Surviving the Dips of Business

Alan talks to Amal Ahmadi about the ups and the downs of the entrepreneur’s journey and how you can cope with it.

Note: This transcription has been generated with AI and there may be errors present. 


Hi, I’m Alan Donegan from the Popup Business School. And I’m here with Amal Ahmadi, who is a post doctorate fellow from the Henley business school, and researches into leadership and entrepreneurship. And Amal actually came on the reading pop up business school. Yes. And we’re going to talk today about the founders rollercoaster, the ups and downs of launching a startup and building a business. So what are people going to go through? If they’re thinking about starting a business? What are they likely to go through?

Well, at the startup businesses, you find, in general, that a lot of founders are very optimistic. And so they start out with this sheer excitement and passion and drive to start something to live their passion. And sometimes it goes really well, sometimes it doesn’t go as well. But at the start, it’s important to remember that it’s easy to be over optimistic. So there’s a survey of 6000 founders in the US that was conducted recently, that found that, in general, over just a third of founders actually thought that their businesses might fail. So a lot of them, actually the majority of them had a survival rate of 70% is what they expected when they started it.

All expected, I’m going to be hugely successful going into this,

and this is gonna go great. But a lot of the time, that doesn’t really go according to plan. So a lot of things actually can stand in the way and a lot of businesses do end up failing, unfortunately. So about 25% of businesses actually don’t make it beyond five years, sadly, but why? And how do we deal with that? So we start very optimistic, and then things go along the way and really knock us down. So in reality, do we stay optimistic? Or do we need to be more realistic about things?

Yeah. So how should we approach a new business? How should we approach because we know we start off optimistically, and then we know we’re gonna get rejected, things are gonna happen. The business might not go as quickly or as far as we thought, yeah, stuff happens. How do we deal with that roller coaster journey?

Yeah, the reason I call it a roller coaster is because there’s a lot of ups and downs. So when you start a business, there are a whole lot of decisions and uncertainties that you have to deal with. So how do I start? Do I choose a stable job? Or do I actually start? When I start, what do I deal with first? Do I deal with money? People? The idea do I develop and create do I sell before I create? How do I go about things. And so if you’re a founder, and you’ve got to deal with a decision today, you might wake up and think I’m really excited about doing this, it’s gonna go great. And then a couple of hours down the line, you think, well, this is a little more difficult than I thought. And then a few hours later, you think, Oh, I’m really getting the hang of this, it is going well, a few days later, things are working. And you think, Oh, this is great. But then you think, Oh, but I may have messed up, I made a mistake. And now I’m back down again. So it’s like a whole roller coaster of going up and down, up and down, up and down. And it’s important to remember that that is natural. And that is part of the journey. So it’s important to actually enjoy that. And just, if it’s always up, it’s not as interesting. And if you’re always down, then you’re really not going anywhere.

And you’re not in the right thing. If you’re always down. Definitely not. Yeah. So have you got any tips for us of how we can deal with that roller coaster? And we have amazing highs when we go out and sell something, and then we get rejected or it doesn’t work? And how do we deal with the roller coaster of emotions and write it out?

It’s really important to stay optimistic, despite any negativities and uncertainties that come along the way and to think I can really do it. And my key message really, if you take one thing out of this video is just to think strategically and to expect the best, but prepare for the worst. So this way you can make your decision strategically. But if things don’t go along the same way you actually expected, then you’re always adaptable, and you’re ready for change. You’re ready to shift your decisions and change things up. So just remain optimistic and always think strategically and be reactive.

Absolutely. And one tip for me is actually Surround yourself with positive people. Yes, that’s really important. Because to keep that optimism and that positivity. If the people around you and you work with the friends you hang out with are positive and optimistic people it will rub off on you go say to them, I’ve had this problem this has happened. They’ll give you positive energy and pick you back up and help you get going again. That’s true. So I would say the people you surround yourself with can help you stay optimistic.

Yeah, very important to lift you up. Yeah.

So do you have any last messages for the people who are watching the video for our audience all starting their businesses and going through this rollercoaster right now? What would you want to leave them with? Well,

I would say stay optimistic and try to remain optimistic. And well if for people that are watching this video, if you have experienced this, do share your experiences in the comments down under the video, because that reminds us that we’re not alone and that we all go through that. So it’s really important to share experiences with one another.

Absolutely. And if people wanted you to find you online, you on Twitter or anything like that,

yes, you can search me through ml. Maybe not the easiest to remember, but you’ll find the spelling of my name under the video.

Leave comments below about your experiences going through the startup roller coaster.