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Your middle name is resilient

In my line of work, I see many self-employed people. I have come to the conclusion that small business owners are a very special breed and generally they have some very special qualities. Resilience is one of them. That does not mean that you do not feel pain. But it does mean you know you can live through it and come out on the other side.

These are testing times if you run your own business. Some of you might be wondering if you will still have a business after the crisis has passed. Certain sectors have already been hit hard and others might yet follow. We are all going to feel the pinch and then on the back of it we have Brexit. One crisis after another, multiple storms for us to weather.

Why did you become self-employed? It probably was not for this. Everyone has a slightly different tale to tell. I recognised early on in my career that I was never going to be a good employee and so running my own business was always going to be my first choice. I am not sure what brought me to that conclusion because at one time it was my ambition to work in a bank. Looking back, that would never have worked.

For me I think it was my future father in law who lit a small entrepreneurial flame. It generated an ambition but without the knowledge, experience, and wherewithal to make it happen. That came later. But just like planting a seed, there are a few seasons when the sapling grows but without much substance. However, eventually that small weak and vulnerable sapling develops into a towering tree able to withstand the toughest gales.

Some people are thrust into running their own business by circumstance. Some like me steer that course from an early age. However you started your journey, once you had your own business, then your lessons began. You made mistakes, you lost sales, customers, you missed opportunities, Every one of these disappointments was a lesson and over the years there will have been so many lessons. But you were growing and the sapling who started off in business, has developed into a tree with strong roots. So, can you withstand the gales now?

Experience instils in all of us a resilience. When everyone around us is panicking we just carry on. Even if you survive the Coronavirus your business may go backwards over the next year or so. It might fail. But you will always carry on. Failures can be painful but they just add to your wealth of experiences. After the bruises heal, you will be made stronger.

Your watch word is “next”. That business might have failed but you will be ready (perhaps not immediately) for the next one. If the business survived you may have lost customers, but you will be ready to replace them. Next!

The sum of all your experiences has made you resilient. It may be dented but you will never lose it.

I came across a fridge magnet a while ago. It read “I am calm, I’m fae Shetland”. I always liked that because I think it says so much about the daily trials that islanders have to face that make them more resilient. It suggests a matter of fact mentality. Carry on carrying on. Panic is not a word in their vocabulary.

Next is Coronavirus. Then there will be something else and after that something else again. These are just storms to weather. Not everyone can do what you do. You run your own business. You will manage.

Sometimes you need someone to talk to who understands and who can provide that calm wise council in the storm when the going gets tough. You can manage but sometimes a little guidance can make the journey easier. We are here for you. Call us.

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