The Definite Problem of Uncertainty
What will tomorrow bring? If you could tell, you’d never have any stress, anything to worry about, or any reasons to doubt yourself as you forge ahead. Unfortunately, despite what self-proclaimed clairvoyants may tell you, there’s no crystal ball that can accurately predict the future. We take our chances, leaving our lives and our livelihood in the hands of fate, or luck, or destiny, or ourselves — whatever power, if any, you believe is in control.
In short, we’re surrounded by uncertainty. What’s more, it’s an ongoing issue; even when things are at their best and the world is totally optimistic about the future, there’s still some degree of the unknown lurking out there. How can you be an entrepreneur, operate a business, and be successful in this sort of economic and political climate? Here are a few points to consider.
More than the scout motto or a song from The Lion King, “be prepared” is the mantra of anyone who’s ready to weather uncertainty. There are a few things you can do to keep yourself ready for the unknown. First, you’ll want to strengthen your relationships with colleagues, since they’re the ones you’ll rely on for support in difficult times. Next, don’t get too far ahead, especially if you have an active imagination and you tend to let your negative thoughts expand. It’s easy to project negativity far into the future, but for your own sake, stop yourself. Stay in the here and now, know what’s currently happening in terms of business and the economy, and be well informed as you move into the future.
Finally, preparation for uncertainty means being ready for a number of different outcomes. Your next idea could be a homerun, but it could also be an enormously devastating strikeout. It’s great to have confidence, of course, but it’s also important to be realistic: being prepared for the less desirable outcomes can help you and your business survive.
Have Confidence in Your Decisions
An uncertain business climate can make it difficult for entrepreneurs to make decisions that will affect their economic future. Still, it’s important to take very calculated risks and make informed decisions — and be confident that you made the right ones . Yes, you’ll make wrong decisions now and then, but so will everyone. Learn from them, don’t dwell on what could have been, and move on.
Of course, having confidence in your decisions means having the courage to make decisions in the first place. It’s tempting to wait around until the economy improves or your bank account is more robust, but if you do that, you’ll be waiting around forever.
From Uncertainty, Leaders Emerge
Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Elon Musk. Jeff Bezos. These may all be household names, but the truth is that these individuals and many others whose names are not as well known rose to leadership positions specifically because of their abilities to chart a course of success through the waters of uncertainty. So, take it as a challenge: if you can survive times of great uncertainty, you’re likely to emerge as an entrepreneurial leader that others will revere and admire
Remember, it’s Cyclical
It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel during difficult economic times, but rest assured: it’s there, and it’s coming up. Just as there are times of great uncertainty, there are also times of great prosperity. One follows the other, and while the timing of it all may be the most uncertain thing of all, it’s important to remind yourself that whatever it is that you’re facing, it’s temporary.
Don’t Get Sucked In
It’s easy to fall victim to uncertainty. Many will throw in the towel, close up shop, and head to a less stressful career during difficult times, but the true entrepreneurs will stay the course. With diligent preparation, a confident mindset, and a positive attitude, you can survive — and even thrive — in the face of uncertainty.