Resilience is a requirement for the entrepreneurial life. It’s creative, exciting, and exhilarating, but it’s also NOT for the faint of heart.
Here’s the thing about being in business: you’re going to get knocked down a lot. Not everyone you talk to is going to say “yes”. People won’t always love your message. And there are always going to be people out there trying to smash your dreams and bring you down.
Sounds like a pretty raw deal when you put it that way, right?
But here’s the thing: if you’re being called to be an entrepreneur, there’s a reason. You already have the ability to make it happen.
It’s just a matter of getting started and moving forward until you get to where you want to be. And one of the key traits to stay on the path for the long haul is good ol’ fashioned resilience.
We’re talking about trusting yourself. Believing in what you do. And not letting the slings and arrows of a naysaying world slow you down or put you off.
Sounds a lot easier said than done, I know. But you really can get yourself to the point where you truly don’t care what other people think of you. You can build up the strength to withstand all of the negative Nancys and the multiple “NO’s” and still stay on the path.
It’s an intricate balance between two things: knowing when to make it all about the other person and when to make it all about you.
Sounds like a huge contradiction. But trust me on this. There is a time and a place for both. Both parts are absolutely necessary for you as a business owner to keep going, no matter what lands in your path.
We all have breakdowns and failures. But breakdowns and failures create breakthroughs and success as long as you don’t quit. When you’re resilient, you can get back up after every fall.
Now, I’ve got some potentially bad news here, but here it goes: building a business takes time. And not only do you have to put the time in, but you also have to continue believing in yourself along the way.
As my real estate rock star friend Carlos Gutierrez says, “Success is rented but the rent is due every day.”
You’ve got to stand strong through a lot of storms. You’ve got to be able to get back up when you’re knocked down. Most of all, you’ve got to remember to stay in your lane, focus on your mission, and keep going no matter what other people think.
So what is one of the biggest ways that people get in the way of their own strength, tenacity, and resilience?
Wanting to be liked. Doing what they think they “should” do so that they don’t ruffle any feathers. Trying to be all things to all people.
Not only does this hamper your resilience but it also jeopardizes your mission. If you’re worried about pleasing everyone else, you’re only going to lose yourself in the process.
Carlos says it best: “Just be you. Be the REAL you and don’t worry about anything else.”
So how do you stay focused and stay standing in a world that can be a minefield to your self-esteem and your dreams?
I’m going to share two major truths right here that will help you shift your perspective and up your resilience game.
Truth #1: Negative comments that people make are about them, not you.
What people say is never about you. It’s about them. People speak through their own experience and how they see the world. They can’t do it any other way.
Maybe someone tells you you’re crazy when you share your dreams with them. Maybe they’re rude to you on a sales call or in an email. It’s a direct reflection of what is going on in their world at the moment. And you don’t have to own that.
I know this isn’t easy. When you’re being attacked for no apparent reason, your natural response is usually to push right back, right? But let me invite you to see it another way instead.
Make it all about you by remembering that it has nothing to do with you. This is the point where you let go, own your own space, and step back. Let the other person be who they are. Be gracious and be kind, but remember that what they say is their business. Not yours.
Truth #2: Forceful mindfulness.
Now, that might sound like a big contradiction, but stay with me on it. The first step is to not worry about what others think of you. The second step is to put the focus OUTSIDE of you and get back to the reason you started your business: your mission to help others.
In that moment where you’re facing a conflict, instead of focusing on what the other person is thinking about you, focus on what you can do to help them.
You’re not playing defense anymore. It “forcefully” pushes you into a more mindful place where you can respond with empathy and compassion, and without taking anything personally.
Carlos teaches a three-step process to take the heat off of you and turn it into empathy and engagement with the client, and it goes like this:
- Confirm: Confirm what the client is telling you
- Repeat: Repeat it back to them so they know they’re being heard
- Ask: Ask the next question to continue toward the solution
When you let someone know that you’re actively listening to them and genuinely hearing what they’re saying, you show them that you care. You bring them back to the table. And they’ll be much more willing to hear what you’re saying and work toward a solution.
It comes down to two things. First, remembering that what people say is not about you but about them. Second, getting out of your own head and putting your focus back on your mission to help others without taking anything personally.
If you can remember these two steps, you’ll be that much closer not only to truly serving others, but also to achieving rock-solid resilience for yourself.
So what do you do when you encounter people who are intent on smashing your dreams?
When I first started The Pitch Queen, plenty of people told me I was crazy. Of course, it wasn’t the first time I heard that, but all the same it didn’t mean that I welcomed it.
As humans, we all love to share what we’re up to. But one of the side effects of getting out there with gusto about your latest endeavor are those unfortunate encounters with who I like to call the “dream smashers”.
Sometimes you get tired of being knocked down. It’s often to the point where you question whether or not you should even share anything at all anymore. But here’s a couple of things to remember about those dream smashers….
They’re probably coming after you for one of two reasons: either they’re jealous (which is all too common) or they don’t have a dream for themselves.
But here’s the deal: you don’t even need to acknowledge it when the dream smashers come your way. This is the part where you once again put the focus outside of yourself. This is the point where you remember that it really isn’t about you, it’s about them. It’s also the point where you bring your attention back to yourself and your mission.
So how do you keep your love and attention on your mission while at the same time shifting the focus away from your ego? That is, how do you make it about you yet not about you simultaneously?
Carlos shares another one of his favorite tips right here: Take 24 hours and focus outward. That is, make every interaction with everyone you meet all about them.
When you see posts on social media, make it only about the person who is posting. When you’re in conversations, listen rather than waiting to talk.
It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to your best friend, a new client, or the barista at Starbucks. Make every interaction about the other person and watch what happens.
When you make this a practice, not only will you build up your listening skills, you’ll also kick up your resilience by a long shot.
It comes down to two things. First, remembering that what people say is not about you but about them. Second, getting out of your own head and putting your focus back on your mission to help others.
You’re no longer indulging your ego. You’ll already know that you’re good enough. And the outcome of any interaction won’t change that.
“The more you promote change, the more you promote progress, the more you try to change things for what you believe is better, the more people will have a bad opinion of you.”
When you set out to do something different, you’re going to ruffle some feathers. And let’s face it, getting out there, starting a business, and going after a dream IS big change.
Some people will applaud your courage and your tenacity. Others will feel threatened by it. It’s up to you to decide where you put your focus.
You could allow yourself to be pulled into the drama and the negativity of the naysayers and critics. Or you could remember one of the biggest truths known to man:
“What other people think of me is none of my business.”
Which are you going to choose?
It’s all about knowing what is and what is NOT about you. And using both to your advantage to build rock-solid resilience and see your way through to what you really want in business and life.