The Importance of Personal Resilience when Running a Business


Resilience is a word often associated with thriving businesses. Any business should be resilient towards shifts in the market, which happen more often than you think, in order to persevere into the future. However, personal resilience is not often a term associated with businesses.

Businesses that thrive are often ones run by resilient owners or managers. Personal resilience is not just a quality taught to kids anymore. It’s a trait adults must possess, especially those engaged in businesses.

Importance of Personal Resilience when Running a Business

Women and men in business naturally must have some resilient traits. A majority of new businesses fail. Companies like Google and Uber are the exception to the rule. Even if a business fails, it’s important to keep on trying as a person. Also, if the manager or the owner of the business is not resilient, the company will not do well when facing the very, many challenges it would ultimately face. So, here are several ways business owners can build personal resilience and make their ventures thrive:



Learn to be Reasonably Optimistic

Businesspeople, especially start-up owners, tend to enjoy being optimistic. Sometimes the optimism is overt. Veteran investors and businesspeople caution that too much optimism could lead to disaster. Jason Sugarman, a veteran private equity financier, and an investor, advises new company owners to be reasonably optimistic. It’s important to have faith in your own venture so the owner can lead it in a successful direction. However, this optimism should not be blind to the challenges the company faces down the road. It’s important to mentally prepare oneself for such challenges, so when they eventually come, the executives are prepared to face them head on.

See Opportunities in Setbacks

Steve Jobs didn’t quit on Apple just because the board fired him. He went on to run several ventures, learning valuable lessons that he brought back to Apple, leading to the phenomenal success of i-devices. Likewise, businesspeople should not take setbacks necessarily as setbacks. If a person undergoes trauma, it can stay with that person for life. However, psychologists use a technique called “reframing the personal narrative” to help trauma victims become more resilient and get back on their feet. Businesses that undergo major setbacks can be compared to trauma. The founders can recover from these setbacks by reframing the problems as opportunities to learn and grow.



Avoid Personalizing Setbacks

Never personalize business challenges and claim them as personal failures. If the business is going downhill, the owner must always keep a cool head to either pull back the venture from bankruptcy or to handle the ending with dignity. Blaming all of the company’s problems on oneself won’t help. Therefore, owners that do not take each setback personally would be stronger when facing other problems down the road.

Keep the Victories in Mind

Don’t forget the accomplishments the company has already achieved. More importantly, don’t forget how these were achieved in the first place. Make success a lesson well learned, and you will be able to repeat it in the future.

Resilience is not just a genetic trait. It can be learned. For businesspeople, resilience lessons could mean extreme success in the future.


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