“When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives.” A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Throughout the ages, the world’s most successful people - entrepreneurs, philanthropists, artists, business people, etc. have had to face and overcome obstacles. All of them had one thing in common - the character trait called resilience. By definition, resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult situations. It is the inner strength and toughness that gives someone the capacity to handle hardships bravely, and then move on from there without wasting too much time. In a broader sense though, resilience is that one trait that can make the difference between success and failure! Resilience is one of the “must-haves” traits for an entrepreneur. But this is easier said than done. Let’s discuss why a resilient entrepreneur is also a successful one, and what you can do to develop this skill in your professional life.
Be Confident but Remain Humble
An entrepreneur must always be confident in their product or skill set in order to work successfully. However, being confident doesn’t mean being obnoxious or being overly cocky. Finding the perfect blend of confidence and humility is a key talent that many entrepreneurs must find. It means knowing your product or service is superior while also being humble enough to change your plan if things don’t go as you expected. Humility and resilience are cousins.
Don't Be Afraid or Disheartened With the Word “No”
Many famous entrepreneurs hear “no” a thousand times before they hear yes. Just look at impressive figures like Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, and Walt Disney. Oprah started her career getting fired from a TV station and has now turned herself into a multi-million dollar brand. Rowling was a single mother living on welfare trying to get the Harry Potter books published and received multiple rejection letters from publishers before taking off.
And as for Disney, what is now the largest animation company in the world started off with a failed newspaper cartoonist and editor job. A couple of weeks back I wrote a post about some remarkable entrepreneurial stories in history. Each personality I mentioned in that post, from Henry Ford to Andrew Carnegie and others, have demonstrated that no matter what, being resilient means hearing “no” and taking it as a challenge to better rather than the end of the road. The bottom line? Resilience is the key to success.
Resilience Must Be Learned and Practiced
If you’re still asking yourself why resilience is important for an entrepreneur, just look at mega-entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. He believes that people are not born being resilient. It’s something that is taught and practiced. In order to become resilient, you must experience hardships and get rocked a little bit by the storm. Once this happens, you have two choices, you can give up, or you can get up, dust yourself off and learn from your mistakes. The second choice is called resilience, and it will benefit your business from the start to the finish of your career.
Set Goals but Prepare to Adapt
It’s easy to become obsessed with a singular vision or goal. Many entrepreneurs are driven by their own perfectionism. However, for a successful entrepreneur, the most important aspect of setting your goal is the ability to adapt. Perfectionism is your worst enemy.
Learning that things will not always go to plan is an important fact to accept before starting your business. Even massively successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg acknowledge when the plan needs to change. Facebook’s current COO, Sheryl Sandberg penned a book this year called Option B, where she discusses how Zuckerberg taught her to be resilient and accept change when things don’t go as planned. It’s in ways like this that resilience and success go hand in hand.
Resilience is a major key for all entrepreneurs looking to weather the storm and come out better off on the other side. What other traits do you need to become a successful entrepreneur? Download our guide to get some tips.