All entrepreneurs need resilience, that grit that pushes them to keep going when most other people stop. This post aims to show you how you can build resilience by developing perspective.
Resilience is important because it is inevitable that you will face challenging times. Even during periods of prosperity for your business, the challenges will continue to present themselves. The predictability of the challenges you will face will vary, often impacting how you address them. I like to use this breakdown showing the different types of challenges:
- Predictable and Quantifiable (Quantified Correctly)
- Predictable and Quantifiable (Quantified Incorrectly)
- Predictable but Un-Quantifiable
Most people who start businesses can demonstrate resilience when they are dealing with category 1. They know something is coming; they know what it looks like and they may or may not have a plan to manage it. But overall, this is an expected event and therefore it is manageable. The levels of resilience required to manage these events are usually low, unless the work effort involved places too much pressure on you.
But it is when people face challenges related to categories 2 to 4, that resilience becomes a necessity.
The simple way to describe the above categories is:
- Predictable and Quantifiable (Quantified Incorrectly) – I knew it was coming but I didn’t realise it was this big!
- Predictable but Un-Quantifiable – I knew it was coming but I had no idea what to expect!
- Unpredictable – What the hell!? I had no idea this was coming at all!
All of the above indicate that the challenge you are facing is greater than expected. Some we knew were coming but didn’t know they were this big or how big we really expected them to be and some, well, we just had no idea they were coming at all.
These events have the potential to derail your business. Resilience is required!
So how can developing perspective build resilience?
There are many tools and platforms you can use like Bluehost, Instapage, ShareASale to help you with your business, but for me, it all comes down to getting the right perspective of the cause and consequence of the event is paramount. But it is also really important to get perspective around how you plan to approach the challenge. It is human nature to panic and respond emotionally to challenges; the trick is to balance good old fashioned analysis with a positive mental attitude. No complaining.
The first of the two elements to developing the right perspective is truly understanding the challenge at hand. I always try to identify the details of the challenge first, consequence or impact second. The “why” can come later – it is natural tendency to try and find out who caused the issue but I personally think this is a distraction unless you are dealing with possible security risks for your company.
Once I understand the consequence, I rate this to try and get some sort of sense of magnitude of the challenge. What can seem like a major problem when first discovered, can often be considered lower priority with some careful analysis. For example, usually when you are dealing with challenges that result in a customer impact, the tendency is to over-estimate the magnitude of the impact. Customers can be noisy at times and a small element are adept at playing the system in a digital environment where reviews and reputation are important – removing the emotion from dealing with their situation can reveal much about the true magnitude of the problem. On the flipside, genuine clients are getting smarter at seeing the true background of reviews and ratings, saying it simply, serial complainers and whingers stand out more than they used to in the digital world.
Understanding the magnitude then determines speed at which I need to address the challenge. But I always add in this step – assess the challenge for opportunity too. Does the challenge provide you with the opportunity to address something else that you have not found the time to do? Does the challenge now open the door to adopt new solutions, technologies, staffing or processes? Identifying the opportunities will often turn a reactive, clean up type activity into a proactive business improvement activity which creates a positive context for you and your team. It simply feels better to work on it this way.
Once I know what I need to do to address the challenge, there is one more thing to do that supports the perspective I need for my own resilience.
I must remind myself that every problem is a challenge that creates opportunity. I must embrace the work that needs to be performed to address the challenge. I must focus on the positives that will be achieved through doing this.
Challenge (in my view):
– Makes you stronger through achievement
– Makes you smarter through experience
– Increases your efficiency and productivity
– Builds credibility internally and externally
– Makes you wiser
Remembering this and making addressing challenges a positive creates a mindset that encourages routine or habitual approaches that are outcome focused, emotion free and certainly less stressful. Positivity drives my resilience – when things are not treated as problems but instead are viewed upon as opportunities then it’s difficulty to go down the negative path. Assess and analyse first, determine the magnitude and address each challenge positively and you probably won’t even realise you are being resilient.