reps in.
  • Breathe: Remember to take time to breathe and spend at least some time each morning before the craziness starts to meditate and visualize what you need to accomplish for the day – you’ll be surprised at how efficient you become. Small speed bumps in the work are not going to rattle you.

For all entrepreneurs and business owners, no matter the stage of your business, there will always be trying times and challenges that will push you to respond. How you respond will define you and your business. Quoting the inspirational Mandy Hale, “Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.”