: 109 Why Every Entrepreneur Needs to Hear Nelson Mandela’s Story
The well-known and well-loved Nelson Mandela spent years fighting apartheid and racial segregation in his country. His efforts landed him in prison where he would spend 27 years of his life. However, not even 27 years in prison could stop Mandela or his dream for equality. After his time in jail, Mandela would become the first black president in South Africa, fighting for the justice he sought.
Years after his death, people still revere Mandela as the humble revolutionary who changed a nation and changed the world. But why does Mandela’s story matter to you as an entrepreneur? Though Mandela was not an entrepreneur himself, the lessons one can learn from his experiences are exactly what every entrepreneur needs to know.
Many Circumstances are only Temporary
Mandela’s original prison sentence was for life. Gradually his circumstances changed. He moved from prison to prison and began meeting with government officials while still serving out his sentence until the day he was finally freed.
As an entrepreneur, you may feel trapped or stuck in a rut that never seems to end. But quite often, it does. You find that key investor, or you finally start seeing your efforts on social media paying off. A continuous decline in sales is interrupted by a positive quarter or greater customer retention. When the going gets tough, remember that it doesn’t always last forever.
We don’t all receive life sentences, but we do struggle through many long-lived, unfavorable circumstances. Those are the times to push through and cling onto hope until the end. Those are the times to show others what you’re made of.
Every Experience (Good and Bad) is an Opportunity to Learn
You may not spend decades in jail, but you will face setbacks in your business. That is a guarantee. You will fail from time to time. Yet each challenge and each failure is a chance for you to grow. You can either use that opportunity to your advantage, or let it slide and miss out on potential learning.
We see an “opportunity” as something that has a potential positive outcome. But opportunity defined is, “a good chance for advancement or progress.”