Entrepreneurs and business owners are often characterized as risk takers. Some say entrepreneurs aren’t risk takers, but optimists. They don’t actually see the risks inherent because they just can’t believe their brilliant idea could do anything but succeed. Optimism is a key component of progress. And, if you think about entrepreneurship, the goal is to progress, make things better and add value to the world. So, I would agree. I do believe that good entrepreneurs are oblivious to the consequences, but great entrepreneurs are constantly measuring and auditing their happiness and performance in order to mitigate risk and be more resilient. There are two reasons why great entrepreneurs are resilient and prepared for tough times:
- They are chasing the right motive – a motive with no particular end game (ex. Google organizing the worlds information – that really never ends).
- They balance resilience and wishful thinking, understanding that you do get knocked down in order to pivot instead of quit. Great entrepreneurs are great listeners and are constantly measuring their happiness and progress. They also audit their environment. At BuyAndSellABusiness.com we audit our environment with a model we call S.E.T. It measures social, economic and tech trends, so we have focused direction and strategic clarity, and it also helps us to stay ahead of the curve as much as possible. If entrepreneurs and business owners think this way, they can definitely be prepared for tough times.
Some people have said that resilience is the ability to bounce back. But often (as in something like COVID) there is no bouncing back. It’s more about integrating the experience in a transformed way. To me, it means showcasing you’re staying power as a business and thinking long term. If you think more long term, you can be more resilient. You can be more agile on the day-to-day details, decisions and setbacks. It’s all about keeping faith and never losing hope, even during challenging times. With the spotlight on the pandemic, resilience is about adapting and reinventing your business, so you can stay in the game longer.
In a post COVID world, you need to ensure you’re not confusing motivation and inspiration with wishful thinking. Sometimes it feels like you’re pushing a boulder up a hill. So, during tough times it’s really important to find the answers to these questions: If I wasn’t already doing this, would I do this? If this whole business disappeared tomorrow and I had total freedom, is this the business I would work on? Are these the first people I would call to work on it with me? If the answers to these questions are yes – carry on. If the answers to these questions are no – walk away. The hardest question I’ve had to ask myself on my entrepreneurial journey is: Should I try harder? Or should I walk away? I draw motivation and inspiration from this question every day.
In a post COVID world, you need to be constantly working on long term goals. The pandemic and future challenges may shift day-to-day a tad, but your goals should be set for the long run which is really sustainable during setbacks and uncertain times. One of the most successful strategic moves we’ve made at BuyAndSellABusiness.com is the implementation of a flywheel. A flywheel allows our organization to be agile with the details of our business while standing strong on our vision. It’s especially valuable during setbacks. For example: Our main goal is to educate our audience and build an engaged community. That long term goal never changed during the pandemic. However, it did change our day-to-day priorities, from educating and building community around buying and selling to educating and building community around surviving and thriving – both aligning with our ultimate goal, and driving business results we’re looking for.
In a post COVID world, you need to be reliable. It’s all about leading with kindness, empathy and integrity. Everyone is dealing with their own battles, so you need to be a responsible leader. It’s all about clear communication and conviction around your vision and goals, and about being understanding, generous, authentic and respectful. I truly believe it all stems from being reliable.
In a post COVID world, you need to build a resilient organization, and the foundation of a resilient organization is built with love, encouragement and support. The love of learning and the ability to take a setback and keep going has to be contagious and it starts and finishes with leadership. You have to rally the troops, and you need to have extreme clarity around your cause because it directs and guides the business, ensuring everyone remains inspired to continue contributing their time and energy for the long run. The cause has to be deeply rooted and meaningful, with the ultimate goal of making things better. This is what makes a resilient organization.
In a post COVID world, you need to think hard about “how to bring people back to the office.” The majority of leaders and entrepreneurs are tinkering with a hybrid work strategy. It’s really about understanding the comfort level of your workers and ensuring they feel safe and happy. Employees who are less stressed are more engaged, more productive, more creative and resilient. And that, ultimately, means great things for your company morale, as well as your bottom line. You need to understand that organizational resilience requires employee well-being. So, you have to take care of your people and cannot afford to tarnish relationships for “a moment in time”. If we don’t have people, we don’t have a business.
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