So, when things go wrong, like a negative online review, how do we usually respond? How long does that response last? And what are the things we can do to lessen the impact when things don’t go the way we expect?
The reality is that in business, things often don’t go the way we would like them to, or the way we expect them to.
Resilience is the capacity to absorb shocks and to keep functioning in much the same kind of way as before the shock.
Our bodies are ecosystems; they are complex, adaptive, self-organising systems. When you change one part, that change causes some other part of the ecosystem to change, and so we have these feedbacks that keep organising and re-changing the system.
But the thing is, there are limits to the degree in which a system can cope with a shock and reorganise itself to keep functioning the same way as before.
Once it goes past the limit of our threshold, commonly referred to as a ‘tipping point’, it still keeps self-organising. The problem is that it self organises in a different direction, and often one that we don’t like.
So ‘resilience thinking’ asks us to identify the things that cause the shocks; how much impact they cause; and consider how we can minimise that impact.
Simple small things can cause “shock” – like missing the bus, losing the car keys, spilling something in the kitchen. These small things can potentially erode our state of well-being so that when the big things come along, we don’t have the reserves to “absorb the shock and keep functioning.”
Building resilience takes time. Here are four strategies I recommend:
- Be prepared for potential “shocks”
Identify them – whether personal or in your business – and create a plan for how to deal with them. For example a client who cancels a session at short notice – might be a “shock”.
As part of your business operating instructions you have options on how to handle this: first – re-book this client for their next session, and then use the time to call other clients and see if they want to bring their session forward.
Use the spare time to write a blog post, use the time to reconnect with some clients you haven’t seen for a while, or make a cup if tea and listen to some music to rejuvenate yourself….
Knowing how to deal with a shock before it happens lessens the impact when it does happen.
- Let it go…
OK, so there was a kids movie that made these 3 words famous. The fact is those 3 words are the truth when it comes to building resilience.
There is a terrific story I heard years ago about 2 monks walking along a path and as they came to a stream a woman was standing unable to cross. Although these monks were part of an Order not allowed to have contact with women, the first monk picked up the woman and carried her across and set her down on the other side.
About a mile down the path the second monk was still berating the first monk for what he did. The first monk turned to him and said “I set her down on the other side of the stream, whereas you are still carrying her.”
This story has played a very important role in my life as a reminder not to carry things beyond the edge of that stream. Set it down. Leave it there. Let it go…..
Hanging onto things that go wrong or other painful experiences can produce lasting harm to your physical and mental health.
- Reward yourself every day
The most important thing you can do for yourself each day is reward yourself. There is no doubt that setting up and running your business is hard work – it requires commitment and long hours. There will be times you feel like packing it in, but instead of beating yourself up, do something nice for yourself.
Whether it is a yoga class or an hours worth of walking or listening to some music. Self-reward is appreciating you for all the hard work you do. By doing this every day you will be better placed to cope with any problems, especially the “shocks” that may arise in your day.
- Choose your supporters and nurture those relationships
The adage ‘no man is an island’ most certainly holds true when you are an entrepreneur.
While we can all put on a brave face in the face of a challenge, having a great support group makes a ton of difference. Jim Rohn says “we are the product of the 5 people we spend the most time with.”
Who are you spending time with? Who are your supporters? We all need support, not only financial and business coaching, but also personal support.
Someone who will listen when you feel as if the mountain in front of you just won’t budge; a go-to person when you want to celebrate even the smallest of successes; and most of all that person who will be a sounding board when you need it most. Those of us who have this much needed support and who nurture these relationships, will certainly reap the benefits.
Your best friends or your family may not always be willing to listen to your everyday troubles when you are starting a business. Instead you may find that other entrepreneurs share your concerns and can empathise with your situation.
Sometimes, just trying to explain what you are worried about opens your own mind to the solution that has been escaping you. I often find when working with my clients that when I listen to them and then ask just the right questions, they already know their answer, they just need help to articulate it and create substance around the idea.
There is so much more I could write about resilience.
The ability to build resilience takes time and more important than time, it takes a decision to change, a decision that you want to build resilience and do not want to exist in ‘the dramatic‘.
As Charles Darwin once said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
I leave you with a simple example – of forests and fires. If we try and protect a forest from ever having a fire, it gradually loses all the species that are capable of putting up with the fire. The forest then becomes very non-resilient with respect to fire. So that when one eventually does occur, it is very destructive.
We don’t really want a life where no shocks happen – that is just not realistic. The secret is to know what the shocks are likely to be, what you will do about them, and know how to leave them behind…. as you move on to be the terrific human being that you are.
Thanks for reading this –
My guess is that you are here because you are curious about what it might be like to start a business?
Perhaps you’ve been wondering if you have what it takes? If your idea will work or even how much it actually costs to build a successful business?
I’ve written a book that can answer pretty much all your questions “So You Want to Start a Business” and you can download the first 20 pages at www.thestartupsteps.com
15 years of experience working with start up businesses are condensed into this book.
It’s your step by step guide to launch your business smarter and faster and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you and can’t wait to hear about your progress.
Are you ready to grab your excerpt? Click here www.thestartupsteps.com
Do you need help starting and growing your business? Please give me a call on 0450 212 882 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org