No one ever said running a business was easy. There are times when it can seem like one knock back after another to such an extent, that you can question why you ever started a business in the first place!
The key to being not only able to survive, but also to thrive lies in your ability to build resilience. This is your ability to get up after every setback, learn from your mistakes and to adapt to a new, and possibly ever-changing business horizon. Here are my top strategies to build resilience.
#1 Choose Your Reaction
Whilst you can’t control the thoughts and actions of others, you can gain greater awareness and consequently control of your reactions to them. If an issue is going to happen, the way in which you react can make a big difference to the outcome AND the way you reach that reaction. Instead of getting caught up in the reason why or how something has happened, remind yourself that you can handle anything and then set about fixing it.
#2 Practice Self-Compassion
To build resilience, be kind to yourself. Whilst we may be compassionate to others, we don’t always offer ourselves the same kindness. Being self-compassionate involves being mindful; realising that a setback is just a moment in a far bigger story and accepting the situation without judgement of ourselves. If this is difficult, then think how you would react if a friend were in this situation. What would you say to them? How would you respond?
Perfectionism and fear of failure mean that a mistake can seem like the end of the world. Instead, tell yourself that no one is perfect and try to reframe this as a learning opportunity. What have you learnt and what can you do differently next time to ensure this doesn’t happen again?
“Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.”
― Gever Tulley
#3 Cultivate Forgiveness
Holding a grudge serves no useful purpose. Instead, cultivating forgiveness of both a person or a situation can be empowering. Acknowledging what happened, including how it feels and how it’s affecting your life right now, then actively releasing any resentment and ill will for your own benefit can lead to a greater understanding of others’ suffering, as well as the ability to highlight an area of weakness in your business or something else that needs attention.
#4 Build Your Network
If you’re spreading yourself too thin in your business and trying to do everything, then you’re opening yourself to the potential for errors. No one can be an expert in everything!
Instead, know and embrace your weaknesses. Start building a “little black book” of useful contacts – the people who have the expertise and knowledge that you lack and start calling on them for help. In reality, you’ll end up with a professional result at a fraction of the time it would have taken you to complete the same task, reduce your stress and give you back the time that you would have spent completing the task. What’s not to love?!
#5 Accept Re-Routes
Whilst you may have a clear plan of action, to build resilience, it’s also important to cultivate flexibility in your beliefs and attitudes. Pu simply, if something isn’t working, don’t carry on regardless, but stop and consider another way of approaching the task or an alternative route. This change in direction might add a few minutes to the journey, but ultimately, you’ll build faith in your ability to remain agile, no matter what the challenge.
Finally, it’s important to spend some time reflecting on your “why”. The passion that drove you to start your business in the first place. It can be difficult to retain perspective when you feel as though your back is against the wall, so have something outside of your business that allows you to let off steam , relax and recharge your batteries.
Building a business takes courage as well as something of a never-say-die attitude. But focus on ways to build resilience and you’ll have the mindset to recover from (inevitable) setbacks, learn lessons, gain experience, and move your business forward.
If you would like to learn practical steps to help you build resilience, to gain focus on your business vision or to break down the barriers stopping you from achieving your business success; perhaps blocks around money, around self-worth or as a result of self-limiting beliefs then why not book a chat? I work with small business owners and help them define, create and retain their vision of success