Are you prepared for the storm? A message from Denise Schmidt

Every business endured storms. Heck, every LIFE endures storms! That sounds like such a simple concept, doesn’t it? We all know that life isn’t 100% rainbows and lollipops. Our businesses won’t be either. Do we always plan for, and expect, adversity? Probably not. But the difference between success and failure in life can boil down to one simple character trait.




Forbes Magazine once said that “Resilience is generally understood as a person’s ability to bounce back and apply patience and tenacity toward achieving one’s goals and as such it is often cited as  a key characteristic of success not only in business and entrepreneurship. We believe it is also a valuable and accurate predictor of success not just in business but in our personal lives.”


The dictionary defines resilience as 1) the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations and 2) the ability o recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching or being compressed. Those are great examples and concepts but I would argue that, in life and business, resilience has another component. The ability to remain positive and adjust to the reality that changes your plans.


How many times have you set your mind to an outcome and said “ If I can just do ‘X’, I’ll be successful!” and then , for whatever reason, the goal is unattainable. The market turns, pricing changes, a partner pulls out or a product is simply not as well received as you thought it would be. Circumstances change. You need to redefine success.


We have all had setbacks. But the difference in the resilient entrepreneur is that they focus on learning from the difficulty, not living in it. They adjust that which they can change and learn from the things that they cannot. If you were a horse buggy manufacturer at the turn of the century and suddenly saw a massive market decrease, would you continue making the same buggy with a better marketing campaign…or would you wonder what took the market share in the first place and start investigating those new fangled horseless carriages?

Both solutions will require more effort, more money and more risk. But one of them, the adjusting of your expectations and products, would mean a long range solution with greater profit at the end. Adjusting to fit the circumstance and the new potential outcome is the sign of a successful entrepreneur. We all know that life is never static. It has twists and turns and brings storms we can’t imagine. The storms are inevitable. But every storm brings a choice.


You can get wet or you can adjust your sails.


A ship built for storms is safest in the chaos. Cruise ships in hurricanes go OUT to sea, not to port. They are designed to flex and dip and withstand the waves. If they are docked and rigid, they bash against the obstacles around them. Eventually, the damage done by trying to control the storm is too extensive to recover from.


Angela Duckworth, a renowned University of Pennsylvania psychologist, says “It is resilience, not IQ, that is the best predictor of success.” .


How you respond under adversity is the single greatest indicator of how you’ll pull through it. Are you maintaining a positive outlook on the problem and concentrating on the solution? Are you ready to be resilient? Is your business set up to quickly adjust to adversity?


Are you going to get wet…or are you going to adjust your sails?





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