In a recent blog, Richard Branson wrote that resilience as a strategic skillset can make or break a budding entrepreneur. He was writing about “the resilience to pull yourself up, reboot your resolve, turn failure into opportunity, and give it another go”.
For entrepreneurs in any industry, the inner strength and resolve to bounce back from failure is absolutely vital. After nine years of managing my own business and getting a second business off the ground, I have learnt the hard way that success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes incredible perseverance, dedication and courage to overcome setbacks again and again, holding on to the belief that you will make your unique vision a reality.
However, in today’s hypercompetitive start-up ecosystem, the power of positive thinking can get you only so far. Without core strength and resilience as an inherent skillset, an entrepreneur is far more likely to stumble and fall.
The life of an entrepreneur is all-encompassing. From afar, starting your own business appears high-powered and glamorous – but the reality can be very gruelling. Budding entrepreneurs need to be prepared for the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship, harnessing inner strength and resilience to overcome the tough challenges that await.
In the face of heightened competition, disruption and the risk of failure, entrepreneurs are expected to be unwaveringly strong, level-headed and independent. Unfortunately, the immense pressure placed upon entrepreneurs has created a taboo around reaching out and asking for help, especially when it comes to personal struggles and health concerns.
While there is much hype about start-ups in today’s business community, there is very little conversation around the fallout and consequences of failure upon a person’s health and wellbeing. We need to start talking about the personal struggles and challenges that come with being an entrepreneur.
Statistically, entrepreneurs tend to suffer from high rates of depression and anxiety. In the past couple of years, the tragic suicides of several entrepreneurs in the US have promoted entrepreneurs to speak out about the silent struggles of founding a business and the toll it takes upon health, particularly their mental health. Yet we also need to start talking about the impact of entrepreneurship upon relationships and family – especially for female entrepreneurs and so-called mumpreneurs.
The entrepreneur’s survival kit
Drawing from my own experiences overcoming adversity as a mumpreneur and business manager of nine years, here are my 4 tips for resilience and success in business:
4 tips for resilience and success in business
Be prepared for the rollercoaster ride. Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted, and there is no guarantee that you will succeed. Be realistic and pragmatic – but don’t let these qualities deter you from your dreams or diminish your self-belief. In the words of Richard Branson: “In the early days of business, everything you do is about surviving – something that takes great resilience to achieve.”
Prioritise looking after yourself before you try to look after others – including your business. Many entrepreneurs live and breathe their business, all the while neglecting their own health and wellbeing. Put strategies in place to help you nurture your mental and physical wellness. Take time out for yoga, meditation, a massage or a nature walk.
Find a mentor
When you get your idea off the ground, how do you go from being a founder to a manager, leader and people-engager? Having strong mentorship and a trusted adviser is a key to achieving this transition. Many entrepreneurs are so keen to own their idea that they want to work in isolation. It’s important to remember that there is someone in the entrepreneurial community who has been there before you and faced similar struggles. Don’t be afraid to reach out and find the mentorship you need to be resilient and overcome obstacles.
Surround yourself with positive people
Every entrepreneur needs someone to talk to and have fun with, so schedule plenty of time with friends and family. At the same time, ensure that you surround yourself with dedicated colleagues, partners and investors. A strong support network is fundamental to maintaining a positive outlook and having a laugh, even when times are hard. It can be tough to carry the weight of so much responsibility – but with the right mindset, self-care and external support, you can bounce back from challenging situations and achieve your dreams.