Top 12 Ways to Build Resilience as an Entrepreneur
Resilience in business is a skill that can be built and nurtured like any other. While resilience is a trait that many still consider to be an innate attribute, many are wrong. Resilience is literally having the ability to bend without breaking, to rebound. Here are the top 12 ways you can become more resilient and get started bending.
“Adversity reveals the genius of a general; good fortune conceals it”- Horace
Being an entrepreneur means that you are an artist in the discipline of solving real and perceived problems. If the solution were simple and quick then the client or customer would do it themselves.
Problems, unlike people, are inherently resilient. There’s no bigger monkey on your back than that thing you should have taken care of months ago, but didn’t, and which is now a full grown gorilla. Resilience, a refusal to quit on your vision, is what gives you the ability to keep going even when the gorilla is winning.
Things will go wrong. You will have to respond. If you respond resiliently, each momentary hindrances will teach you how to prevent problems in the future. If you don’t, then each will be another chip of your will falling away.
“The most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.”– Ben Horowitz
Here are 12 proactive steps that can help you develop the resilience necessary to “embrace the struggle” of the entrepreneurial world.
Preparing for Resilience as an Entrepreneur
- Goal setting: The only thing that can frustrate you more than having no idea where you are going is having no idea where you are on the journey. Setting daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and longer goals, then meeting them, allows you to put failure into context and see little setbacks as exactly that, little.
- HeartMath: Research has shown that stress and negativity can lead to erratic heart rhythms, which correspond to erratic neural signals. Keeping positive and eliminating stress can maintain cognitive functions like remembering, learning and decision-making, whereas negativity can quickly turn into a self-fulfilling feedback loop.
- Exercise: The endorphins released during exercise are nature’s little chemical reward for self-maintenance. Basic physical efforts can also clear the mind and put more complex difficulties into perspective.
- Reflect on recent joys: Remember that doing the difficult things allows you to enjoy the little pleasures of life. Reflecting on those pleasures reminds you that it’s not all just a slog.
- Good night’s sleep: Poor sleep is linked to a host of issues, from excess calorie consumption, to disease, depression and stress. You can’t bounce back if you don’t have any bounce left.
- Visualization: You can’t build the future if you don’t know what you want it to look like. If you do know, the difficulties along the way are just momentary hurdles towards your ultimate goal.
- Earthing: You never outgrow the enjoyable sensations of sand between your toes and freshly cut grass underfoot. Science says you should embrace them often.
- Healthy Eating: Poor nutrition dovetails with stress, poor sleep and many other factors that keep you focused on inner challenges instead of those facing your business.
- Positive self-talk: Critically and rationally recognizing flaws, then fixing them (rather than brooding and berating yourself), gives you the objectivity and flexibility to take problems as they come. How can you solve external issues if you busy beating yourself up internally?
- Learn to say no: You are an entity with limited time, energy and resources. Saying yes to everything is a sure-fire way to exhaust yourself. No is always a possible answer and a necessary one for maintaining your mental and emotional elasticity.
- Take Risks: “Who dares wins.” Don’t confuse risk for gambling. Don’t expect every risk to end positively. Do allow victory to help you better understand risk and how you can positively approach it in the future.
- Get Support: There is no shame in asking for help. There is a great deal of resilience to be gained by knowing that you can turn to others in the darkest hours.
Now that you know how, you can begin taking concrete steps towards building resilience in business and in life, every day.