The Wise Entrepreneur

9 Reasons Why An Entrepreneur Must Be Resilient

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Please kindly accept my apologies again for skipping some posts, occasioned by some unavoidable circumstances. Otherwise, welcome back.

I thought today I should give a motivational piece regarding resilience. Candidly, every entrepreneur requires resilience as the entrepreneurship journey is oftentimes full of obstacles and challenges. If you happen to interview 100 successful entrepreneurs today, probably about 80 – 90% of these will have stories of a failure (and even several failures) before they became very successful in their business endeavours. Don’t you think so? I challenge you – just proceed and do that. If you can’t discuss with 100 just do about 10 and you will still find this common factor. There is hardly any free sailing in the business world. For those who are not resilient and tenacious enough severe business challenges often means closing the business and blaming everyone. I don’t think that is the right approach.

So, what is resilience anyway? It is the ability to withstand, and come back into shape or recover quickly after difficult conditions or situations, change or misfortune. It is the ability to be tough, hardy, flexible, and strong. For an entrepreneur, these qualities are very vital. Challenges and setbacks in the business world could be many. It could be loss of or damage to a critical business asset, or even departure of a key staff. It could be severe activities of a competitor that wipes out 50% of your market share, or a government regulation that technically closes your revenue lines. It could be a difficult debt or cash flow situation that makes your suppliers and the public lose confidence in your business or a humongous fine by a regulatory body due to your non-compliance to some laws and regulations. It’s endless.

While many enterprises carry out planning and efficient and effective execution, there are still some business scenarios that simply decide to be outside your meticulous planning. There are still situations that will defy your risk profiling and contingency planning. It is commonly said that today’s business world is full of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA), but this also depends on factors such as the kind of business, size and other factors anyway. If you are running a small retail shop in your local trading center you might not take these matters seriously, but if you are a large business employing hundreds and thousands of people, and operating regionally and globally, then you may appreciate the importance of these issues.

So, can we now consider my 9 reasons why an entrepreneur must be resilient? Come on.

  1. There will always be opposing forces. Entrepreneurship is not without friction. Challenges and setbacks including failures and frustrations are many. If you run away because rent has increased then you may never be successful in business. If you have a mental breakdown because your closest competitor has snatched your key staff or client that generates for you most of the revenue, then you lack resilience. If a tax authority issues an agency notice to the bank regarding your account, because of noncompliance, and you proceed to close that business and register a new one, then you are not being smart – because you hardly have an idea of what it takes to build a business name and a brand. Do you understand what I mean? There will always be opposing forces to your enterprise activities, Mr. Entrepreneur, but you need to have resilience to weather the storm and move on. Ok?
  1. Gold is refined in fire. Nothing good comes out of nothing. You should also know that in this world good and precious things do not come for nothing. I’m talking about the earth, as I don’t know the rules in other planets beyond the earth.  You have got to manage the future of your business with patience and this requires resilience, if you really want good business success. I’m not talking about some cheap business deals you do once and make abnormal profits and then run. I’m not referring to you manipulating some government official and you get some sole rights for some years over something. There could be several lazy ways of making big money that does not really reflect your business acumen and expertise. This is why I respect entrepreneurs who tussle it out in the real competitive world and still come out clean and successful. They deserve this respect. Explore, strategise, refine, develop and grow your business amidst the challenges, and you will have your successful golden enterprise over time.
  1. Your potential is far greater than what you can imagine. Awaken the giant within you. There is this American motivational speaker, coach and writer by the names Anthony Robbins. I mean the guy who wrote the famous book entitled ‘Awaken the giant within you’. I think I love that guy’s work, and if you have never read his writings I suggest you give it a try. My dear entrepreneur, you need to switch on the power inside you to overcome serious business challenges. You must be resilient and make use of this power. Don’t be a crying baby, running back into the safety net of the mother’s care, when faced with business challenges and setbacks. Are you getting me? Come on! That giant in you will be very much disappointed if you simply run away from problems. Make use of that hidden potential in you. Have you ever considered why and how your capabilities seem to rise dramatically when you are faced with physical danger? Human beings have been known to cover tens of kilometers in a day walking; climbing walls they never dreamt of climbing, etc. simply because the giant in them was circumstantially awakened by some situation. You don’t need to wait for that bad time. Awaken that giant now to achieve a good purpose towards your goals and objectives.
  1. Reward comes through resilience. You can’t sit back and relax and expect a reward. Can you? Come on my dear, get down to work. Go beyond and challenge the norms of business. Operate beyond your comfort zone. Be passionate and enthusiastic. Without resilience you most probably will not enjoy the benefits of your work in your enterprise. Have you considered the fact that the big multinationals you see today started small like you, but have been in existence for quite some decades, and even centuries? A major problem of entrepreneurs today is lack of patience, focus and strategy. If you are strategic in your business approach you are there for the long haul. It’s not a hit and run. You transform and develop your business patiently over the years. If you are keen and careful, the rewards are certainly on the way coming. I promise. However, if you are reckless, undisciplined and ignorant – just jumping up and down in some business messes, then you are not part of my promise. Ok? Get serious and do what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur!  
  1. The audacity of hope and the victory ahead. The book entitled The Audacity of Hope by former US President Barack Obama, is another very good reading. I confess. If Obama focused on his limited past, including setbacks such as growing up without a father’s presence and spending a night on the verandah on one occasion, without applying the audacity of hope, he probably would not have risen to where he did. He developed the habit of springing back into action with courage and boldness. In business your willingness to take bold risks, with courage and resilience, oftentimes brings for you great victory ahead. By the time you get that victory you will forget the trials of the past and realize that your resilience has paid after all. Isn’t this another good reason for you to be resilient? Combine your resilience, with hope and hard work (including smart work too) and you are on your way to success in business. This is why we have seen many entrepreneurs even from the remotest and least likely corner of the world, rising into global prominence in business.  
  1. If it’s going to be it’s up to you. Entrepreneur, do you know that you can to some extent choose the reality you want? Again, I make reference to Robert Schuller’s book entitled If it’s going to be it’s up to you. You must be resilient enough if you desire to reach the entrepreneurs hall of honour. I mean, being counted as a successful entrepreneur at whatever level that you operate. Please don’t draw me into an argument about defining successful entrepreneurship. Ok? That is a topic for another day. You could as well start by defining and describing failing entrepreneurs you see around you, and then the opposites would be successful entrepreneurs. What an approach? Anyway, when you walk around your village, or move around your town or city, people that know you have been running a business can judge whether you have been successful or not. Don’t you agree with me? Never underrate and undermine those folks around you. They have some idea about success and failure.  
  1. Failure is just a reason to start afresh. My dear entrepreneur, you need resilience because failure is not final. Failure is a good reason and opportunity to begin afresh. You better fail forward and rise up quickly to proceed on your entrepreneurial journey. In fact you could be so smart about it that people won’t even know you have fallen. Never mind having business failure or setback scars, because they heal and disappear over time if you are smart. If you grew up keeping cattle like me, I think you know the history of bull fights. A bull can be beaten severally and may have scars from frequent fights, but it will continue to start fresh fights until one day it reigns supreme. What is this? Resilience! Stubborn resilience that tells you to continue making fresh attempts until you eventually succeed. Now, let me give you a word of caution here. Don’t be silly while doing this, because there is also the downside that you may wipe out your opportunity to continue retrying if you make grave mistakes. Be smart! Ok?
  1. Every problem has its solutions. This is probably one of the most dangerous statements I‘m making in this blog. Not only in this blog but also for mortals to make generally. Yet it is a truism. Why? The creator of the universe has given mankind solutions to all problems, but man often has deem eyes that cannot see. What I’m saying is this; every human and business problem has its solutions Mr. Entrepreneur. The fact that the problem seems insurmountable to you, or you lack clues and means to address them etc. does not mean that solutions are unobtainable. If you search enough, you will find it. Do you think that the global businesses that have successful histories covering 300 – 400 years and even more, have not been facing problems over the years? Come on! Think. It is reported in the Guinness Book of World Records for example, that the oldest hotel business is in Yamanashi, Japan: a hot-spring hotel called Nisiyama Onsen Keiunkan, which has existed since the year 705. Now, calculate the number of years this business has existed. Don’t use a calculator by the way! There have been zillions of problems, with accompanying zillions of solutions, and that is why they are still existing and growing stronger as players in the global economy. Others of course have taken the way of dinosaurs, and have been fossilized because they did not manage challenges and the changing environments well.
  1. You are an innovator and a creative person programmed to provide solutions to the world. Now my dear entrepreneur; let me remind you of your mission and responsibility. Don’t be a disappointment to humanity. Ok? Entrepreneurs were created to provide solutions to people. You therefore need the ability to withstand, and recover quickly after difficult conditions or situations, change or misfortune. You need to be tough, hardy, flexible, and strong. This is another important reason why an entrepreneur should be resilient and remain focused, to be relevant. Why would you quickly run away from your role? Why would you want to slip away from being a producer of value to a consumer of value? Why? I mean why?  

Ok. I believe you have enjoyed reading my 9 reasons why an entrepreneur must be resilient. Haven’t you?  I will not carry it any further as I have already taken a lot of your time.

Till then – with every good wish,

The Wise Entrepreneur

Picture of Clayton W. L. Mwaka

Clayton W. L. Mwaka

Clayton W. L. Mwaka, a Ugandan chartered accountant and motivational speaker with 24 years of diverse experience, specializes in business administration, international consultancy, and lecturing. He advocates for personal empowerment through balanced living, qualitative leadership, and paradigm shifts, aiming to unlock individual potential globally.

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