Every entrepreneur that you meet today is, in fact, undefeated.

As you read this article today, our hope is that you will understand why, and find the courage to stand up again even if you feel like something has just knocked you down.

Who is the undefeated entrepreneur?

You’ve watched the motivational YouTube videos, and listened to the podcast episodes. You know that it’s as simple as getting knocked down eight times and getting back up for ‘Round 9’.

Let’s go deeper into this.

The challenge of childhood

The undefeated entrepreneur may have had extreme challenges during their childhood:

  • Poverty or lack of resources
  • Exposure to violence and substance abuse
  • Direct subjection to violence or abuse
  • Neglect and abandonment
  • Discouragement within immediate surroundings
  • Bullying and lack of support in educational environments

When you look at it as a list, it’s probably a bit of an eye opener, but let’s examine the story a little closer.

Poverty or lack of resources

Growing up amid poverty typically means that there isn’t enough money to equip one’s family with basic standards of living, such as a robust house that will protect you from the elements, or appliances that most of us take for granted: stoves, refrigerators, microwaves.

Think about how much more time goes into achieving something like making breakfast or getting ready to even start the work day.

And yet there are entrepreneurs who will use whatever hours are left in their days to start and grow businesses.


Violence and substance abuse

As if poverty wasn’t enough, some entrepreneurs witnessed their parents, neighbours and other community members using violence as a way to achieve their desires.

That imprints upon children as the standard way of functioning.

Add some alcohol, whoonga, glue and/or the wide range of household products and prescription drugs that form a stranglehold on people and you have another set of fluctuating challenges.

Some entrepreneurs have had to hide in uncomfortable nooks and crannies, or literally run away until their abusers have passed out or gotten tired of looking for them, to be able to stay alive, let alone continue doing their homework or study for tests.

Can you see why it’s not so easy to just ‘start a business’ to work one’s way out? There’s no telling when you need to run for your life.

Neglect and abandonment

Neglect isn’t just about forgetting to feed a child that one time you had to answer phones, chase dogs out of the house, check the pots on the stove and pick up the deadly Lego pieces from the floor. It’s the persistent de-prioritisation of a child’s needs over an extended period of time.

Some entrepreneurs have been through forms of neglect without even being aware of it, especially in single-parent households where (despite valiant efforts) raising a child is just too much for one parent to get it perfectly right all alone.

In extreme cases, children can be physically abandoned or surrendered to the social welfare system and grow up with severe trust and relational challenges. It makes it even harder to trust employees and colleagues when you’re coming from this kind of past.

Discouragement and bullying

If you have relatives who support and encourage you, consider yourself extremely fortunate. This is something that millions of people wish for. Some people never find it in their lives, which is all the more tragic.

This may sound like we’re siding with the enemy but, really, discouragement can come from a place of love. When people love you, they might be afraid on your behalf and, as a result, discourage you from making a choice that they believe is too risky. Other times it’s pure unkindness.

It gets life-altering when discouragement becomes bullying and people full on attack you for your vision and ideas of a better world. If you’re being bullied or going through abuse, please click here to find a helpline.

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