When the Going Gets Tough: Cultivating Resilience

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Building and sustaining a business is not a task for the faint of heart. As anyone who has launched a business from the ground up knows, transforming an idea into a successful enterprise requires not only technical know-how, but also a steadfast willingness to work hard and weather the setbacks that inevitably come with establishing a new business in a competitive marketplace.

But when the going gets really tough, how do you maintain your energy and optimism? While most of us are born with some ability to cope with adversity, resilience is also a skill that can be learned and cultivated. By considering in advance how you would recover from an adverse change in circumstances, you can prepare yourself to bounce back quickly from even the most challenging situations.

While there are some practical steps you can take to protect yourself from potential setbacks, such as having sufficient insurance and savings, problems may arise for which no protection is available, such as an abrupt downturn in the market or the unexpected loss of a major client or key employee. By approaching these unanticipated setbacks with the right attitude, you may be able to address the problem more competently and more quickly.

Keep in mind that resilience does not necessarily mean going it alone. By building your personal and professional networks, you ensure that you have trusted allies who can provide encouragement and advice when problems arise. While friends and family members can be an invaluable source of support in a crisis, they may not understand all the issues you face in your business. By joining industry organizations and getting to know other people working in your field, you create a support network of professionals you can consult when weighing how best to handle specific problems related to your business. An experienced mentor can also provide insight and encouragement.

However, just talking about problems does not resolve them. You must be prepared to take whatever action is necessary to meet the challenges ahead. Start by making a detailed list of possible ways to address a problem, and then assess pros and cons of each. If, for

example, market conditions have changed, revisit your business plan and adjust your goals to the new environment. Rather than becoming discouraged because you are unable to meet your original goals, set your sights on hitting new targets. Don’t be afraid to consider unconventional strategies, such as partnering or bartering with other businesses, or branching out into a seemingly unrelated business area. Simply by doing what you can each day to improve your situation, you may find that you are gaining positive momentum that can help propel you forward, despite obstacles.

If current circumstances cannot be easily changed, strive to accept the situation. Some problems, such as a downturn in your particular market, could remedy themselves with time. If work is slow, consider taking breaks to travel, get outside, or spend time with family or friends. Catch up on sleep, get more exercise, improve your diet, or clean out your closets at home. Focusing on your overall well-being — and getting some distance from the business-related issues you have been focusing on so intensely—can generate a much-needed shift in perspective and provide new insights into solving some seemingly insurmountable problems.

Whatever your difficulties, do not overlook the assets you have acquired. Take the time to appreciate the strengths within your organization. Even if you have downsized your workforce in response to the economy, remind your remaining employees how the company can continue to be competitive, despite the challenges in the marketplace. If you demonstrate a steadfast willingness to work hard and weather the inevitable ups and downs with energy, optimism, and resilience, your staff may also do the same. Together, you can work toward the success of the business.


The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax, legal, or financial advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us or a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities. This newsletter is written and published by LIBERTY PUBLISHING, INC., BEVERLY, MA

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