What is entrepreneur resilience? A conversation with Karen Dean

Many people aspire to become an entrepreneur and imagine the financial and time freedom it offers. But not so many people know about the struggles associated with walking on this path. Unfortunately, few people talk about the stresses associated with owning your own business. This week we met with Karen Dean, a resilience Expert, inspiring Speaker, and a best-Selling Author to learn about entrepreneur resilience and how to overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur.  


Karen has been in business since she was 10 years old, but her entrepreneurial journey officially started after she got her business degree in Nova Scotia. She has faced a lot of struggles as well as gained a lot of success in multiple industries from F&B, Consulting, Clothing & Fashion, and most recently, Book-writing. She has also been a single mom for 10 years. With a strong and resilient mindset, she joins us to share what the life of an entrepreneur can really look like. 


What keeps you going? 

No matter how much you pride yourself in being a resilient person, your resilience will be put to the test when you are an entrepreneur. For the past 2 years, Karen has been trying to keep her business operating, homeschool her kid, dealing with grief from losing a dear friend in a mass-shooting event in Nova Scotia, and going through treatments with her son, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 19.

What keeps Karen going is the will to pay the bills and being curious about her business. This is fundamental. She understands that she is a solo parent, and there is no option for stopping. Being an entrepreneur means you have no plan B.  


What did you do to get through a difficult time? 

By being prepared for uncertainty. Karen has built up a great credit score since the beginning of her career and having access to credit has helped her to get through difficult times.  


What advice would you give to someone who is going through difficult times?  

Believe in yourself and have a good support community. Hardships may make us lose trust in ourselves and that is where a supportive community comes in. Do not be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s from a mentor, a therapist, a friend, or a financial planner. The power of community can lift you up and push you to reach your potential.  


Is being passionate enough? 

You need to love what you’re doing, but your passion alone cannot put food on the table. A successful entrepreneur must not only enhance their technical skills, self-management, and resilience but also learn to be flexible and accepting towards hardships. No matter how successful your career has been, failure could happen at any time. The more resilient you are, the faster you learn the lesson and move on with the next chapter in your life.  


Thank you, Karen, for joining us and sharing your story. We highly recommend you follow her work at IG @karendeanspeaks and LinkedIn Karen Dean [https://www.linkedin.com/in/karendeanspeaks/]. If you need inspiration to get through hard times in life, check out her book “We Are Unbreakable”, where she shared raw and real stories of resilience from women in Nova Scotia in 2020. Our team is always available to provide you the financial support you need. Reach out to us at info@askjackie.ca to get your free 30-minute consultation with the team. 


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