Starting a business and being a successful business owner is one of the best feelings. It is so awesome to have that feeling of accomplishment and being able to have the life you have long desired and deserved. BUT…becoming a successful business owner is HARD. Anyone who says it is easy, just have patience, if you have passion you will be fine has most likely never built a successful business.
Mental toughness, fortitude and resilience are not necessary for business ownership; they are necessary for SUCCESSFUL business ownership!
• Do you have the mental fortitude to succeed as a business owner?
• Do business owners need to be mentally ‘tough’?
• Can great health business owners be mentally tough yet empathetic?
• Is mental fortitude more important than aptitude and attitude?
If you are highly talented and competent in your field and you have the best, most positive attitude yet you have low mental toughness, can you still be successful? Most likely not…fortitude is a necessary part of the success formula.
Fortitude is the courage to persevere in times of adversity, challenge or failure. With it comes resilience and the ability to bounce back and learn from failure or a challenging situation.
A Story of Resilience and Fortitude
One of my clients who is a physical therapist recently went through some very challenging times with her family and children – her social support system fell apart about 2 months before she was going to leave her full time job and open her clinic. Her world was falling apart around her. She was faced with a decision with two options. Does she give up on her dream or does she figure out a way to move forward towards her vision?
She gave herself 10 days to start a new plan, a plan to: process her emotions, re-define her vision, start to re-build new social connections and decide what path she would take and what her goals would be.
She did not resolve everything in 10 days, of course not, but she gave herself 10 days to start a new plan and to re-energize to focus on what her journey would be and what it would look like.
I was amazed that in 10 days she did this, she remained motivated when everything around her seemed to be falling apart. She demonstrated such passion and mental fortitude, her strength to remain focused on her goals and to start over was so admirable.
Are you thinking “I wish I was more mentally tough”?
The great news is that we are not born with fortitude, we develop fortitude. We are able to improve our mental fortitude just like our physical fortitude or our physical strength can be improved by working out, lifting weights, focusing on our fitness, our mental fortitude can also improve with consistent workouts of our ‘mind’.
Here are some ideas to help you improve your mental fortitude
1. Have Courage
• To build mental toughness you need to have courage, the courage to face your fears and endure those challenging and at times uncomfortable situations.
• This is where your attitude comes in – you need to believe that you can overcome the challenge and when you do you need to reflect on how you felt at the time and how great you feel now. To have courage you need to be prepared to fail and to learn from that failure.
• Time shift your thinking (envision yourself in the future) to what you will feel like when you overcome the challenge and your fortitude improves challenge and your fortitude improves.
2. Be Determined
• To have fortitude you need to be determined and focused on your goals and vision.
• Setting your goals and vision will help you to keep your eye on what is most important to you and to prioritize where you focus your energy and determination.
3. Be emotionally self-aware, calm and forgiving
• Spend some time becoming aware of your emotions and how you feel in certain circumstances. What actions or behaviors of others make you feel uncomfortable, strong, confident, upset?
• By identifying these situations and how they make you feel will help improve your self-awareness – of your feelings and body language.
• Be forgiving and kind to yourself. It is OK to make mistakes and be uncomfortable. Acknowledge that you are not perfect and that you have negative thoughts or emotions from time to time; forgive yourself for this and try to move forward
• The next step is being aware and controlling your emotions in these situations.
• Being calm under fire is an important trait of great business owners – this helps build trust in yourself and the trust of your team.
• Being focused, in control and aware of your emotions are key to having mental toughness. Now I am not saying to be void of emotion and cold or unapproachable in challenging situations – showing emotion is an important characteristic of strong work and professional relationships but being aware of your emotions and the impact you are having on others is an important quality.
4. Work hard at building fortitude and be accountable
• Just like you may hire a personal trainer or start a fitness program to lose weight or become more fit and have more physical strength/fortitude developing mental toughness and becoming resilient takes work.
• Building fortitude takes time so be patient and look at it as a learning process
• Don’t be too hard on yourself and find someone; a trusted friend, colleague or coach to hold you accountable.
A great outcome of having fortitude and mental toughness is that you will develop resilience. You will be resilient. In challenging times or times of failure you will be able to bounce back and remain productive and focused on your vision and goals. Your business leadership will be strengthened and you will be able to support your team. Acknowledging that we are not perfect but yet can still be confident and have a positive attitude is a great feeling. You will make mistakes but you can have the toughness and fortitude to not let these mistakes stop you or derail your plan to achieve your goals.
If you are ready to put your fortitude to the test but not quite sure if your business idea or strategy makes sense, click here to jump into a Get Ignited 30 Minute Business Idea or Strategy Consultation with me. You will get clarity and confidence to take your next steps.
Here’s to igniting your fortitude and resilience!