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Turning Pain into Progress: How Personal Trauma Fuels Creative Solutions in Business

Profiles of Business Leaders Who Have Turned Pain into Entrepreneurial Success

A hillside area surrounded by fog

Two of the most hated things in the modern world are tragedy and pain. There is a fear that stems from the unbearable pain—some people even pass out from the sheer intensity of the pain—and sometimes you do.

Tragic events, such as the death of a loved one or an illness that reduces a once-thriving life to barely surviving, can cause anguish and suffering. It may be the breakup of a long-term partnership or company, or in certain situations, it might be the relocation of a place because of conflict or natural calamities. Either way you look at it, nobody wants to experience this.

A wise woman once told me that sometimes the way through sorrow is the path to something amazing and novel. Thus, don't waste your suffering. Granted, there are instances when it's easier said than done, but there are three perspectives on suffering in life:

  1. You surrendered yourself to it.

  2. You just become numb from the pain.

  3. Once you cross over, you succeed and flourish.

We can select what we want out of the pain, which is a good thing. Even if we may not have chosen to go through it, at the end, we get to decide what we want to see.

So what does this mean in terms of business? It certainly has a significant impact, in my opinion. From places of great suffering and loss, many amazing businesses that exist today were born. Entrepreneurs who have developed solutions out of their own sorrow and suffering and worked to console those going through comparable struggles.

Every scar tells a story, and these scars can become the backbone of creative solutions, turning wounds into wisdom

Two businesses that we will discuss here had terrible or painful beginnings.

First up is Halo Sleep, a company founded in the wake of the neonatal loss of Bill and Cathy Schmid's child. SIDS was declared the cause of death, which is common in infants under a year old. Although there is no explanation for this mortality, the Schmids went on to develop devices that help babies sleep. Their company has been providing comfort to babies for 25 years, having started out as a result of their own suffering.

Hidrawear is the name of the second corporation. Because of a condition she had known as Hiddradenitis Suppurativa, the company's founder, Suzanne Moloney, founded it. This condition results in skin lesions that need to be constantly dressed, and as a result, patients have increased suffering from dressing their sores. One percent of people worldwide suffer from this disabling skin condition. Suzzane founded HidraMed Solutions to provide simple, adhesive-free bandages for people with Huntington's disease (HS), but it also helps people with wounds in delicate areas of their bodies.

Japanese style architecture

We will add a well-known nation to this mix—a country that was devastated but has since risen to world-wide prominence in technology and business prowess.

Japan lost two of its most important cities to the Allied forces in World War II. Following the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, that country experienced immense tragedy. Due to the atomic bombs that were dropped on them, they experienced starvation and a wide range of illnesses. The significant loss of life could have severely demoralized that nation, but instead, thanks to that tragedy and its own tenacity, Japan is a model country today and has led the world in numerous technical and infrastructure advancements. In addition, Japan's life expectancy increased by 13.7 years following this unfortunate incident. All of this resulted from the nation's citizens' decision to move on and rebuild their country after realizing they desired more. After experiencing a time of total isolation, they sent their citizens abroad to study in many nations and cultures, then returned to apply and enhance what they had learned. With a long history of technological advancements, Japan is currently among the world's most advanced industrialised countries.

 The lessons learned from overcoming personal challenges can also be the most potent fuel for entrepreneurial success

a woman meditating in the middle of a mountain range

There is always something in the wake of pain and tragedy—a door of opportunity that we can use to help others who will go through what we experience. In the Bible, it says that we are to comfort others with the same comfort we receive when we go through a time of hardship, and starting a business, whether for profit or not, is a way to help people who are also in the same place we were at some point in our lives. Here at Business Biogenetics®, we help you navigate your way to seeing what is at the end of the pain—the door that has been open to you to help others see their way through pain and suffering. We believe that everyone has the potential to find their purpose and make a meaningful impact on the world.

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