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Learning From Bounce-Back Entrepreneurs

For leaders of new ventures, adversity is just another lesson to absorb. “The second you start to frame things on the dark side, it inhibits future action”

The Essentials

Resilient entrepreneurs, says Jana Raver, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, interpret business setbacks as puzzles to solve, ones they are fully able to tackle. With this positive mindset, she says, they are able to be proactive in identifying ways to improve business processes and outcomes. In this video, Raver shares what she learned from a study she conducted with Ingrid Chadwick of Concordia University in Montreal, and what it means for first-time entrepreneurs.

Video Highlights

0:12     “We wanted to understand not just the challenges [entrepreneurs] face but the more positive side, which is seeing how people can overcome these challenges and be successful despite all the hardships they face.”

0:56     Researchers studied first-time entrepreneurs over two years as they developed, launched, and operated new enterprises.

1:40     Resilient entrepreneurs see the inevitable setbacks as positive learning exercises, as “a challenge I’m willing and able to tackle.” They are also proactive on an ongoing basis, addressing potential problems before they arise.

2:38     Self-confidence does not have to be an essential part of the resilient entrepreneur’s make-up. In fact, self-confidence can be detrimental when it inhibits learning from feedback. “We need people who have confidence but who are also resilient. It’s those positive emotions that help people cope in the long run.”

3:46     Raver advises entrepreneurs to acknowledge that stress comes with the territory and to frame challenges as opportunities to grow. “The second you start to frame things on the dark side. . .  it inhibits future action.”