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As we begin to recover and rebuild from the pandemic, many entrepreneurs are dealing with challenging business setbacks, lost profits and, in some cases, a whole new start after having to close their doors. But entrepreneurs are used to remaining perpetually optimistic amidst chaos and unpredictability, whether it be due to Covid-19 or personal tragedy, loss of merchandise, lawsuits or simply the need to focus on their value proposition.
This resilience can serve as a fuel and motivation for all founders and reinforces that hard times can be a platform for the next big thing. The following examples of founders who have recently created innovative solutions to their own problems – or global challenges – might even inspire you for your own business endeavors.
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turning illnesses into meaning
It is often a personal crisis in the life of a founder that can lead to new clarity and meaning. Even tragedies close to home can have renewed impact on communities at large simply because their perspectives have changed and they are willing to do more.
Many say that near-death experiences make them better assess what they want to leave behind in the world. Daniel Badran is no exception. Founder of energy efficiency services company Minimise, he started his business after a three-year battle with cancer sabotaged his ability to speak. During this tragic time, he focused on building a company that could help the world from a sustainability perspective.
Other founders start businesses to immediately address the types of personal tragedies they have encountered, such as: B.Johnny Crowder. Crowder created Cope Notes, a text messaging platform that provides mental health support to subscribers. This ministry grew out of his own mental health issues, as Crowder struggled with schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder throughout his life.
There is no entrepreneur more admirable than someone who has overcome the very difficulties his innovation is trying to solve. This has the potential for significant impact if that innovation has a direct impact on the health and happiness of others. Take Dr. Patricia Lawman, CEO of Morphogenesis, a company that helps bodies defend themselves against chronic disease. dr Lawman is also the Division Chair in Cancer Molecular Biology at The Walt Disney Institute, and her breakthrough technology and service is a tribute to those she knows who are struggling with chronic disease.
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Face the challenges the world faces
At a time of so much mass suffering and so many challenges, entrepreneurs have been looking closely at what they can do to help. Companies like Louis Vuitton have access to factories and supplies and have been quick to come up with PPE gear during the height of the pandemic.
Jon Fisher is the founder of CrowdOptic, a company he founded in 2011. As medical demand surged early in the deadly spread of Covid-19, Fisher and CrowdOptic partnered with National Bioskills Laboratories to help all medical communities through AI and bioskills when it was most needed. The concept was to remove the geographic barriers and ensure that medical professionals, supported by technology, could collaborate remotely and immediately apply their insights and new skills to their work in patient care.
Covid-19 also triggered significant financial anxiety for many. Justin Donald felt called to help others who were struggling financially during and after the pandemic, and he channeled everything he learned about building an income through investing to help other people create wealth while they still looking for a new job. For some, it even became a part-time job to support their families.
Each of these examples proves that hard times don’t win everyone. They can simply provide fertile ground for big, bold, and life-changing ideas, especially when executed from a place of passion. Even though tough times are tough, they are fundamentally changing the way we work and live, and the entrepreneurs who embrace this opportunity and lend their talents, time and innovations to make the world a better place make are greatly appreciated by all.