The Art of Dusting Yourself Off
I have always wondered about the difference between successful business people, and those who are less so. For a while, I thought this boiled down to factors such as innovation, technical know-how and networks. I have since found that in so much as these factors play a large role, a lot depends on ones’ ability to self-motivate during the down times.
It is easy to be innovative and determined when things are going your way. This is not always the case when the reverse occurs. This partly explains why a majority of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) do not get to year two of their existence. Running your own business means you are choosing to forgo a predictable source of income for something that you have no guarantee will work. Yes you go into it having done your homework and a clear projection of your revenue and when this will occur. As is the nature of these things, sometimes the best-laid plans can come to naught. The reality is that business is tough. It is not for the faint-hearted. And often times, it does not go the way you thought it would.
I have come across a lot more ‘depressed’ business people than happy fulfilled ones especially in the first 36 months of operation. Hell, I have had more down moments in the space of a year and a half than I’d ever had my entire professional career. When you are like some of us in the services business, the going can get a lot tougher than most. So if this is so prevalent then how come we hear very little about it?
Human nature ‘prohibits’ people from admitting that things are not what they thought they would be. It’s as if doing so makes you less human, better yet, less ‘entrepreneurial’. We walk around pretending the world of business is fine and all of us are making money and not spending sleepless nights wondering where payroll money will come from. You end up feeling discouraged and exhausted, sometimes even considering the attractiveness of a predictable income. Yet…not a peep to a soul for fear of what others may think of your abilities. When this moment hits, it’s easy to forget all the good things that attracted you into your business area in the first place. You forget all about the well-laid strategies that you have developed over time and the urgency to generate cash becomes a dominant factor in your mind. At this point in the journey, those who know how to dig deep into their internal resources power on convinced that destiny calls them.
Accessing your inner resources is not as easy as some may make it sound. It’s not all spiritual even. Sometimes, it takes process and a clear understanding of the following:
You are not unique
Everyone goes through dips in every area of their lives, you are not unique nor will you die from it. Understand that even the ones you admire today went through the struggles you are going through- it passes and it comes back again- get used to the cycle.
If it comes easy, you’ll take it for granted
I have learnt that when things are handed on a silver platter the amount of care we place on them is different to when you work for it yourself. Make sure its success is important to you, that way you give it all you’ve got.
Dusting yourself off is a skill you learn
Mental fitness does not just happen overnight, it is a skill that gets better with exercise. The more you use this skill, the better it becomes. All it takes is knowing what you want to achieve and knowing and believing that you have all you need to realise it and remembering that obstacles are part of the game and a chance sometimes to recalibrate.
We all go through down moments in every area of our lives, it’s even worse in the world of business. There are many businesses offering similar goods and services and it is always about reinventing yourself. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. Failure is also part of the journey and that is normal. How you move from the dips is what determines the level of impact you and your business will have for the next generation.