Resilience is key to building your business

As a child in Scotland, Clare remembers being taught about how Robert the Bruce was despondent at his efforts to secure Scotland’s freedom. As he considered his future after a recent defeat he watched a spider try again and again to reach across a wooden beam. The spider finally managed it on the seventh attempt and Robert was encouraged to pick himself up and dust himself off to fight another day…

We’re learning that starting a business, running a business and building a business takes a lot of resilience. So we’ve been reading and finding out a bit more about resilience and how we can build and sustain it so we can achieve our business goals and thought it might be of interest to others in the same boat.

We’ve learned that:

  1. Resilience grows through practice and can be learned
  2. Resilience is linked to your energy – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual
  3. Resilience is fuelled by clear goals and purpose

1. Practice may not be fun – but it’s worth it

Resilient leaders talk about how they’ve developed their resilience by being in difficult situations and coming through them. Looking back from the other side of a difficult situation is a good time to reflect so you can internalise the reminder that you have survived and – importantly– the lessons you’ve learned that you can apply to your next challenge.

At RAW Human Resources we include a discussion about lessons learned in our regular team meetings so we don’t just skip on to the next thing without learning from our successes and failures.

2. Manage your energy as well as your time

We all know about the importance of time management, but key to our resilience is our energy. When our tank is full on all fronts, we have more strength to deal with the challenges we face.

There are lots of different types of energy and all are important – some people talk about the types of energy as mental, physical, emotional and spiritual – others also include social and intellectual energy in the mix.

The key message to remember is that energy needs to be managed: there are activities that drain energy and those that rebuild it. The trick is to spend some time noticing your energy and what builds it or drains it – and then building in time to do enough of the former so you’re ready for the latter (or cut out energy drains completely where you can).

Some things that work for us are a walk around the local bird sanctuary in Bayswater, a game of Trouble with the family on the verandah on a Friday evening, and listening to some business podcasts to learn from others who are further ahead on their business journey.

3. Keep the end in mind

As Friedrich Nietzsche said “Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’”.

At a recent event Clare attended, resilient leaders talked about the importance of visualisation. Spending time visualising in rich detail including how you will feel, what you will see – even how it might taste! – once your goal has been achieved, can help you keep focused on the end goal when times are tough.

Regularly remind yourself why you went into business – and what you want to achieve. Clare has a list of goals for the next 3 months, 12 months, 3 years and 20 years (yep!) which she reviews regularly to keep them top of mind.

Plan it in

If any of this resonates with you – take a moment right now (and we mean right now so set your timer for 2 minutes if that’s all you can spare!) to:

  1. Schedule 15 minutes tomorrow when you can write your list of “battery charging” activities for yourself – first thing in the morning is often a good time
  2. Set a reminder to connect with a colleague or friend that you can chat through your challenges with in a supportive way
  3. Plan time on Sunday evening to remind yourself of your goal in setting up your business – set aside at least 15 minutes where you can sit quietly and visualise how you’ll feel when you achieve it

One last thing

Resilience is not the only key to building a business of course, but when you run into that metaphorical wall or find yourself wondering why you ever started the business you love, you’ll be relying on your capacity to build resilience to get you through (if you haven’t already)!

Thanks for reading and click the subscribe button below to keep up to date on articles such as these, links to other resources and our own FREE tools and advice.