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It’s human nature to look for reasons outside ourselves and our actions when things go wrong, especially in tough times like these. But in reality, the outcome is generally more about the way you react to the circumstances in which you find yourself.

A vivid illustration of this is in the variety of very successful businesses that started in really tough times – simply because their founders realised there was a gap in the market and this was a great time to address it.

The giant General Motors was formed in 1908 – the middle of a US recession – and interestingly with the founder having previously been a leading manufacturer of horse-drawn carriages; how’s that for a ‘pivot’?

Hewlett-Packard, one of the world’s leading IT companies today, was founded in the aftermath of the great depression and just before the outbreak of World War II in a one-car garage, initially producing electronic test and measurement instruments.

Microsoft, one of the world’s most valuable companies today with a current valuation over $1.5 trillion, was founded in 1975 following the oil crisis and resulting stock market crash.

And, more recently, Uber, Airbnb, Udemy and Strava are among a number of market-leading, very successful companies founded in/following the 2007 financial crisis.

So, when things seem tough, look for the opportunities around you and forge ahead. Success is always possible.

 

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