Welcome to Resilience Chronicles 📖
An Exercise in Bouncing Back 📚
I’m inviting fellow entrepreneurs to join me in building what I’m calling the Resilience Club.
I believe a critical component to becoming a successful entrepreneur is the ability to be highly resilient in the face of challenges. And I believe we can learn to become more resilient when we share our stories and experiences with each other.
My journey has presented many opportunities for me to practice becoming more resilient. I share it with you now in hopes that you’ll find some inspiration from it. If you do, consider joining the Resilience Club so you can inspire others with the story of your own journey.
My name is David Sabo, I’m a millennial entrepreneur and this is my story.
Born into a lower-middle-class family in rural Hungary just after the collapse of the Soviet Union, I grew up seeing my parents and many people around me struggling for personal and financial freedom. Everyone seemed to believe that fate’s plans would keep people like us pinned right where we were. But even at this young age, I refused to accept that external forces would determine my livelihood.
Even then, I was an outlier.
As a kid, I was beaten up regularly in school (but always managed to get a few choice cuss words out to let my attackers know just how I felt). I had few friends and didn’t know if I would ever find my place in society. It was then that I realized the only tool I had at my disposal was my mind, and since it seemed to quickly absorb information, I decided to nurture it with as much knowledge as I could. I started reading voraciously.
Then, at the age of 16 tragedy struck in the most gut-wrenching way. I lost my only childhood friend in a car accident — and it broke me in half.
I tried desperately to process what I was going through, why, and what it all meant. I went through a deep mourning and period of self-reflection to unbundle my own programming and overcome beliefs that were no longer serving me. This was an exercise in resiliency training that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
By the time I was ready for college, I had already experienced the kind of heartaches and challenges that build a strong Resilience Muscle. But, there was so much more still in store for me.
A few years later, my journey turned to a search for a livelihood. While studying at university, my family took a serious blow in the financial crisis and I lost all of their financial support almost overnight. I didn’t even have enough money for food and was only eating proper meals three times a week.
At this point, I was at a crossroads. Do I try to follow through the safe plan, or do I seize the opportunity of having lost everything to get rid of all preconceived notions of which path is ‘correct’ and start looking for my own answers?
Someone once said, taking the path less traveled made all the difference. I get that. I didn’t have anything else to lose but I had the whole world to gain, so I set out to define my own path.
I made a decision to live life on my own terms. I took to reading and meditation and started searching for role models and mentors I could learn from. To earn money, I was delivering newspapers in the morning, helping out at an event in the evening, and selling anything from life insurance to cosmetics and cheap perfume in between.
I was laughed at and frowned upon amongst my peers. Here it was, the guy who had nothing but a chance to build a normal life and he was throwing it all away to chase his pipe dreams. But I didn’t listen to them.
My first breakthrough happened when I teamed up with a friend and launched a development studio focused on building and selling websites for small businesses. I still didn’t know how deep the rabbit hole was but we kept going.
Soon, our customers began requesting specific functionalities, so we started developing our own software to service this need. A few years later, our software was funded by European angel investors and I moved to the UK to manage the continued growth of the company. We got signed large corporations as clients. I was on stage delivering keynotes on our market. It seemed like this was finally it.
Success was within reach.
Alas, things did not work out as well as I had hoped. I was young and arrogant, and still had a lot to learn. The business failed and I suffered a nervous breakdown — at the way-too-young age of 26. I lost friends, all of our savings and every bit of motivation I had to keep chasing the dream. It took me years to get my first chance, and I blew it all away.
After this epic failure, I spent months analyzing the circumstances and trying to understand how to learn and grow from the experience. Though I had been knocked down, I knew it was important to find a way to turn this incident into something that would make me stronger and more resilient. During this introspective period of reflection, I held several jobs until I decided that it was time to try my hand at entrepreneurship again.
At the beginning of the second chapter of this journey, I left the UK and helped launch a new company. I went all in again, only to leave 6 months later, feeling like a failure and moving back to where I started from: rural Hungary, my old hometown.
The problem wasn’t that the company hadn’t been successful — in fact, it had been immensely successful. Hyper-growth within 6 months, making millions of dollars in revenue, having operations all across the globe with a team of about 50 people. But with that success came disagreements on where to take the company next — and those disagreements eventually tore us apart. Another lesson learned. This time though, getting back on track was easier to handle, because I had built a very strong Resilience Muscle.
Within six short months, we’ve rebuilt our lives, launched a new business and have started helping others get over their own self-imposed hurdles.
Here are the biggest lessons I learned along my journey:
1. Ego can be our worst enemy.
2. Projecting our thoughts onto others is toxic behaviour.
3. Defining expectations in both business and personal life is absolutely necessary.
4. Giving ourselves permission to fail is a critical part of becoming successful.
5.Surrounding ourselves with people who inspire us helps us grow and make meaningful connections.
I believe one of the most powerful things we can do to cultivate success is build up our resiliency. Our ability to get knocked down, learn from it, and get back up ready to apply that knowledge — truly makes it easier to find success in business and in life.
That’s why I’m so excited to be launching a Resilience Club of fellow entrepreneurs who are eager to share knowledge, stories, and inspiration from their own journeys. This closed, members-only group will be a safe place to train our Resilience Muscle through exclusive lessons, mind hacks and mentoring.
If you’re ready to start making connections with people who understand what it takes to bounce back from challenges and make it to the top against all odds
Add your name to the waitlist and I’ll let you know as soon as the doors are officially open. I look forward to seeing you inside!