Business 15 ways to build adaptability as an entrepreneur

15 ways to build adaptability as an entrepreneur


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Entrepreneurship is a journey that comes with numerous challenges, both expected and unexpected. To succeed, entrepreneurs must be resilient, flexible and willing to think creatively when faced with a crisis.

To help entrepreneurs achieve this, 15 Business Council members recommend their best strategies for developing adaptable skills that will help entrepreneurs navigate through any crisis and emerge stronger than before. Follow their advice to become a more effective entrepreneur and build a business that can thrive in any environment.

1. Keep learning

Learning is key. Knowledge is power, as they say, and you can grow that knowledge and use it for your own experiences. You should never ignore your experiences, whether good or bad, because they brought you to this place and time; treat them as the learning tools they really are. – Jamil Damji, Astro Flipping

2. Look up learning opportunities

There’s no better teacher than personal experience, so I believe one of the best ways to develop adaptable skills is to walk into a crisis thinking it will make you wiser. The more you don’t shy away from teaching moments, the more skills you gain. Jump in – you may feel shaky, but the experiences that got you to this point will help you land on two feet. – Carol Leeman, Axonify Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

3. Apply the continuous learning model

The continuous learning model is the key to improving your entrepreneurial ability. Be curious about how your colleagues approach challenges, try to understand the customer and hire people who are open to learning and change – and make sure you understand that success doesn’t depend on you alone. Being able to think about these things will help you through the inevitable crisis that will arise. – Charles Divencenzo, NAFA (National Fixed Annuity Association)

4. Choose a growth mindset

Adopting a growth mindset is essential in developing the skills to meet expected and unexpected business challenges. Entrepreneurs with a growth mindset emphasize learning, progress, and mastery in addition to business results. They embrace challenges as opportunities, practice active listening and candid input to support the genius of the group, and trust their teams to improve through persistence and effort. – Cheryl Fields Tyler, Blue beyond advice

5. Create a mindset that anticipates the unexpected

Learning how to be an agile entrepreneur is challenging, but it’s one of the most critical skills to embrace. The best way to develop adaptability is initially through a mindset change. Expect the unexpected and you’re halfway there. Accept that every day brings new challenges. If a crisis breaks out, you have already accepted the challenge and you can make impactful decisions faster. – Cami Powell, The independent journey

6. Find your people

Being an entrepreneur is lonely, hard, challenging and so on. So find a coach, mentor or community of like-minded leaders to challenge, push, support and hold you accountable. There are local groups such as chamber of commerce, industry groups and many others. We need others to remind us that there are other ways to function and operate. – Barry Marshall, P5 Collaborative Advice, LLC

7. Adopt a “Never Say Die” attitude

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy here. Entrepreneurship requires a “never say dead” attitude. There is always a way, there is always a solution and no problem is big enough not to be solved. If the team believes they can turn to you for life skills, it inspires confidence. Feel the feelings, accept support, ask for help, trust your gut and think big. – Kartik Jobanputra, Splashlight Studios LLC

8. Have a great sounding board

Start your entrepreneurial journey with a great sounding board of colleagues, mentors, friends and family members. Read and compare ideas from fields and industries other than your own. How I wish I had a Business Council when I started my business 30 years ago. The best way to develop skills is experience. You didn’t learn how to ride a bike on the first try! – Joan McKinney, Aurora Exhibit Solutions, Inc.

9. Find advisors and mentors

Build a network of advisors and mentors. Having a diverse group of advisors and mentors can provide valuable perspective and advice during a crisis. It can also help entrepreneurs stay abreast of trends and changes in the industry and better understand how to manage their business in response to a crisis. – Greg Welborn, First financial advice

10. Embrace change

Embracing change; don’t be afraid of it. Change is inevitable and nothing ever goes as planned. Take the time to review your opinion. Look for the positives instead of feeling frustrated. Is there a new way to restructure your business given the skills you have? Is there a new opportunity for a product launch given customer feedback? The more you welcome change, the more easily you adapt. – Pursue Flashman, ShipSigma

11. Listen to the ideas of others

Leave your ego at the door. If you think your idea is the only idea worth pursuing, you’ve failed. Be open to ideas from anywhere, including team members, mentors, family, or even strangers. Everyone has unique ideas and experiences that can positively impact your business. Listen to these ideas and embrace them. You’d be surprised how often one conversation has changed my trajectory for the better. – Deyman Doolittle, ShipSigma

12. Plan for different types of challenges

Local, state, and state government agencies have contingency planning manuals that describe how to overcome certain situations as they develop. Applying this same idea to business can give leaders a resource to turn to when challenges arise. Instead of wasting time developing solutions for every little problem that might come up, you can categorize them and build category solutions instead. – Ty Allen, SocialClimb

13. Take risks

To develop adaptable skills, you must first push yourself out of your comfort zone and embrace change. Learn to take more risks and accept that regardless of the outcome, you at least tried to give your best. This will help you open up and learn how to deal with different scenarios. – Noman Siddiq, Cloudlead, Inc

14. Keep calm and then judge

Stay calm first as it exudes strength in today’s dynamic business environment. To get through each crisis, evaluate and evaluate the challenges with team members. Embrace ambiguity as a tool. Be open to more than one interpretation of solutions. Use your knowledge and expertise in creative ways and combinations. If the results are still not right, keep trying until you see the results. – Francisco Ramirez, The ACE group (TAG)

15. Make use of analytics and technology

Adaptability is key to staying ahead in a constantly changing world. Learn about advanced analytics and explore the different ways technology can rapidly improve processes. Constantly challenge yourself to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to any problems. Develop these skills early on and continue to use them as your business grows and changes. – Michael Schribman, APS Global Partners Inc.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.


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