It’s no secret that the most important lessons in life sometimes come from the hardest times or that the wisest people have often overcome the biggest obstacles. In business, as in life, success should not only be measured by dollars in the bank but by the resilience the founders have. This is truly one of the defining keys to growing a successful business.
Resilience! Never giving up! Grit! Getting back up when you keep getting knocked down!
Whatever you want to call it, it’s important. From the outside, people may see the highlight reels of growing businesses and think it looks easy. They might think the travel, the adventures, the shimmer looks really fun, but many will never see the resilience that it takes to get there. The dark grit in the corners that is the opposite of sexy but is the reasons all things are possible.
This is the key to owning and running a successful business. Not only the long hours, the dark days, the getting knocked down time and time again but the getting up, dusting yourself off and continuing forward. That is success. Never giving up.
This isn’t to be confused with situations that force peoples’ hands. To throw in the towel and say it’s all too much would be hard but sometimes you have no choice. Your loved ones would understand, they would say at least you tried. They would applaud the courage to draw the line and close the doors. Sometimes that’s the only way and that’s not to be looked down upon. Sometimes that’s where those lessons and that wisdom comes from, after all.
But too many times and too many people face situations that test them, especially early on, and they think it’s the end. They get shot down and they stay down. They hear negativity about their product, they face criticism, they hear no and they run. They don’t make all the money they anticipated right off the bat, and they figure they should just move on. It can sometimes feel like getting kicked in the face over and over and it’s easy to see why so many people end up waving the white flag.
Resilience is continuing on with your hypothetical broken nose and bruised spirit. It’s those moments that separate the success stories from the might-have-beens. It’s not giving up during those times when it would be easy to say “Oh, well, we gave it a good try and nothing happened, let’s go back to the safety net”. It’s still picking up the phone after hearing a hundred no’s and being optimistic you’ll get a yes on call one-hundred-and-one and it’s pairing persistence with that resilience when it seems like the rest of the world just isn’t buying in.
Success is consistent resilience. It is looking no in the face and not taking it for an answer. Success is being bruised, beaten, tired and broken but still getting in the ring and facing the next fight. Business is no different from sports; high contact, fast moving, combat sports that test your soul. And if you stay down while your mid-match, you will surely lose.
That’s why you need to keep getting up. Keep fighting back. Keep going. You cannot win if you stay down, and you cannot find success if you cower in the corner. Dig deep, make the next call, book the next meeting, practice, find good coaches, surround yourself with a strong support system and believe that you will get there.
They say most overnight success stories are 10 years in the making. Imagine if those successful businesses gave up after 1, 2, 5 years? Imagine if they were not resilient? Winning in business does not come easy and it is not for the faint of heart, but one thing is for sure, they key to any successful story is resilience.
by Shannon Ferguson