Difficult Times Bring Exponential Personal Growth
A.T. Gimbel shares insightful thoughts on growth during difficult times.
It’s in the challenging season that we often learn the most about ourselves.
For anyone who has been an entrepreneur or a human being, you know the journey is filled with many ups and downs. While it is easy to be positive and focused while things are good, it is in those dark and difficult moments that our true colors shine and we learn a lot about ourselves. Even though it is challenging within those moments, I have found that in retrospect it was during those times you often find the biggest opportunities for growth and development.
What you believe is most tested in the fire
When things are going well your strategy doesn’t get challenged as much. But when things are tough, you start asking more of the hard questions. Is my go-to-market process correct? Does our value proposition resonate? Do we have the right team? Etc. Going through those tough times can really help you sharpen your strategy and beliefs about your business and how you operate as a company.
You have to be laser focused on decisions
When things are challenging, you don’t have the luxury of time and money to go slow and try a bunch of strategies. In a crunch, you have to be laser focused on your decisions: which product feature to build? Which customer type to target? Which projects to pull off the table? Etc. The pressure of a challenging environment forces prioritization and requires you to make the hard decisions. When there are multiple paths, it’s important for startups to focus and clarify their execution rather than divert resources across multiple paths.
You mature as an individual, entrepreneur, and leader
Looking back, most of my big improvements have come after going through a challenging time. Those times taught me persistence, humility, resourcefulness, kindness, problem solving, and an ability to think bigger than I may have otherwise. While you struggle in them, as they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
While the times may be tough, use that as a way to radically focus and prioritize what matters while being open to pushing yourself in new and different ways. When you look back on those times, odds are it will be a pivotal moment that becomes an inflection point for your company and your personal development.