In the beginning of this month’s focus on Leadership, I said that to be an entrepreneur you had to be a leader. To be successful you’ve got to do a great job of influencing and motivating your team, clients and most importantly yourself – especially when no one else sees your amazing vision!
It’s a tough life being an innovator, taking risks and daring to be different, the very definition of an entrepreneur is: ‘A person who sets up business or businesses taking on financial risk in the hope of profit’ or ‘One who organises, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise’.
So, how do you build the mind-set needed to be a risk taker who bucks the trend and goes with their gut - with the right planning and research of course!
And the answer is RESILIENCE!
The definition of Resilience is ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’
Resilience is all about how you deal with the challenges and obstacles that come your way. We all know that being an entrepreneur isn’t all blue sky thinking, ah-ha moments and sweet sales! The question is how you bounce back when you feel stuck or get feedback that makes you question yourself.
A little while ago, as part of a training programme I was asked to ask friends, family, colleagues and clients for 3-5 words that they would use to describe me and almost all of them said resilient. I was surprised, I didn’t write that down about myself, but as I thought about it I realised that I’d been building my resilience all my life and love proving naysayers wrong. I loved it when I passed my driving test before my ‘friend’ who said they’d get there’s before me or when I decided to go back to university to do my Masters and people told me it would be too hard as a newly-wed with a demanding full time job. I’ve never let doubt or worry prevent me for going for what I really wanted!
So, below are a few tips to help you remain focused when the only cheerleader you have is yourself:
Start your day right
I find that the tone with which I start my day has a big effect on my mood and productivity. I try to make sure that I start the day right by either going for a run or exercising most mornings. I also read a daily devotional and pray to set up my morning before the rest of my family wakes up. I find that the exercise wakes my brain up and the prayer puts my heart and mind in the right place.
Keep a Positive Attitude
I remember when I worked in customer services during my summer holidays, I realised that if angry customers shouted at me and I remained positive, I was able to calm them, sort out their issue and not feel so stressed myself. Always try to see the positive in every situation, sounds corny but there really is always a silver lining.
Don’t take things personally
Your business is your ‘baby’, as an entrepreneur it’s difficult not to take things personally as you have put all your passion into achieving your dream and taken the associated risks. I used to get very emotional when things didn’t turn out the way I planned, even when others gave me positive feedback, all I could see were the errors. You have to learn to separate your individual self-worth from the success of your business because everyone will have an opinion on your business but that doesn’t mean it’s how that think or feel about you. I’ve learnt to say “That’s an interesting idea, thank you” and let it go.
Remember you can’t please everyone
As a business owner you try to please your clients or product users and keep your team motivated. It is good that this is your focus, however remember that “You can please some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of the time”. You can lose focus and begin to doubt yourself and doubt and fear have killed more dreams than failure.
Try these tips this week to build your resilience and you will feel more focused and less stressed. You can find the vlog on this subject here.
Want to build your People Management resilience? Check out our online training programme here.