Future of Work : Resilience Entrepreneurship

David Wee is Founder & CEO of DW Associates and the Asia Speakers bureau. He is the primary developer of Entrepreneurial leadership and creating new space in a crowded market™. 

Email david.wee@pacific.net.sg and website dwassociates.blogspot.com


Bouncing back into the business world after you’ve crumbled down.

When you start your own business, if you are realistic at all, you have to know that going in, there’s a chance you may fail. Entrepreneurs, by nature, are risk takers. Starting a new business is a huge risk and as you grow a new business you will be taking risk after risk along the way

Confucius once said, ‘Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.’

The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed. The entrepreneur who is on the verge of dismal failure, grinds it out and builds a successful business. In many ways, failure is an event that marks an important stage in the entrepreneurial world. Why ? In many ways, it sometimes takes failure to strip away the false appearance and show what is really important in life and to redouble ones focus on those items.

The World we live in faces many challenges: environmental, social, economical, political. Those problems can seem so huge and insurmountable that we often give up on them before we even try to tackle them. But the mind is designed to meet creative challenges. The way to unleash its creative power is through responsibility and decision. When you decide that it's up to you, that you are going to do it, then your mind gets into gear and starts working at a higher level. We are purpose driven beings. And in each and every one of us there is a core desire to be of use. We all want to help make the world a better place. We all want to make a significant contribution.

Resilience is a key theme you will hear about time and time again in the entrepreneurial world. The ability to persevere and bounce back from adversity is part of the DNA of a successful entrepreneur. As they say, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

Setbacks happen to everyone. The challenge of "bouncing back" from a setback has much to do with how long we wait between the experience and the time we truly put our disappointment behind us. This doesn’t mean going through the action of burying the pain only to have it pop up at different times in our lives as unresolved conflict. It means facing the facts and the emotions surrounding the situation, learning from the experience, and then moving beyond it.

The good news is that the skills of resilience can be learned. Here are seven ways to build resilience.

Make connections. Networking doesn’t just make good business sense, it makes good psychological sense. Form a network of professional and personal resources who can step in with advice or even just a sympathetic ear when times get tough. The support goes both ways - helping others in their time of need can benefit the helper as well. Get a coach, find a mentor.

Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. Whether your business has had to downsize or just changed markets to accommodate the economy, you should focus on the big picture and realize that these setbacks do not necessarily threaten the life of your business.

Accept that change is a part of living. People evolve, and businesses do too. While change can be painful, accept that your business will change to meet new circumstances - whether it is an updated business plan or a new niche of customers served. In today’s business and economic climate, the ability to be flexible is key.

Move toward your goals. Small business owners tend to be very goal-oriented, but sometimes the inactivity forced by a stagnant market can stall an entrepreneur. Develop some realistic goals and do something regularly - even if it seems like a small accomplishment - that enables you to move toward those goals.

Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can. Take decisive actions, rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away. Problem-solving is an active and ongoing process that can increase resilience considerably.

Look for opportunities for self-discovery. Small business owners can focus so heavily on changes in the market that they forget that they also are evolving as entrepreneurs with each challenge they meet. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggles.

Nurture a positive view of yourself and your company. You may think that small business has been hit hard in this economy, but take a look at how well-positioned your company is to survive. Small business owners may have been hit hard by the economy, but they also have the ability to be nimble and flexible, something the larger companies often have trouble with.

Use it wisely and use it well. In this short amount of time and in the business world time is of essence we all can learn a thing or two from being resilient. You must take action and get back in the game. Life is the experiment. Life is too short. Achieve your dreams. Don’t waste the time !

Fear of failure and fear of the unknown are always defeated by faith. Having faith in yourself, in the process of change, and in the new direction that change sets will reveal your own inner core of steel.

You reap what you sow. Everyone knows this one. But always remember that reaping only comes after sowing and it takes time.


© Copyright 2007 David Wee

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