How to Overcome Obstacles

The day Plated launched their new website, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. Their new warehouse in Brooklyn, just completed to house fresh ingredients for chef-designed meals, was flooded with ocean water. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats literally went floating away. The promising, online meal-kit delivery service was in deep trouble.

 CEO and Founder Nick Taranto credits his experience as a U.S. Marine for the mental toughness to overcome adversity. Nick and co-Founder Josh Hix led the Plated team to bounce back with amazing speed, commitment and adept execution. Plated broke $100 million in sales within the next three years.

"Entrepreneurial success is 1% vision, and 99% hustle and grit. Building anything from scratch ¾ making it through the early stage crucible ¾ is incredibly hard. I have found that perseverance matters more than anything else."  Nick Taranto, CEO and Co-Founder, Plated

Driven to Win

Entrepreneurs tend be very competitive people. They plow through obstacles just like they plow through competitors with a single-minded focus on winning. The Founder of a promising e-Commerce startup explained, “I’m hard-wired to compete.” The CEO of a struggling tech startup revealed, “I JUST HATE TO LOSE!”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” - Vince Lombardi, NFL Super Bowl Champion Coach

 Risk Failure

At our RocketTalks event in April, Heidi Diamond told about managing challenges as a pioneer in cable television, including leadership roles at The Food Network, AMC, and Nickelodeon. During a particularly difficult time, Heidi led Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to profitability while Martha was incarcerated. Heidi said it’s important to “Be brave” and “Risk failure.” In addition, Heidi recommended,

"Wear leather to big meetings, always accept cashmere, and use perfume as a weapon." - Heidi Diamond, President, Consultant, and Educator

Competitive Spirit

At Columbia University’s April 14 conference on entrepreneurship, Shan-Lyn Ma founder of Zola talked about the difficulties of starting the online wedding registry. Her successful business had a hard time convincing Venture Capital and other investors.

Shan-Lyn said that she was motivated to “Prove them wrong” for the resilience and strength to overcome challenging times.

Learning From Adversity

A common theme among entrepreneurs interviewed for this article is it’s better to try and fail than to never try. They don’t shy away from trying something new, different or hard. As one prominent entrepreneur told me, “You learn more from adversity than you learn from an easy win.”