I am honoured to write this article with my good friend Marlena O’Donnell, who is one of the most resilient people I have ever met in my 30 plus years of being in business, and I would strongly advise you connecting with her.

Being resilient is one of the biggest characteristics any of us small business owners must have as one thing is for certain – there will always be setbacks. It is how we handle these that will determine our level of success. Failing is all part of the Growth curve. We have to fail our way to success. We generally learn more from failure than we ever will from success – so long as we don’t keep making the same mistake.

From my experience, the biggest challenge I faced was the 2008/9 recession. I had a business partner up until 2007, so this was something I had to face on my own. I remember my accountant coming in a couple of months before year end in April 2009, and he said to me after looking at the figures that if May was as bad as April, I would have to shut up shop. This was the biggest test I had to face in the 32 years I owned my Advertising Agency. I had a 30 minute mild panic after he left the office and knew I had to get a grip of myself, so called a meeting with the other 3 members of my team and between us we put some plans in place to help us get through this crisis. One of the main reasons we got through this was because of some processes I put in place about 5 years prior to this recession, so it does go the show the importance of spending time working on your business. If you want to know more about how I coped, then I am happy to chat with you in more detail over a coffee sometime (virtual during the lockdown, of course).

Richard “LIONHEART” Knight – Business troubleshooter

I want to hand over to Marlena now for her insightful thoughts on resilience

We all need resilience both in business and personal life. Resilience is not something we develop or strengthen – we are all built for resilience. When we believe that we can achieve something, we will take actions to towards it, but when we become overwhelmed by fear and insecurity, we stop trusting our own resilience and not take actions to help us handle a particular challenge.

Right now, we are all finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory. We do not know what is going to happen and what the new norm will look like. It may feel as if we are not in control. And this is true – we are not in control of the circumstances, but we can control our response and take appropriate actions.

Resilience is about not becoming overwhelmed by self-doubt – you have dealt with challenges in the past and you can handle any challenges that will come your way. If you are not sure how – reach out for help. Remember – you are not on your own. Seek help if you do not know how to move forward.

You can always take action – baby steps are better than no steps. Be persistent – sometimes, we do not immediately see the results of what we do, but being consistent and persistent will eventually bring you results. Keep going, no matter what. If you freeze, you will be moving back. Take actions based on reality and not emotions or self-judgement. We don’t know what the future holds, but this should not stop us from taking care of ourselves and our business to ensure the best possible outcomes.

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 11/05/2020