I didn’t plan to be an entrepreneur. It was a necessity that grew out of the life I was living, and the challenges I was managing.
When you can’t sit up, can’t move your arms of legs but need to change the world and earn a living what else is there?
However, I did choose to learn to be resilient, which allowed me to run my business successfully…
Maybe you have health challenges too or perhaps you are dealing with a day job, caring for a loved one, children or a rapidly expanding company.
That we can live a full-hearted life no matter the circumstances.
I believe you can detect and draw out the natural resilience that resides within you.
But if you click away today remembering one thing, I’d like you to make it this:
We can try very hard and still be off track – have you had that experience?
Burnout is a big issue in entrepreneurship. It’s a dangerous fallacy that the only limit is how big we can dream, because then surely we can do anything?
And yet even with all our technology, with all our possibility we have this fallible, unhackable, terribly human body. We can do anything, but only if it’s physically possible. Humans burn out.
Change and loss are inevitable, there is no place, no space, no income level, no degree, no app, no lifestyle, that can protect you or your business from pain and loss.
How you deal with these changes makes a difference not only for your in how they are resolved but in how you handle change and challenge in the future.
You will try things in your enterprise that don’t work as you’d hoped. That’s good news – if that doesn’t happen maybe you aren’t trying enough new things. But if every ‘no’ sets you back emotionally you will soon run out of juice and if your business is running solely on your energy then it may easily grind to a halt when you do.
We have times when we don’t know what to do or where to go. The options that are available don’t seem to fit us, and we are left feeling like an outsiders. At that time, I believe we have a path forward, we just need to blaze our own trail.
This first happened to me when I was very ill, I was given no hope of recovering but no guidance on how to live now. I was fed up of always being an outsider, always being ‘other’. I didn’t want to be the healing freak, the sick chick, the broken one anymore. I decided that if I didn’t fit the paths in front of me, if there were no more options and no way out then it was time for me to turn Trail Blazer, and make my own magic.
Check out the blog next week for how to build resilience…
From Limits to Liberation
You know all those worries you have? Or the thoughts that tell you it’s just not possible? We are going to re-frame them right here and now. Take a deep breath, this may be uncomfortable, but it’s going to make things easier.
— Write down everything that you think is holding you back right now. This could be: a day job, debt, can’t get a loan to start up, lack of business knowledge, feeling un-confident, having small children and no time, being ill and unable to work, not thinking your idea is good enough, not having support of people around you and so on.
Next we are going to reframe each of those challenges into a positive. For example:
- A day job is an asset because…. you get to set up and launch your business without the financial pressure of making it support you from the beginning, as you already have you day-job income!
- Debt is a positive because… it’s making you examine and shift your relationship with money. Can’t get a loan to start up makes your business better because… you have to re-think what you really need to launch and what you can do without. No loan means you are bootstrapping the business – and running on a shoe-string means no loans to pay back and you turn a profit, and can invest money back into your business to grow it so much sooner.
- Lack of business knowledge is useful as it means you don’t have any preconceived ideas or aren’t beginning your business based on incorrect information. You are in a perfect position to seek out the best teachers, mentor and allies and learn as you grow.
- Feeling un-confident is an opportunity as it allows you to dive deeply into aspects of business like communication, sales, networking and pitching. These are things many people aren’t good at but just get by with. They are essential to any business and you are about to excel in them.
- Having small children and no time may seem like it’s holding you back when actually it’s teaching you to work incredibly effectively. Most people waste much of their time. 20% of their time gives 80% of their results. But they waste 80% of their time on inefficient things and procrastination. If you only have 20% of time and energy to work on your business you learn to be incredibly organised and effective. So imagine how much you’ll achieve when your children are older and you have more time but the same level of amazing efficiency? Anyone who has had to look after small children has to be innovative and deal with crises – and these things can be transferred to business.
- Being ill and unable to work…. can hold you back, but it can also be a great training ground. Being ill teaches you negotiation (with doctors), patience (when dealing with the benefits systems), how to fill in forms and deal with bureaucracy, prioritisation (when you are ill and can’t do much you learn to do the most important things first). Managing set backs, taking the long view, (you have to do this when living with chronic illness and the skills are needed in business too). I looked at the skills I had learned from managing chronic fatigue, dealing with medical frustrations and the red tape of the benefits system then used the subsequent patience, time management and negotiation skills to help my clients via coaching and training. I have very limited energy, but that meant that I could focus what energy I had on the things that were most important to my business, and that in turn streamlined all the work I did.
- Not thinking your idea it good enough… is actually a bonus as this means you examine it, question it and re-work and refine it until it’s the best it can be.
- Not having support of people around you… forces you to seek out mentors and entrepreneurial communities that will support you! Now you try… list out your problems and how it can actually be a positive.
Don’t let the problems prevent you from doing what you really want to do.
Build resilience and live well no matter the challenge.
Resilience is what allows us to suffer, struggle but to keep moving. Resilience is when we bend with life rather than breaking. It’s flexibility, it’s “I can handle it”.
Resilience is rising from the ashes, it’s about using the fires to refine your business, and yourself, it’s earning your phoenix feathers.
Resilience uses your skills and tools to manage setbacks rather than becoming overwhelmed or falling into using non-optimum coping methods. For reference, binge watching old TV shows and Twitter procrastination are both non optimum coping methods.
We all know that person who seems to come back stronger from every struggle. They aren’t the ones pretending nothing hurts, they fall apart, change everything but something in them allows them to move forward, re-build and put themselves and their social entrepreneur spirit back together again. The reason the come back isn’t because they’re stronger, cleverer or better than you. It’s resilience.
It’s not a mystery, the factors which make up resilience have been identified by psychologists. We can learn resilience as surely as we can learn how to build a website or submit a tax return.
How to build that resilience? Sign up below as Part 2 next week tells you how to build it!