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Any choice an entrepreneur make involves pain, not just gain. In the words of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz “The highs are high and the rewards thrilling whereas the lows can break your heart”.

While no one wants pain, it is unavoidable. It thus cannot be gainsaid that no entrepreneur is immune to bad experiences and pain. Remarkably worthy noting is that though it can be fatal, pain can also be the oil that entrepreneurs require to power the engines of their business to greater heights. The is power in pain and can be harnessed to activate and realize the purpose.

John C. Maxwell reminds us of profoundly salient facts about pain; that everyone has it, no one likes it, and that few people turn pain to gain. According to Maxwell, people, entrepreneurs included, experience the following dimensions of pain:

  1. The pain of incompetence. While it is natural to feel inadequate, never allow the pain of feeling incompetent to shut out your opportunity for growth for you may never get to know the experiences you are lacking, the work you are not doing, or the networks you’re missing by staying where you comfortably are.
  2. The pain of inexperience. It is important to realize that a series of controlled failures may be what you need to achieve an eventual breakthrough
  3. The pain of disappointment. Letdowns may indeed leave you devastated, shocked, sad, discouraged, and dismayed leaving you to withdraw from life and retreat from your plans and purpose.  Realize that the disappointments will never be impossible for you to move through.
  4. The pain of conflict. As bad as the conflict may be and desirous for you to run away from or avoid them, conflicts can be turned into opportunities for growth.
  5. The pain of hard decisions. Whereas making tough decisions can be agonizing, quite often than not, the decisions that will make you more efficient, competitive, and thus profitable are the hardest to make-letting a bad performing team member go, investing in expensive equipment, retiring, etc
  6. The pain of financial loss. Financial loss is not only about money but everything in life since everything changes when you lose money that afforded you a lifestyle, dreams hopes, and aspirations. Always keep in mind that all is not lost when you lose finances as there will still be things in life for you. Re-group and reinvent yourself for a bounce back.
  7. The pain of change. Tony Robbins has a famous quote that says: Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change”

Worth noting is that every entrepreneur can and should deal with pain and turn it to gain by following the following steps:

  1. Understand your pain
  2. Slow down to deal with pain
  3. Put your thought into what you are going through
  4. Evaluate your situation
  5. Realize that you are not alone and seek help to gain traction. God is in our pain with us.
  6. Learn how to live again. Don’t lament over what did not work.
  7. Stay focused on getting to the other side
  8. Identify specific changes you want to have in your life. Now is the time for that change
  9. Take a positive life stance. See positive experiences out of bad experiences. See the good out of the bad things.
  10. Embrace the value of bad experiences. It never is all gloom and doom. Never waste the lessons of pain.

 As you move forward, remember

  1. Good management of bad experiences can lead to great growth. Never waste the lessons of the bad experience.
  2. Every problem introduces us to ourselves. Maintain a positive outlook on life
  3. You can become bitter or better. The choice is yours.
  4. How you interpret pain determines how you go through it and how you get through it
  5. Remember great experiences can come out of bad ones
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