Ideas put forth tend to be rejected before they’re even explored.
And as history has proven, the more unconventional (synonym: creative) the idea, the more resistance it’ll face, and the more unlikely it’ll see the light of day. But oftentimes, it’s these out-of-the-box thinking and lightbulb moments that set us on the path of breakthrough and progress.
This is particularly relevant in the world of business, where innovation is encouraged and even bet on (think venture capital firms investing in startups. Taking that first step, however, can sometimes require a lot of convincing – and rebelling, in the eyes of some.
If you have your mindset on a goal, it’s important to persist through any discouragement that may come your way – even if they’re from loved ones who have your best interests at heart.
That way, if you succeed, you’ll have something to be proud of and to show for. And if you fail, you can walk away with your head held high, knowing that you’ve given your all. Here are four ways successful merchants have dealt with discouragement.
Follow Your Heart
Vlad Gasan always knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur.
Even when he accepted the offer to work at one of the biggest tech companies in the world, eBay, he knew it was a stepping stone job.
It was just until he had enough money saved up to start his own business. So when the time came to leave the secure, comfortable, and high-paying position, many were baffled.
“They were like, ‘You’re just a fool, don’t do it,’” said Vlad.
While it seemed crazy to some, it was an unquestionable decision for Vlad. His first few business ventures didn’t go quite as planned. But Vlad didn’t let these failures deter him. He pushed on and learned from each mistake. Today, he’s the proud owner of multiple e-commerce stores, one of which is generating up to $1,500 sales per day.
Turn Discouragement Into Motivation
Ryan Carroll may be living the envious, globe-trotting entrepreneur lifestyle (at least prior to COVID-19 he was). But like most, his journey to success was nowhere near smooth-sailing.
Aside from his failed business ventures, he also had family and social pressure to contend with.
Ryan grew up in a world where college after high school was the norm and expected.
“All of my family, after I graduated, was just like hounding on it, like, ‘At least go to community college,’” said Ryan.
He even faced opposition at school from a teacher who told him he’d end up working at McDonald’s for the rest of his life if he didn’t go to college.
And instead of letting the comment knock him down, Ryan took it as motivation and powered on. “One of my goals eventually is to franchise a McDonald’s just so that I can kinda have that way up in my pocket.”
Arrive at a Compromise
Like Ryan, Cole Donovan faced a lot of discouragement at home about his e-commerce entrepreneurship plans.
It got to a point where he’d lost all his money on his first few stores and had to tell his family he’d given it all up. Except he didn’t.
He pushed on and is now running a multi-million-dollar online business. A college student when he first started his business, Cole eventually got to a point where he was earning enough to be able to dedicate himself full-time to his business.
But despite the numbers he was pulling in, his parents remained unconvinced.
“Regardless of any numbers I put on the board, they’re like, “Oh, come on, you’re ruining your future in all this,” said Cole.
To appease them, Cole’s now back in college after taking a year off. He’ll soon be graduating – probably loan-free – with an engineering degree, after which he will be completely focusing on his e-commerce plans.
Let the Numbers Do the Talking
At 16, Suhail’s family expected him to do what most other 16-year-olds should be doing – studying. While he was attending silent study periods at school during which he was supposed to focus on his schoolwork, he was looking up how to make money online.
One of his first successful ventures was selling on eBay. Coming from a normal working-class family, Suhail gave the first £1,000 he made from there to his dad, who used it to pay off some debt.
His parents did open up a little after seeing his little bit of success and were more accepting of his entrepreneurial plans. Even then, they didn’t want him to get distracted.
That all changed one night. It was 3 AM when Suhail awoke to notifications letting him know he’d made £300 from his e-commerce store – while sleeping.
He burst into his parents’ room immediately with the news. And that’s when they realized the potential of it all. “They go crazy because in my household it’s only my father that’s working. Because my mum’s got a disability so she’s unable to work. So we were like, ‘Let’s take this seriously,’” said Suhail.
When you have results, it will do the talking. – Suhail Nurmohamed
Much like a failure, resistance forms part of the journey to success.
Hard as they may be to hear, understand that more often than not, they are said by those who’re just looking out for you.
Listen to them, hear them out, and give them some thought. But don’t let them deter your ambition. As the saying goes: You seldom regret what you do. You regret what you didn’t do.