If there’s any skill the small business entrepreneur has cut their teeth on during the past 18 months, it’s resilience. And not necessarily by choice, but rather by chance. One’s adaptability to the significant — and sudden — adversity and stress brought on by the pandemic has certainly tested our limits in ways we never dreamt possible.
How resilient are we? Well, funny you should ask!
When questioned, most people consider themselves resilient. In fact, 83 percent of Americans believe they have high levels of emotional and mental resilience. The reality? Only 57 percent scored as resilient. (In their defense, that’s a rather significant feat.)
The Seven C’s of Resilience
My good friend and colleague, Dr. Ruth Hansten, knows only too well what it takes to be “resilient fit.” As a result of her own personal journey, she beautifully outlines the seven C’s of resilience in her mini-video series, From the Chaos of the COVID Crucible to Grit with Grace.
Whether one is knee-deep in adversity or not, insight and perspective from her mini-series is well worth the time as she takes you on the journey from compassion to comic relief.
Here’s what you can look forward to learning…
Part one: Compassion and gratitude toward ourselves and others hone resilience.
Part two: Commitment to your purpose fortifies resilience.
Part three: Connection with others strengthens resilience.
Part four: Curiosity helps us take a step back, gain perspective, and take back our power.
Part five: Using challenge, courage and reframing opens ourselves to a more positive future.
Part six: Control explores power, influence, and letting go in order to become more resilient.
Part seven: Comic relief discusses the use of humor in coping in the midst of COVID, natural disasters, civil unrest, and inequality.
My Personal Community Experience
I recently had a personal opportunity to experience a relatively unknown, unspoken C of Resilience — community.
Following an unforeseen healthcare dilemma, I became deeply immersed in community — two, in fact. This was nothing I requested — or wanted — but, like Dr. Hansten, I met it head-on with grit and occasional grace. (Seriously. What were my options, right?)
Being thrust into a community, especially one that was not my choosing, became part of the process.
One “community” was sorely missing direction, communication, collaboration, and support. It was frustrating. What’s the goal? What’s the plan? What do I need to accomplish to move to the next level? These are only a few questions that, unfortunately in this “community” went repeatedly unanswered.
The other “community” presented quite a uniquely different — and life-changing — experience.
Comprised of caring, compassionate caregivers with well-honed systems, communication of plans, goals, and expectations was clear and concise. Opportunities for collaboration were encouraged, lending itself to accelerated progress toward mutually developed goals.
Most importantly, their continual optimism, insight, encouragement, and support toward commonly shared goals kept me buoyed beyond what I would have expected or anticipated.
Little did I realize the tremendous value of such a community. And it was a stark reminder of the importance of community and its indelible impact on business growth, especially during challenging times.
The Role of Community for Resilience
As small business entrepreneurs, we are often “members” of a community, whether we realize it or not. These, also, are often by chance — not by choice.
Whether it’s a Facebook group, a Twitter chat, or whatever is happening these days on Linkedin, it’s natural to get caught up – sucked in, if you will – with what feels like affiliate groups. It’s a shared experience. These so-called communities can have a deep influence on ideas, beliefs, and, ultimately, our business growth trajectory as we invest more of ourselves into them.
The real question then becomes does the community to which we have become so devoted provide the bounce-back ability needed to rise to the next level in our business. Do they shore us up — inspire us to fight on — or leave our aspirations to wither away on the cutting room floor?
Calculate Your Community for Resilience Fit
Here’s a quick tutorial for calculating the value of your communities:
- Make a list of the communities with whom you spend time.
- Ask if you feel better, the same, or worse after being with them.
- Place a plus (+) sign next to those leaving you inspired and uplifted — resilient, if you will, an equal (=) sign after those with whom you feel the same, and a minus (-) sign next to those communities that leave you feeling “meh.”
- Based on the pluses, equals, and minuses, ask, “What am I doing hanging out with the equals and minuses?”
We need a place to build relationships with like-minded business owners. A place to connect in a more profound way. A place where questions are answered, support is provided, and encouragement is kindled.
A place to work smarter and grow faster.
We need community. And, immersing yourself in community is good — if they inhabit the plus (+) category for your business.