Do you know what it takes to grow a successful business- one that makes it over the inevitable bumps in the road, through the first five critical years, and on to become a thriving, profitable business?
Some of you might be thinking the answer to success in business is money. Others are probably thinking knowledge, expertise, strategy, or even a high performing team. Yes, those things are all important, but there are two qualities that every successful entrepreneur has in abundance, that you can’t grow a successful business without.
Those two key qualities are Persistence and Resilience.
Persistence and Resilience
As I watched this year’s Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet interviews, I heard something that caught my attention. Amy Adams said “every actor here has suffered soul crushing rejection at some point in their career.” That statement really struck a cord with me. How many talented actors never made it that far because they were knocked down by criticism and rejection, and decided not to get back up again? What drives one person to bounce back from a setback, while another gives up? Persistence and resilience.
The same concept applies in the world of business. Talk to any successful entrepreneur, even the “overnight sensations,” and you will hear stories of devastating failures and soul crushing rejection.
The concept is simple. Regardless of your talent, your abilities, and your advantages, you must also have the ability and the fortitude to keep going, even when you want to give up. Success in business is not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going.
Sarah Blakely, founder of Spanx and the world’s youngest female self made billionaire, is the perfect example of the importance of persistence and resilience. Sarah literally started Spanx in her bathroom with a pair of pantyhose and a pair of scissors. She had no money, no backers, no team and no experience. But she was sure had a great idea. She couldn’t afford a patent attorney so she spent evenings and weekends at Barnes and Noble learning how to write the patent application herself.
Sarah did have experience with rejection. During her years selling fax machines, she was rejected constantly. “It was great life training,” Blakely told Business Insider Magazine. As Sarah tried to convince manufacturers and retailers to produce and carry her product, she heard “no” over and over again. She was laughed at and told women would never buy her product. But she believed in her concept and didn’t give up. She finally got an order from Neiman Marcus, after she pulled the buyer into the bathroom and demonstrated the product on herself.
You can do it!
Here’s the beauty about persistence and resilience. These attributes can be learned. You can build them like a muscle. You can learn not to take rejection personally. You can shift your own mindset by asking yourself better questions.
For example, instead of asking yourself
“why do I always fail?” or
“why do I have such bad luck?”
you can ask yourself
“what can I learn from this experience,”
“how can I tweak the process so I get a better result next time,” and
“what do I still need to learn in order to succeed?”
Perhaps you’ve been there – I know I have. I’ve had dreams that didn’t pan out, made investments in my business that didn’t produce results, made mistakes that cost me business and money, and had other people shoot down my ideas. At times I have let those messages get me down, and have given up. But when I learned to cultivate resilience, and to keep pursuing my dreams despite the setbacks, everything turned around.
My question for you – the next time you hit a roadblock that knocks you off your feet, what will you tell yourself, and will you stay there or get back up and keep going?