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Get Inspired: Business Owner Shares his Story of Overcoming Challenges

Category: The Growth Lab / 3 minutes to read
Author: Stephanie Heitman
Published: September 3rd

Get Inspired: Business Owner Shares his Story of Overcoming Challenges

Category: The Growth Lab / 3 minutes to read
Author: Stephanie Heitman
Published: September 3rd

Running a business can be hard. You run into obstacles and hardships all the time. We talked about how to overcome common business hardships with entrepreneur Tara Buzash, but what do you do when the obstacles and hardships you’re facing in your life start to get in the way of your business?

Kevin Tuohy knows all about tough times. He shared his fascinating and inspiring story of overcoming addiction and building his shoe shining empire on The Growth Lab Show. We loved this episode and Kevin’s story so much, we broke it into two episodes. 

In part one, Kevin shares his origin story, including how he got involved with gangs, drugs, and alcohol, and then eventually made his way to the army. In part two, he talks more about his business and what he does to help others.

But, with his resilience, he shared some tips for others facing down business hardships, professional disappointments, and other life challenges. 

1. Know That Help Is Out There

No matter what kind of life or business hardships you're facing, Kevin says it’s important to know that there’s help. He suggests looking for resources and tapping into the people around you. That could mean finding an online resource for anxiety or discovering a networking group for entrepreneurs in your industry to act as support.  

For him, help came in the form of family members giving him a wake-up call and a particularly eye-opening experience he details in the episode. 

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for that Help 

Asking for help is hard, but it’s important. As Kevin says, you can’t do it alone. Talk to people – whether that’s your friends, family, a trusted confidante, etc. To remedy an overwhelming set of business hardships, you can ask for help from your employees or team members to take some things off your plate, or you can look to hire someone or contract out some work. 

3. Find a Way to Reduce Stress 

Sometimes the answer to life and business hardships is right in front of your nose take a break. Think about some ways you can reduce stress regularly. Studies have shown that reduced stress can lead to better concentration at work and better health overall, so it’s important! 

Maybe you like to go for a run or Pilates class to de-stress. Or, maybe you like to kick back and watch an episode of your favorite show to wind down at the end of the day. Or, maybe you enjoy journaling or writing down affirmations for yourself to look at during the day. It doesn’t even have to be a big thing. You can take a few minutes to watch a funny YouTube video or take one minute to take some deep breaths. When you're facing down business hardships you can be tempted to think that harder work and longer hours will fix the problem, but this isn't necessarily true.

4. Be Honest with Yourself  

When you’re constantly going, going, going, you might not even realize that you’re running into obstacles or that you need help. You’re focused on being busy and getting things done. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s important to slow down every once in a while and be honest with yourself about what you need and what you want. If there’s a problem you’re facing that you need help with, look for a way to lighten your load with some extra help and extra stress relief. 

5. Look for Ways to Help Others when You Can

Kevin’s company, The Shoeshine Guild, hires recovering alcoholics to give them the opportunity to get back on their feet. Once Kevin was in a good and healthy place with his own recovery, he looked for ways to help those around him. This is something you can do in your own life or business – or both! It doesn’t have to be a big thing – it could be something small like writing an employee a thank you note for all their hard work or bringing donuts to the office for everyone. A little goes a long way! 

We love these tips from Kevin and love that he shared his story with us and the (podcast) world. Make sure to take a listen, and then catch more from Kevin in the Amazon documentary he’s in: The Art of the Shine.

And find out more about his mission to help recovering alcoholics in this video:

 

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