Company in crisis: the lesson of Reid Hoffman, founder of Linkedin, for entrepreneurs in difficulty


It has happened to all of us, or maybe it is happening in this period, to find ourselves in a moment of difficulty, especially for those who have decided to become entrepreneurs or open a new business, a startup.

Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and has invested in many other successful startups, knows very well what it means to go through these dark, very difficult moments and recently wanted to share his experience.

At a certain point, these dark moments arrive and are similar for all the companies he founded and for the realities he developed. We are faced with an obstacle that threatens the survival of the company itself; there is a state of emergency; the team is tired and discouraged, afraid. And it is precisely when the darkest hour falls that Hoffman takes the field.

Reid Hoffman’s words are certainly inspirational and can give us a different perspective on how we look at the difficulties we face. But how to put them into practice? Here are four suggestions:

What doesn’t kill you fortifies

Meeting problems allows us to improve ourselves: it forces us to think differently, experiments with new ways of acting, consumes us, brings up our fears and insecurities, and undermine our resistance and effectiveness. Of course, if we allow it!

What happens if, on the other hand, we look at the challenge before us as a chance to bring out a better version of ourselves?

We need to remember the true meaning of the challenge, which is to question the abilities of something and test them. If there were no challenges, we would be trapped in a continuous repetition of something that requires minimal resistance, but that never changes its result. In this world, we would not have the opportunity to question anything or improve anything, not even ourselves.

Unity is strength

We are not alone in feeling the weight of insecurity, fear, and tiredness that the descent “in the valley of shadows” brings with it. As Hoffman said, sooner or later everyone gets there, and for the most disparate reasons: some for work, some because of relationships, some for other types of personal problems. Sometimes, despite efforts, failure comes, but even then, it’s not the end of the world.

We can learn many lessons from failure, and then feel more prepared the next time we descend into the valley of shadows. Knowing that you are not the only one facing these experiences gives us a curious, silent force. Let’s get in touch with those who, like us, are going through dark moments, or have just come out of it, the union is strength.

Difficulties transform us

Everything simple, marginal, in that situation has already been done because it was within everyone’s reach. Simultaneously, the most important issues remained incomplete precisely because they are the most difficult but also the most satisfying.

The hero is not born in a day

We think of all those fairy tales that they told us when we were children, heroes whose deeds we heard or saw. How many of them were already heroes before taking any action that called them such?

In all the stories, the hero becomes such only after killing a monster. Before this gesture, he must have faced a journey, meet some dangerous situation, sometimes make mistakes or risk perishing, meet his valley of shadows, recovers, and finally reach his goal. In short, they teach us from an early age: facing the toughest challenges will make us heroes. But for whom heroes? If not for ourselves, for someone else: an admirer, someone who wants to get to where we are, someone who wants to climb over their obstacles.

Let us ask ourselves for whom, once we have overcome the obstacles that we face, we will be heroes, and once we discover it, we will make the extra motivation for our victory.