If you’ve ever been an entrepreneur, you’ll know that it requires resilience to maintain your composure when almost nothing goes the way that you planned. In 2016, Brandon Young was an entrepreneurship major at Oklahoma State University who connected kintsugi to the journey of the person. The name of his American-made hat and canvas flag business? Kintsugi Outfitters. Here’s all you need to know about Kintsugi and how it can make you a better entrepreneur like it did Brandon Young.
What is Kintsugi?
Kintsugi is a Japanese art that takes broken pottery and adds value to it by repairing it and creating something entirely new. This practice uses a precious metal, typically liquid gold, silver, or lacquer dusted with powdered gold, to rejoin the fragmented pieces and reform the broken. Kintsugi has become a beautiful representation of how breakage can become valuable. While the Western world often discards anything broken, this tradition takes a negative incident and recreates something positive to commemorate it.
Turning Adversity into a Business Opportunity
The message of kintsugi is exactly the one Young wanted to portray when he founded Kintsugi Outfitters. It’s powerful to feel as though you can use the previous scars you hold to create something worthwhile in your life. Yet, coping with traumatic events is something that each and every person does. Why not turn it into an opportunity to change your life? Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, but with the right inspiration, you can change your life and the lives of others as well. We often forget that even those larger than life entrepreneurs like Andrew Carnegie had hardships too. Carnie, for instance, lived in such poverty before moving to the U.S. as a boy that he used to sleep just to forget the hunger. He didn’t that when he hit it big—he gave back and became a philanthropist. The scars that formed him were flecked with gold just like kintsugi.
Resilience as a Founder
Most know Steve Jobs as the Apple founder who changed the way that technology works for us today. Most don’t know that he was ousted from Apple in its early days for controlling leadership. His early time off from the company allowed him to gain some insight into how he could reframe his own behavior. When he returned in 1997, Jobs was more prepared to empower his employees and act as a mentor in the workplace. With his history, Jobs couldn’t have turned away from his past. Those around him knew how he had behaved previously so he had no option but to improve his leadership style. His resilience led to what we know Apple to be today. He introduced the iPad and iPhone to the world. Early failure and brokenness do not need to define you in your life or your entrepreneurship journey. Each time it happens, do as the Japanese do and rebuild yourself in kintsugi. Reshape and add value so as to never forget where you have been and how it can make you better.