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Resilience, the key to getting back up

February 27, 2017


Staying down won't help you achieve anything; to be successful you must stand up as many times as needed.


In difficult economic times, when there are many big changes, many people turn to

entrepreneurship thinking that this global engine would help them get back on their feet. But I ask you, is entrepreneurship the right solution for everybody? Don't you need specific characteristics or skills?


No entrepreneur has been able to ''fall seven times, stand up eight'', and no business has ever been successful, without this essential quality: resilience. Resilience is the capacity of a person to face, adapt, and grow in the face of bad situations.


Beware, resilience doesn't mean you won't feel anger, emotional pain or defeated through adversity. Poor client flow, negative conflicts with employees or partners, serious financial problems, etc., are situations that have a great impact on people and cause them to feel insecure, uncertain, and emotional pain. Even so, in general, successful entrepreneurs are well- adapted to the passing of time and able to overcome adverse circumstances.


I remember when I opened my restaurant with great pride and dedication. After many

setbacks, we opened our doors and very soon the place was packed. We had a great review because we offered delicious food, innovative beverages, and first class service.

Everything indicated that it would be a successful business. Suddenly, Tropical Storm Jean threatened to become a hurricane, and government agencies issued an emergency order to turn off all electrical transformers. We were without power for almost three weeks. Although I had a small generator to protect the equipment, it wasn't strong enough to provide food service. But I was composed because I had hurricane insurance. Much to my surprise, because Jean was classified as a tropical storm and not a hurricane, my insurance did not cover damages or service interruption. We tried, but sadly we didn’t survive such a big setback.


We closed out doors and I just wanted to get on an airplane and forget everything. I cried and suffered. But I wiped away my tears, remember my purpose to go into business and decided to go on. Resilience is or isn't innate, it implies a series of behaviors and ways of thinking that every entrepreneur can and must develop. I shared this personal story with you because I had to stand up, think of my family and move on. Was it easy, NO, but I survived and much stronger for it. I want to share with you some tips that helped me to develop resilience. You can incorporate them in your repertoire of attitudes and adapt them at difficult times.



1. Cultivate relationships - Maintain good relationships with the people around you, regardless of whether they are relatives or friends. They will listen and support you on difficult times, and help you to become more resilient. I always mention that handful of friends that will always be honest, support you and help you through it all.



2. Have constructive thoughts - See every situation from a high-level, deep and analytical context, searching always for the relationship between cause and effect that will help you to stop stumbling over the same stone in the future. In other words, see everything with the eyes of a student and absorb everything you've learned into your storehouse of experiences.



3. Develop goals and objectives - People without clear dreams and goals are like people on dangerous and uncertain trips without a clear route or a map. Take a pencil and paper and write down your dreams, goals and objectives. Review your vision of life and every day do something that makes you feel nearer to your goal.



4. Accept reality - If you aren't able to accept reality as it is, you won't be able to change it for the better. Think deeply on the fastest and effective way to solve your problems. If the problem doesn’t have a solution, be thankful for what you learned and continue your evolution.



5. Act - Concentrate all your energy on finding escape routes from the adversity and/or situation. Never trying is much worse than trying and failing. Everything you do while you're looking for a solution will widen your vision on the objective you want to achieve.



6. Trust in yourself - Too often we face our problems saying “I don't think I can make it” or “This is impossible to solve.” Erase those words from your dictionary right now. Sometimes we must act as we want to be in the future, although we don't exactly feel it. A good strategy is recurring to the saying “Fake it till you make it.” We have to believe strongly in ourselves. If after a self assessment, you realize that you need something, work with that. Remember, never give up, never surrender.