Resilience Required: Why every business owner needs to be resilient
If you are an entrepreneur, if you work for yourself, or if you own a business, resiliency is not a nice-to-have. It is a requirement!
The life of an entrepreneur requires you to maintain your elasticity in rough times. You need to bob and weave and expand within a constantly changing landscape. Unlike people employed by others, an entrepreneur is routinely faced with failures, changing circumstances, and opportunities that stretch our capacity.
Our capacity to stretch, to adapt, is the foundation of resilience as entrepreneurs. When we become rubber bands, stretching to meet each new challenge, flexing with each failure, and maintaining our elasticity in the face of uncertainty, we become capable of growing through those inevitable moments instead of having to recover from them.
So how do we build and maintain that elasticity?
1) Take care of yourself.
Self-care is frequently at the core of the work I do with my clients. You cannot become the business owner and the leader that you want to be if you are not taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If you are always being stretched, always under stress without a chance for rest, you will wear out and begin to crack like a dried-out rubber band.
2) Maintain the integrity of your vision.
There is a reason I use the rubber band analogy. Rubber bands return to their original shape when they are removed. You and your business must have a definite shape, a definite mission, and a vision for what you put into the world. Without those guiding principles, you will mold to fit any container and not be able to hold a shape of your own. Your vision becomes the north star for your business. It will shape and direct your actions.
3) Know your capacity.
Every rubber band has a limit. Based on the size and thickness of the rubber band, there is a capacity that it can handle. You too have an upper limit. Know where that limit is so that you don’t snap. Know when you need to call on the aid of other “rubber bands”: your team, mentors, support system. This allows you in to accomplish a task that is outside of your personal capacity.
4) Cultivate elasticity.
The best rubber bands are the stretchy ones. Actively cultivate stretchiness. Spend time daily thinking outside the box. Prioritize using your imagination. Cultivate a growth mindset. Practice being flexible with the people around you and with yourself. Ask yourself “does this really have to be done this way?” Create habits in your life that routinely increase your capacity to flex, routinely expand the edges of your comfort zone, routinely increase your range, routinely stretch you, and then allow you to relax. We build elasticity in the same way we build muscles or flexibility, gradually and with practice.
Resilience is a required skill and capacity as a business owner. The world of entrepreneurship WILL stretch you. It’s not optional. Cultivate resilience so that you can adapt and stretch in the face of those inevitable challenges.
Elizabeth Tollis is the founder and CEO of The Emerald Office. Her work emphasizes entrepreneurship as the path to intentionally designing a life that is good for you, for your family, for your community, and for the world. Her flagship coaching program, Full Focus, combines one-on-one coaching and group training to bring entrepreneurs exactly and only what they need in order to build businesses that support the life they want to live. Full Focus has members across the globe. You can find her at http://www.theemeraldoffice.com/.