Day 11: OPERATION: Create Your Own Path




day11-dailyadviceIt's day eleven of OPERATION: Create Your Own Path, and today our featured military spouse small business owner hits on a theme that the military community is very familiar with...resilience. The same skill that helps military spouses handle the challenges that come with deployments and frequent relocation also applies when you are starting a business.


Melanie Robbins

Treasures By Melanie For Every Home


"Love what you do and do what you love but also remember that something that doesn't work today won't mean that it won't work, it just means that it didn't work today! The attitude you receive, if you take those to heart, will help you to reach your goals!"



Chris Vanderzyden

Entrepreneurial Cross Trainer


I received a query from a reporter this week asking for “The ONE best piece of advice for new entrepreneurs?”


I believe that success is derived from cross-training multiple core business disciplines and an active engagement of personal and professional development. So committing to just one piece of advice was tough for me.


I entertained a host of requirements that make stellar entrepreneurs. Among the many characteristics, passion came to mind, as well as, persistence and consistency in taking action.


As I pondered what the best piece of advice is, I reflected upon an event I recently attended. A few weeks ago, I was engaged in a CEO event at the Leadership Institute in New York City. I had the pleasure of hearing Arran Stephens, CEO of Nature’s Path and the leader in the movement against GMOs, speak about the growth of his company.


The company was founded in 1985 and had, of course, its share of hurdles as it grew. Arran shared with the audience a particular bump in the road when they opened their first large production facility. He had invested millions into a production line, and on opening day, with the bankers present and ribbon ready to be cut–the new line did not work. In an effort to avert embarrassment, his team literally went out to stores and bought corn flakes and scattered the flakes on the broken production line. In the end, they fooled the bankers in the short term, however, they could not get this million dollar line to produce. It was a colossal failure for them and proved to be an enormous financial loss as well. Arran could have chosen to pack it in, but instead he chose resilience; therefore, today Nature’s Path is the largest organic breakfast food company in North America.


So, in the end, if I were to drill it down to one piece of core advice for newbie entrepreneurs, this is it:




Yes, my friends this will make you or break you. This is the secret to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Those super successful, rockstar entrepreneurs out there are resilient. They understand that every bump in the road is an opportunity to learn and go forward in a more effective manner. They know how to fail fast, learn from their mistakes fast, and move forward fast. Yes, they are so freaking passionate for their business that they will move through any obstacle and no bump ever becomes a block.


You see, when you start out as an entrepreneur, people will resist whatever you have to offer. Whether it is a new product or new service, the word “new” simply scares people. It reeks of uncertainty and going out of our comfort zone. Yikes!


You will inevitably be thrashed about, thrown to the dogs and there will be unforeseen difficulties, no matter how well you plan your launch into entrepreneurship. You will fail at some point and suffer rejection. The only way to survive, thrive, and succeed wildly in your business is to bounce back from the challenges and do it quickly.


So, the best piece of advice I have for entrepreneurs is the importance of resilience. There will always be challenges–it doesn’t matter how smart you and your team are or how well you plan. Failure happens and we can’t always predict when or how it will happen, but we can plan to be resilient.


Chris Vanderzyden is an author, speaker, and corporate cross-trainer. A corporate defector, Chris began her career as a CPA with Coopers and Lybrand in Los Angeles, CA. In 1997 she responded to the call of entrepreneurship and left the corporate world and treadmill of city life to establish a marketing and financial consulting business in Dorset, VT. She is also the author of The A-Z Blueprint for Success – a Strategy of Action Steps To Elevate your Business and Life.



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