The Braving Business Blog

Serial Entrepreneur and Host of The Braving Business Podcast

Published on

5 Sep 2023

Read time

5 min

Written by

Tal Zlotnitsky

Life, as we know it, is rarely a straight path. It’s filled with unexpected turns, obstacles, and opportunities. Whether navigating the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship or confronting personal setbacks, one quality has stood out as a beacon guiding me through rough waters: resilience.

Resilience in general, and emotional resilience in particular, is to me about more than just weathering storms; it’s about learning, growing, and emerging stronger from each challenge I face. Throughout my journey as an entrepreneur, CEO, consultant, and most recently podcast host, I’ve discovered some vital tenets of resilience that have served as my North Star. Here are three that have been particularly impactful:

1. Embrace Failure as a Teacher, Not an Enemy

Failures, while painful, are our most potent teachers. Every startup I’ve founded, every venture I’ve backed, and every season in my life, came with its share of lessons – some harder than others. However, seeing failure as a foe pushes us into a defensive posture, stunting growth.

Instead, embrace every setback as an opportunity to learn. It didn’t happen until I was more mature and had my share of hard knocks, but nowadays, when I face challenges, I ask myself, “What is this teaching me?”

I’ve come to realize that this shift in perspective – from seeing setbacks and failures in the bleakest terms, to seeing them a stepping-stone – is the cornerstone of resilience. It transforms a seemingly negative experience into an invaluable lesson that propels me forward. The best advice I could give anyone is to not waste any setbacks on self-pity; use them to grow and improve!

2. Cultivate a Growth Mindset
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has written eloquently about the difference between a “fixed” and a “growth” mindset. A fixed mindset holds that our abilities and intelligence are static, leading to a desire to look smart and a fear of challenges. A growth mindset, conversely, is a mindset that thrives on challenges and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence, but as a springboard for growth.

As I faced challenges in my career and in my life, adopting a growth mindset has meant recognizing that every obstacle – even the most painful and hardest to stomach – was also a chance to stretch my abilities. This mindset nurtures resilience because it celebrates my journey, with its ups and downs, rather than just the destination. I encourage everyone wishing to live a purpose-filled life to take the same approach.

3. Foster a Supportive Community
Humans are not supposed to go it alone. Every story that includes success – certainly mine – has an unsung chorus of supporters, mentors, and well-wishers. Resilience is not just an individual trait but is cultivated in communities. When I faced hardships, be it in my personal life or my entrepreneurial journey, it was the community around me – my family, colleagues, and most recently even listeners of the Braving Business Podcast – that provided and still provides me the strength to move forward.

Surrounding yourself with a community that believes in you, that pushes you to be better, and that offers a shoulder in trying times, is invaluable. The path of resilience is not to be walked alone. Build a tribe, nurture those relationships, and let their strength be your own.

In Conclusion
Resilience is neither a trait any of us are born with, nor one that is out of reach. It’s a muscle, one that anyone who is intentional about it can develop with practice. As we face an ever-changing world, the ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt to change, and keep going in the face of adversity is perhaps the most crucial skill we can cultivate.

Remember, it’s not the challenges we face but how we respond to them that defines us. With a heart open to learning, a mindset geared towards growth, and a community by your side, there’s no storm you can’t weather.

Stay resilient and keep braving the journey!

About Tal Zlotnitsky

Serial Entrepreneur Tal Zlotnitsky is currently a global transformation consultant to Fortune 500 clients, and founder of Tech Startup Breez AI.  Previously, he was the co-founder & CEO of iControl Mobile, now part of ParkMobile, as well as co-founder & CEO of iControl Data, a B2B payments company, where he raised $20 million from Goldman Sachs and built an enterprise that still processes billions of dollars in annual payments for tens of thousands of retailers in all 50 states.  He has also founded, co-founded, invested in and sat on the boards of Our.Love, JetComfy, Ugo, Magi Foods, NewsOne, sold in 2009 to NNA, and Current Companies, sold in 2008 to Hudson News. A proud dad and granddad, Tal believes that awareness, compassion (including self-compassion) and respect are the keys to joy and success.

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