How Adversity Can Open Opportunities for your Business

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Everyone is going to encounter adversity, set backs and disappointments in their life, no matter how successful they are.  How you handle those challenges can make a huge impact on the direction your life take.  Adversity can stop you in your tracks, and turn your life upside down.  It can also make you stronger, and lead you down paths you never would have thought of.  The old saying…..”when you are handed lemons, make lemonade” has never been truer than it is in today’s economy.  We have personally experienced much adversity, and wanted to share how we’ve dealt with it.    

Jackie: This economy has dealt severe economic damage to many people. More than ever we are seeing people that are getting body-slammed. Not only are folks losing their homes and jobs in record numbers, in many cases they have also lost their savings, and retirement. It is interesting to note how they deal with it.

Bill: In our case, we were successful builder /developers with a multi-million dollar green built condo development underway. While we worked hard, we also vacationed 3-4 times a year in various parts of the world, and basically lived the good life with no concern regarding retirement.

Jackie: When the housing crisis first hit, and sales slowed down, we tightened our belts, cut back expenses wherever possible and prepared to ride it out.

Bill: However as we watched sales slow to a trickle and finally stop altogether, we realized as month after month went by, that this wasn’t a typical recession.

Jackie: That’s when we began to look for options to help us survive. There weren’t home sales, economic growth or jobs……….what were there a lot of ? Our answer was distressed homeowners, short sales and foreclosures. It made sense therefore to get active in that market.

Bill: We began to learn everything we could about short sales. We started working with a great negotiator, who Jackie likes to say, gave her a PhD in short sales and we began to fill a pipeline.

Jackie: We realize that this is a constantly evolving process, and to be successful you have to be able to adapt.

Bill: At first we saw short sales as a way of supplementing our income, allowing us to pay our bills and hang on till the housing market came back. Now we see it as a significant wealth builder.

Jackie: You can sit back and let life happen to you, or you can jump in and fight. Very seldom does something worthwhile just fall into your lap. People call that investor “very lucky”, but in reality that investor has worked hard, built relationships, and laid the groundwork, so that when that lucky break happens, he recognizes it, and knows how to take advantage of it.

Bill: Life is full of adversity and challenges. The old saying goes…..” there are no problems, only challenges and opportunities.” How you deal with adversity helps determines the path your life will take and your success. It can defeat you or make you stronger.

Jackie: Our motto is “Never Ever Give Up”. Go under, go over, go around or go through, but never ever give up.

About Author

Bill and Jackie Patterson are Nationwide Short Sale Investors. Both licensed Realtors, they have an eclectic background including development, construction, apartments, and restaurants since 1980.


  1. Adversity is no stranger to me. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 20 years. And I have learned from my mistakes the hard way. The challenge is to figure out some kind of way to turn your adversity into opportunity. No matter what you go through you must keep revenue coming in. Even if it’s not enough. Because when no money is generated then you have real problems. So the key is to cushion the fall by managing your assets innovatively. I had to sleep in my car for years in order to keep my businesses afloat. It was painful, but it was a strategic business move.

    • Bill Patterson on

      It sounds like you subscribe to the “do what you’ve got to do” theory! I hope things are better now!

      Yes it is a big boat! It seems though, that every time a door is closing that another door is opening. You just need to see what is inside and walk on through!


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