August 25

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Resilience is Key

Written By: Dan Shaker

Any person who has ever launched a business will tell you that it is virtually impossible to solve a problem on the first try. Resilience is an essential tool for success not only in business but in life as well. I have been fortunate to travel around the world speaking to entrepreneurs about the power of resilience, and one common question keeps being asked, “How can I increase my resilience?”

As a stay-at-home Dad for a few years, one thing I have found is that children’s books have a particular way of cutting to the heart of the matter.  There is a popular children’s book series entitled The Little Engine That Could. When tasked to take a large load, she would continuously say to herself, “I think I can…I think I can…” Saddled with a huge load, she slowly made her way over the mountain, repeating the phrase “I think I can…I think I can” over and over until she made it to the other side.

I have a mentor in my life that described resilience this way: it is the ability to keep going. The year 2020 has been challenging for most people.  Have you been able to push through in the face of adversity and rebound in the face of failure?  I fear that people have been able to put on a brave face for their social media posts but are slowly tearing themselves apart with worry on the inside.

Here is the good news; resilience is a skill you can learn and strengthen. Please read that last sentence again.  I wrote learn and strengthen, not perfect.  Nobody is asking you to be perfect, so please, oh please, make sure you give yourself some grace.  If you want an excellent example of resilience, look at a successful entrepreneur you know.  They have developed this critical skill out of necessity. Here is a little something that not many people tell you when you launch a new business, when you do something no one has done before, you will learn to become friends with failure. An entrepreneur’s resilience is firmly founded on their mindset.  They believe that although times are tough, they will be better one day.  

Hall of Fame Yankee Cather Yogi Berra said this about the game he loved so much, “Baseball is 90 percent mental, and the other half is physical.” That quote always makes me laugh.  Having a correct mindset is vital for your success.  Resilience and belief go hand in hand. I do not care if you are the stocking shelves at your local grocery store or a major corporation’s CEO. Any person who is solving customers’ problems has much to gain when you leverage the power of belief to grow in resilience.

The beliefs you embrace set the limits of your resilience. I am not a big fan of living in some dream world of optimism that rejects reality.  I believe Henry Ford said it best, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” How can you win any competition if you expect to lose?  You can’t create a successful product or business if you quit after your first attempt fails. When inventing the lightbulb, Thomas Edison said, “I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 that don’t work.” Simply put, you cannot persevere through challenges if you are convinced in your mind, you do not have what it takes to win.

Think to yourself and challenge your current belief system.  You may need to adopt some new beliefs.   Life throws us all sorts of curveballs.  We must be able to move forward regardless of what comes our way. Here are two beliefs that can help you today:

1.) “I have a solution to this problem.”

Everyone has trouble in life.  I am not sure that anyone has ever had more trouble than Louis Zamperini.  I tell people that if you only read one book in your life, it is his story.  In my opinion, Mr. Zamperini was the perfect example of you cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you handle it.  Your determination to find a solution to problems will help you sell to yourself when life has punched you in the gut.  

You can purchase Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand by clicking here.

2.) “I can overcome obstacles.”

I am going to be your mentor for the next 45 seconds. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.  Yes, it is essential to have solutions to problems, but please know that if you have read this far, I believe you have what it takes.  A good mentor will see things in you that you cannot see in yourself.  You can do hard things. You can overcome challenges. You can brush yourself off after something does not go your way. You can discover a new way forward. The only way you lose is if you quit.

You might be thinking that the cost of failure is high, and I would say you are correct.   But that is not where it ends.  The cost of giving up too soon, especially when you are on the brink of success, is even higher. Keep on keepin’ on!

Say the words out loud from our friend The Little Engine That Could, “I think I can…I think I can,” and you probably will.  

Is there a time in your life when you were resilient and overcame adversity?  Please shoot us an email or share your story on our Facebook Page.  We would love to hear it!


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