#5 Resilience

I'm a naturally resilient person, which I think has helped immensely over the past 10 years in business.

You take a lot of knocks as a business owner – and a lot of risks. There’s always a chance of failure or a chance that something won't work. 

So, how do you cope with failures and challenges in business? How do you build more resilience?

I find it comes down to three things:

It's not personal. We operate in a commercial industry, and our service is a commercial transaction. It's just business and sometimes things just won't go the way you want them to. And accepting this can help you take a healthy step back.

Everybody slips into a problem mindset at some point, especially with COVID – I've been there many times. And it's okay to allow people to grieve. 

Acknowledge that a situation is really bad and let them live in that space for a bit. Honour and validate the feelings, but know that you're going to move out of that space quickly and don't wallow in it. Because if you’re sitting in a problem mindset, you're only going to see yourself as a victim of the situation. 

You need to be constantly reframing the challenge or criticism as an opportunity to learn and grow. Identify what you can and can't influence, and then start to work towards a solution.

Finally, having good processes can be a huge help when it comes to handling or even mitigating criticism and setbacks. For example, we use a couple of internal processes that help the team talk about what they're feeling. We prompt them with questions like: 

🔹 Is the customer happy? 
🔹 What outcome do we need? 
🔹 What things can we solve? 
🔹 What's in your circle of influence and what's not? 
🔹 What can't you control? 

This helps us focus on the things we can fix and know when to step back and do a bit of a reset. We had a project quite recently that wasn't going the way we wanted it to. We went through the process, assessed the situation and reset the project to get it through the door.

Plus, the right systems and processes can pick things up earlier and mitigate future problems. Things like:

☑ Tracking time and investment
☑ Monitoring how you're performing against the budget 
☑ Checking where you are in the process
☑ Checkpoints that make sure the customer t is content

These systems can help you know early on if you need to reset a project or bounce back up.

What are some ways you’ve built resilience as a business owner or creative professional? Or how do you develop resilience in your team?

This post is part of an The Edison Agency 10 year reflection series, covering some of my biggest takeaways from the past decade in business. Read the blog here:

Click to Chat