Resilience Is Key to Small Business Success – Here Are 7 Tips to Improve Yours
You probably feel stressed or overwhelmed with the amount of work you need to do to keep going in your small business. Do you wonder when it will all end? You’re not alone.
Many people I have talked to feel this way and their only way of coping is to ‘soldier on’. They force themselves to keep going and hope they don’t burn out before they achieve the results they want to see.
To be able to function effectively as a small business owner, you need resilience. Some people talk about resilience as ‘bouncing back’ after trauma or crisis. I think of resilience as having tools and strategies to be able to manage your life and work every day, while you continue to succeed in a personal and professional way, learning and growing as you do so.
‘Stuff’ happens every day. Small things as well as large events tip us off kilter. It could be as small as no clean teaspoons when you want a coffee or cup of tea. Or or a client who turns up late for a meeting. If you are living on your edge, feeling tired and stressed, these small things could tip you into an angry outburst or a flood of tears.
It is important to have systems and plans in place before you get to the tipping point and know how to address the situation.
One of my recent small business clients, Mary, told me she was in a ‘funk’. She felt swamped with work, much of it unpaid and questioned, “What am I doing? How do I maintain the momentum?” Another client, Jack felt completely overwhelmed after the death of his father and needed help to see where he was going. They both asked for help to get them out of their mire, so I took them through a few steps to build their resilience.
So how do I build resilience?
1. Recognise your situation
How are you feeling? What is going on for you? Sit down and write or think of how you are feeling. Is there a reason for this? If you understand what is behind your feelings of overwhelm, you can start to do something about it.
2. Take responsibility
Don’t be a victim and cry in the corner waiting for someone to rescue you. Make a decision that you need to take some steps to get out of the hole. Just by making that decision, you will feel stronger and able to find a step you can take.
3. Review your relationships
Being a small business owner is a lonely existence. You may like working alone, however you still need to interact with your clients. Practice and hone your communication skills, both written and verbal. Start with your best friend or partner and work out to others.
4. Regenerate yourself
If you are working hard, you need to look after your body, mind, emotions and spirit. Do you have healthy eating habits and drinking enough water each day? Are you exercising each day? What are you learning? What is your favourite form of meditation or mindfulness? How do you nurture your spirit?
5. Review your resources
We can’t build resilience alone. When you are feeling in a funk or overwhelmed, who can you turn to? Family, friends, books, a coach or on-line resources?
6. Take time to reflect
At the end of each day or week, or after a project, look back at what you have achieved, what you have learned and how this can be applied to a future day or project.
7. Spend time rejoicing
Do you acknowledge yourself when you have done a good job? Do you practice ‘good-finding’ in your team, family and friends? Do you celebrate your achievements in a way that anchors them for you and your clients?
Spend a few minutes every day reviewing these points. Practice them. Your resilience will improve and your stress levels will decrease dramatically. After working with Mary, she realised she had time to do everything on her plate. She felt more confident and less muddled. Jack started a journey to review his whole business and life and took positive steps in a new direction.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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