In today’s episode, Anna looks at how to build a resilient business and asks: What is resilience? Why do we need it? And what can we do to build it?
Resilience means the ability to bounce back in the context of adversity – in the context of business, to deal with and respond effectively to the inevitable ups and downs of working for yourself. Here are 3 things you can do to respond effectively in the moment; and 3 things you can do to build your resilience for the longer term.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The One Step Outside Facebook group– Join us over in the Facebook group to meet like-minded people who are working on reimagining success in their life and business and to get access to direct support and free training sessions from Anna. www.facebook.com/groups/onestepoutside
How to build a resilient business
Welcome back to another episode of the Reimagining Success Podcast. And this week, we’re talking about another one of those catchy words that’s been thrown about a lot lately, including by me, which is resilience, building resilience. And specifically, building resilience to cope with the inevitable ups and downs of the entrepreneurial life of business. Let’s face it. We’ve had a bit of a tough year this past year. I’m recording this, of course, in the beginning of 2021, in case you’re listening to this in years to come and wondering what I’m talking about. And we’re talking about coronavirus, in all seriousness, which has had a massive impact on many industries, on many people’s personal lives, on work-life balance, having to homeschool, and all that. We’re not going to get into that now.
What we are going to talk about is how can we build our resilience to cope with, to manage better our responses in those unpredictable situations. Because maybe this was one pandemic. Maybe it’s not going to repeat itself. Probably it won’t come back in exactly the same form, but there are going to be other things. There have been economic crises, the Depression, war, there have been things over the years that have affected life, have affected business. So really important to be able to deal with those ups and downs. And even in a smaller, sort of a micro level, not even macroeconomic level, society and the economy and so on. But within our day-to-day, it’s likely that we’ll have some exciting wins, we’ll have disappointments, we’ll have so-called successes, we’ll have so-called failures. So being able to deal with those, cope with those, is so important.
So what is resilience? Well, my mom has finally, after a hundred thousand years, no, I don’t know how many years since she wanted to, since school, wanted to study Latin, she’s finally done a Latin course. She’s into her second term already doing distance learning. And ‘resilient’, I’m sure I’m pronouncing it wrong, is from the Latin, to recoil to rebound. So it means to bounce back. So it means that there’s some kind of adversity, some difficult situation, you fall down, but you bounce back. You pick yourself back up again, you come back stronger than ever, and you embrace, you address the challenge, you overcome and you move forward. So it’s coming back from that.
And in business, again, there can be dips, there can be, through personal illness, you have to suddenly deal with the reality that you can’t, whether it’s mental or physical burnout. It’s a family illness, it’s your own.
I get migraines from stress, which is perhaps a lesser evil, but certainly pretty debilitating. You might have something more serious. But there might be something unfortunately health-wise that really stops you from doing what you want to do. Or again, with the example of having to homeschool, suddenly there are lots of other things that you need to deal with. There’s always things, sometimes more than other times, but there are always things that can get in the way of our best-laid plans to be really productive and do all these incredible things.
There will be unexpected trends we can’t control, certainly in the short term. How many clients we get, what the income is. And so we can, over time, we can control our input, the actions we’re taking, we can work on improving our strategy, looking at results and so on. But we can’t, from one day to the next, go, “Right, I’m going to guarantee a hundred clients.” At least, I can’t. So if you can, then by all means let me know how.
So resilience is dealing with those setbacks, managing them, not allowing them to cause us to spiral into a really difficult place where we can’t pick ourselves back up again, to give up on the business, to go back to a job, to allow it to affect our confidence and so on. So I think we’re all familiar with the sort of context of what could go wrong, what has gone wrong, what inevitably will go wrong in the future. And I say this again and again, but I strongly believe that one of the biggest reasons why some people fail and some people succeed, in terms of failure being, look, you give up and you stop with the business, you do something else, you go back to your job, and success is that you keep going, that is the number one driver of success. Just keep going. Persistence, resilience, consistency, and so on. We’ll talk about exactly what that means.
So what I want to talk about is two levels, really. The short term, what can I do right now in this moment, because, ah, it’s a horrible, stressful situation right now. It’s not what I wanted it to be. I need to deal with this. And then what can I do in the long term to set myself up for success, to manage things better, to give a stronger foundation that’s going to allow me to be more resilient. So I’m going to give you three for each scenario, the short term and the long term. So three little tips, nice round number.
For the short term, the first thing we need to do, we have to do, is accept the things we can’t control.
You may have seen that graphic of this is my zone of influence, my sphere of influence, and outside is all that other stuff. Within corona, I can’t control that there is a pandemic. I can’t make other people wear masks. I can’t get the jab quicker. I can’t solve, unless I’m a doctor or a medical researcher, I can’t solve the issue from that perspective. Unless I’m a government leading official or advisor, I can’t necessarily improve this policy. So many things I can’t influence.
What I can influence is what I’m doing, how I’m taking care of myself, my children, my family, my business, and so on. Within, again, the ups and downs of a normal, let’s say, cycle of business, there will still be ups and downs. Again, in the short term, look, today, I’m having a bad day. As Chris Ducker says from the Youpreneur, I’ve just started working with him recently, he says, “You can have a bad day. You can’t have a bad week. You can’t have a bad month.” I would say a bit more generously that you can have a bad week. Because let’s say it does happen. It’s rare that we completely write off an entire week, but it can happen. And I don’t think our business will collapse for it. What we can’t have is many bad weeks, right. If that is the case, unfortunately, we have to then accept that we’re pressing pause on the business, or we need to lower our expectations. But we can certainly have a bad day and that’s okay.
However, again, we can’t control what’s going on. We can’t control the number of clients who have attended today. Let’s say I’ve done a webinar, a big launch that’s going to feed into my programme, whatever it is. Let’s not talk the strategy, the tactics. And only three people turn up, or even 20 people turn up and only one person buys. First of all, let’s celebrate that one person because that’s incredible. Yay you. But secondly, in the moment today, I can’t now get more people because the webinar has happened. I can’t now say, “Oh, quickly, everybody ping someone into the room,” as they say in Clubhouse. Make sure more people join and then persuade more people to buy.
In fact, what I could do, of course, is message those 19 people afterwards and get them on the phone, and I could work with them and see how I can either downsell them perhaps to another programme, or maybe they’ll buy later. Who knows. I can, of course, go back to my list of warm leads who didn’t join the webinar and message them. I can put out posts on social media. So in fact, there are some things I can do, even in that moment. But what I have to do is accept that this thing has happened. I had a tech issue on the webinar. My ads weren’t as effective as I thought they were. What’s happened has happened. And I can’t control that.
What I can control, of course, right now, is to, again, have those conversations with people to learn for the next time, of course. Make sure I have a backup, technically speaking, or I’ve got an admin person to support me. Make sure I’ve learned how to do Facebook Ads properly. Make sure I put more budget behind it. Make sure I start earlier to have a longer run-up and so on. There’s lots of things we could do. So again, we’re not talking the specific strategy here. I’m just saying that there are things we could do in that scenario. But we need to accept, ah, it sucks. This thing happened. That will allow us then to focus our creative energies on what we can solve.
And that’s the next one. Number two is, and I talked about this last week, I believe, the growth versus fixed mindset.
So this is Carol Dweck. Again, she has a TED Talk and a book. The growth mindset, “Look, I don’t know how to fix this yet, but I’m going to figure it out. It’s going to be difficult, but I can do it. I don’t know how to do this yet. I’m going to do it. I will solve it. I will find a solution.” Rather than, “Oh, this is terrible. There’s nothing I can do. Woe is me.” By all means, feel sorry for ourselves. We can scream. We can cry. We can go and hide in the corner. But then, after however long, we need to pick ourselves up, get back into it, and focus on actually finding solutions. So growth mindset. We’re going to come out from this challenge stronger. There will be more challenges. Each time, we’re going to level up. Really important.
And then third thing in the immediate term, ask for help, whether it’s a friend, a family member, your partner, parent, child, whatever, therapist, coach, if you have one. The people who are already in your network, a peer and so on. Even if you just go onto the Facebook group that you’re part of and go, “Ah, this has happened and can someone help me?” Or, “Oh my goodness, I feel so upset this has happened. Has this happened to anyone else? Can you make me feel better?” And they will always, if you’re a member of a good group, and I’m going to fly the flag for my One Step Outside Facebook group, if you’d like to join us over there, but I’m a member of other great groups as well, they will support you. They’ll rush to your side, tell you, “Yes, absolutely, it’s happened to me before. You’re amazing. Don’t worry. And you can learn ABC.”
So in the immediate term, resilience, accept what you can’t control, focus on what you can. Embrace a growth mindset. Address the challenge. Overcome. Work on solutions rather than focus on the problem. And then ask for help. You don’t have to suffer through this alone. So that’s in the short term.
Now, in the longer term, what can you do? Well, having a clear purpose, and I always talk about defining success for you, but simply having that big picture of what you’re trying to achieve is going to help you smooth over those lumps and bumps along the way. There’ll be little detours. There’ll be little setbacks. But it’s okay because I’m working on this big picture vision. I know that this is where I’m heading.
And yeah, there’s going to be a bit of whatever along the way. I’ll end up… And why do I always have these sports metaphors, that last one, I’ll end up in the bunker. It’s okay, I’ll get myself out there. I’ll be in the rough. I’ve never played golf in my life. And I’ll just keep going towards that big vision, maybe not a hole in one then, but whatever it is when I’ve done many, many bad swings along the way. It doesn’t matter because I have that vision. I’m going to get there. So in the longer term, you want to work on your purpose for your business, your purpose for your life. You know what you’re working towards.
The second thing is to work on your confidence. Now, we talked last week about imposter syndrome. So do have a listen to that episode or watch that video. And again, we are on YouTube now with the podcast episodes.
So do check that out and subscribe to the channel if you’re not already subscribed. Lots of trainings and things, other than the podcast as well. So really useful resource for you. But working on your confidence. So work on, okay, not allowing this one little setback to completely challenge, attack your very being as an entrepreneur and a human being. There’s the book, The Four Agreements, by, I want to say Don Miguel Ruiz. I always forget his name. One of the agreements, the one that I remember, is don’t take things personally. And that means don’t take good things personally, just as much as not taking bad things personally.
Again, we talked about it last week in imposter syndrome. Don’t allow your entire worth, worthiness, to be based on what other people think, based on that external validation. You need to work on your inner confidence. And again, if you have that clear sense of purpose, you know, “Hey, I know…” Let’s say there’s a tech issue and I’m presenting to 200 people, “I know I’m a good presenter. One in 200 people complained. There was a tech issue. They thought I spoke too quickly or something. Great. I’ll learn from that feedback.” And I am speaking quickly so that’s completely fair feedback. “Next time, I’ll put a Post-it, speak more slowly. I’ll learn. But that doesn’t make me a bad speaker.” I have the growth mindset, again.
“Okay, language was an issue and I will make sure I speak more slowly, but the other 199 loved it. Amazing feedback. The tech issue was out of my control. Next time, what can I do? Well, I can do a tech test, [inaudible 00:11:41]. I can get support. I can check my internet, and so on.” But really working on my confidence that that one criticism, that one client who doesn’t buy, who unsubscribes, in fact, unsubscribes to emails is another one, right? Good riddance. If they don’t want to buy from you, then they don’t need to be on your list, right? This is a business for you. So work on your confidence. You don’t let those little setbacks tear you down.
And then number three, I talked about asking for help in the short term but, of course, in the longer term, you need to make sure you have that support network around you. So again, join the One Step Outside Facebook group… I’m getting too excited. Fantastic, like-minded people, community working on building the sustainable business outside of the nine to five. Have those peers around you, have cheerleaders, have supporters, empathizers. Find the right mentors and coaches. Whether it’s a specific thing you’re trying to learn, a strategy, you work with a Pinterest expert if that’s what you want to focus, or general business strategy, branding, getting yourself to the revenue you’re after. That would be then me, hello, work with me. But find the right people who are going to help you to smooth out those lumps and bumps.
Now, resilience is both from a mindset perspective, as I’ve been focusing on mostly, but also from the business, the viability of the business perspective. Diversifying your income streams.
Making sure that you are in control of your brand and you have a platform that attracts clients so you’re not reliant on chasing people all the time and so on. So again, we’re not talking strategy today, but just to say, working with the right mentors, coaches can help you build your resilience from a business perspective and from that personal mindset perspective.
So I think we’ll end it there. Have another listen. I know I have spoken quickly. I’ve rushed through this episode. Put lots of really important messages and points in there, which I hope you have absorbed. Again, resilience, yes, is a trendy, catchy word, but it is so important. It’s the foundation of being able to bounce back from inevitable setbacks. And by the way, the foundation of being able to even be resilient is taking care of yourself to begin with. I talk about sleep a lot, mainly because I have two little ones now and I’m not sleeping a lot. So I recognise that is the foundation of everything in life. Take care of yourself, self-care, another catchy phrase. Make sure you’re drinking water, make sure you’re sleeping, make sure you have someone to speak to when you need to. Mental, emotional, physical well-being. And that’s the real foundation for resilience, which then is the foundation to help you bounce back from the inevitable setbacks and the ups and downs of building your business.
So as ever, if you know somebody who could benefit from this episode, please do share it, spread the love. And if you loved it, if you found value in what I’ve said today, and in other episodes, then I would really appreciate a review on your favourite podcast app. I believe Apple in particular is where you can leave a review, both a rating, the stars, and also a little text, which will help other people like you find the podcast as well, and would make me feel really great because it’s external validation for me. So that will build my confidence as well. Thank you so much for listening. I hope that was, again, an important message for you to hear. I wish you the best of luck, and not even luck because it’s not about luck. I wish you strength and resilience in your day-to-day and in building your business. Thank you so much for listening, for watching, and I will see you back here next week for another episode. Bye for now.
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate