By Allon Raiz
There’s been a lot of talk about privilege lately: What is it? Who has it? Who doesn’t have it? I have a slightly different take on privilege and prefer to frame it as the privilege of adversity.
Studies across the globe show that the minorities in all contexts have higher rates of entrepreneurial activity than the incumbent majority. There are a host of reasons for this, but one of them is that adversity creates a resilience and self-reliance that are vital for entrepreneurial success. Every successful and exponentially successful entrepreneur that I have met or read about has transitioned through a baptism of fire. They have overcome insurmountable obstacles and used the lessons gifted through their experiences to rocket their business to the next level.
Adversity gives you five gifts.
A sense of where your true limits are, and these are always far beyond what your belief system believed them to be. The experience of testing your limits breaks the preconceived notion of where your limits are or were.
Confidence. Once you have overcome an issue, the experience of overcoming it builds a high level of confidence that should the issue reoccur, you will have the ability and resources to overcome it. For example, if you lose your biggest client and manage to keep your business afloat, the next time you lose a big client you will not panic or become despondent, but will instead kick into action and claw your way out again.
Insight as to which of your non-financial resources you can tap into. When the chips are down and money is nowhere to be found, it’s amazing how many resources you will perceive around you that can potentially help you transition to success. These resources come in the form of advice from friends, access to new markets through networks, credit from suppliers, and free promotion through networks to name a few.
Your relationship with your own resourcefulness. The experience of not having resources but somehow manufacturing some out of thin air recalibrates your sense of your own resourcefulness which in turn builds a level of confidence that, should you be dropped off in the middle of the desert with only a matchbox and a magnifying glass, you will survive.
A level of faith and a belief system that there is always a way to overcome a problem, no matter how overwhelming the problem that presents itself may be. The more you overcome impossible problems, the less you’ll believe in the existence of impossible problems.
So instead of worrying about who has privilege, who doesn’t, or what privilege actually is, use the lessons gifted to you when overcoming insurmountable obstacles to propel your business forward.