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Entrepreneur Insights: 3 tips for staying positive in business

Entrepreneur Insights: 3 tips for staying positive in business

Posted on: July 02, 2013
Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

Howard Bradley has navigated his share of challenges, including a devastating fire that wiped out his business. Here are three of his tips for looking on the bright side when the outlook is dim.

For small business owners, there's nothing more distressing than the total loss of your business due to a disaster. That grim reality is being faced by hundreds of entrepreneurs in southern Alberta in the aftermath of the floods.

Howard Bradley knows how it feels.

In 2002, Howard's business was destroyed by a fire. The nearly-60-year-old business, started by his grandfather, sold and serviced fire trucks to emergency services departments across Alberta.

"Being in the fire equipment business, to burn the place up, it was embarrassing," Howard says.

But two years later, Rocky Mountain Phoenix rose again. Now, Howard has contracts in six provinces and two territories, helping fire crews as far as Prince Edward Island respond to emergencies quickly and safely.

Howard has seen his share of ups and downs as a business owner. But despite the fire—and serious fallout from the 2008 US exchange rate jump—he remains optimistic and continues to love his work.

Here are Howard's tips for staying positive when your business plan gets derailed:

  1. Know your staff are on your side.

    "[The fire] was a major setback, but our staff rallied around, and we got back on our feet. We've got some very, very long-term employees here, and they do a great job representing the company and following the company's roots that we've established over the years."
  2. Approach challenges and mistakes as learning opportunities.

    "We had some major learning curves that we've gone through, [and] we've made lots of mistakes along the way. But we've been able to learn from those mistakes and become a better company for it."
  3. When there are successes, embrace them. Really embrace them.

    "When you taste the success at the end, it's very, very gratifying... It's a real enjoyable time to sit back and say, 'We did it, and we did it right.'"

To hear more from Howard and other successful Alberta entrepreneurs, visit our We Grow Alberta page

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