Resilience Is Your Competitive Advantage

I have never been a big fan of planning for retirement. I’d rather build a business I love and look forward to doing that every day until I’m physically unable to do that any longer.

This is the reason I set up my business with a work-from-home model. It has always been my goal to build my business around my lifestyle.

A few years ago, a big company found me after watching some of my videos and hired me to train their people. This lead to additional work building university programs for companies who wanted to internalize my relationship-based sales curriculum. As I rode this wave of success, my business transitioned from a 100% work-from-home model to one that became a 50% work from home and 50% travel – resulting in 123 nights on the road in 2019 and over 100,000 air miles.

The revenue was good and the travel was to places I liked so I took the opportunity to develop additional business at the travel destinations.

Since I was careful to travel only during time when I had no family commitments and since my wife handles my business schedule, I hardly noticed the variance from my original mission to work from home. The perks of travel miles and status were enjoyed by everyone in the Lorenzo Klan as we’d often make my summer work assignments into family outings.

A pandemic has a way of refocusing you.

Suddenly, in March, I “woke up” to realize my business model wasn’t the one I initially planed back in 2008.

Revenue – down. Fear – up.

Now a couple of months into the COVID-19 business reality, I see a substantial opportunity in front of me. This is an opportunity for you as well.

It’s one we should both embrace, because if we don’t, our businesses won’t survive.

Here are five ways to become more resilient and use that resilience to get through this current crisis and into each crisis that follows:

One: Find a purpose that is bigger than yourself or your business

In my case this is to help people build businesses that enable their lifestyles and to show them this doesn’t mean making less money. Obviously, we don’t need to be physically in front of people to grow our revenue. COVID-19 has taught us that. So there is nothing holding me back from bulding my business however I’d like. This was probably true pre-pandemic but I just didn’t see it.

This means you can get past the obstacles in your business. You may not see a way through them (or around them) in the present, but it is there. Keep looking.

Two: Emotionally Distance Yourself From The Failure

Many times we dwell on what we could have done differently. How we could have prevented this situation from occurring or how we could have done some things to make it less bad. That’s not productive right now. Don’t live in the past.

Do you after-action review and learn from what happened and then put it behind you.

Many sports coaches use the technique of taking a video of a bad performance by their athletes, digging a hole and burying the video in the ground. This is a symbolic gesture that helps the athleet move on. You can do something similar. Write down what happened to you in as much detail as possible. Then take that sheet of paper and (safely) burn it or bury it.

Any return toward the negative thoughts you have will only prevent you from moving forward. Reject them.

Three: Mentally Teleport Yourself Into The Future

We don’t have a time machine but our minds can’t tell time. Close your eyes and project yourself into the future. Five years from now how will this situation look? How will you feel? How will you be spending your time?

This situation, even a pandemic, will look like only a brief moment in time and you’ll be able to learn much about yourself and your ability.

Four: Find the Silver Linking and Reflect Upon It Often

Transforming my business – in fact helping get it to what I always wanted it to be – is the silver lining of the pandemic. I keep that in the forefront of my mind as I go about my day-to-day business activities.

If you’re trying to bounce back from a set back, think about how this will change you and your business for the better. Once you have that in your mind, keep it there.

Five: Play the Game Like You Have Nothing To Lose

If you’ve hit rock bottom or even if you haven’t but you are really down, think about how it could get worse. From a business perspective, you need to play as if you have nothing to lose. This means leaning in to what you fear. It means going head long at the issues and confronting them.

Creditors calling you? Answer the phone or call them back. If you’ve got nothing to ofter them, explain that to them. Set a date and time to follow-up on your terms.

Customers cancelling? Proactively call all your clients and demonstrate so much value that can’t cancel.

Phone not ringing? Make lots of calls and stimulate discussion.

The key: Don’t wait for anything to get better. Make things happen.

Overcoming difficulties in business and in life is critical to success. Resilience is not only important but necessary.