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3 Small Business Lessons I Learnt From Rocky Balboa


Recently I had a challenging experience.

I have been working hard to build a business relationship with a new client. The business of being in business with this organisation has been travelling well.

Most recently, I was engaged to deliver a keynote address on Time Management at their Staff Conference. To tailor the presentation I sent a survey to staff asking them about their Time Management habits and challenges, which included general demographic questions.

And that’s when I received a complaint.

The complainant was appalled that I was collecting gender and age related data. I was accused of flying close to the line of direct discrimination. My methodology was questioned and it was suggested that the matter may be taken further at the event, in front of the entire audience.

I’m not going to polish this up and pretend I rolled with the punches. I didn’t. I had a complete meltdown.

Where was my Resilience?

In the end it was the sage wisdom of my 14 year old son channelling Rocky Balboa that snapped me out of my funk: Mum, he quoted – ”You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” You need to suck it up Mum. 

In short, you can read business articles on Resilience until the cows come home, for mine, my son reminded me of 3 important Small Business lessons from an unlikely business coach – Rocky B:

1. Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up

You have already defied the odds by striking out on your own without the safety net that comes with having a regular corporate job; a consistent sum of money hitting your bank account each fortnight; 4 weeks of paid holiday leave and 20 days of paid carers leave in the bank. None of this would have been possible if you weren’t a self-sufficient, passionate, unstoppable legend.

2. The world aint’ all sunshine and rainbows

Business isn’t a popularity contest – not everyone is going to love what you do. But you want the people who do love to love you vehemently. That can’t occur if you aren’t polarising your audience. Don’t settle for being vanilla and running a vanilla business just so people like you. No-one ever changed the world with vanilla.

3. Nothing is real if you don’t believe in who you are

Ultimately, if you don’t believe in yourself, what’s the point? Be true to your values and don’t compromise on what is most important to you; step in to a crisis with the end goal in mind; and have the ability to improvise and be agile on your feet.

Like me, you may not be the text book definition of Resilient. But I don’t care how many times they hit us, we will keep getting up, and I promise you they will tire before we do.

This article was originally published at www.smallville.com.au

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