3 Rational steps for Business Survival: Part 1

0 4 years ago

By Jan Tinsley | PowWow

How will your business fair once the government hand-outs have dried up? Have you buried your head in the sand and are waiting until the support ends, then you’ll shout louder? Are you so afraid that your stress has morphed into sadness, shame or despair? Has your negativity paralysed you?  Are you heading for rock bottom before you’ll take any action?

Then you need HOPE.

My story

I’ve been in business almost all my working life and have experienced some super highs and some horrific lows but throughout, there was never a moment where we gave up completely.  Changed direction? Yes. Retrained? Yes. Reinvented? Yes. Cried a bit? Yes.  When we lost everything in the 80’s at the start of our life in business and we were driving away from our beautiful Country House Hotel on the Shropshire/Welsh border, I still had Hope.

Why you need HOPE

I encourage you to kindle the very small embers of possibility that will certainly be around you. Your actions will be strongly influenced by your current and ongoing approach to dealing with hardship and uncertainty but if you’re in business, you will be used to this. And you will know that you and your business can bounce back and maybe even emerge stronger and more resourceful than ever before.  Even if you lose your business completely, you’ll know that there are opportunities to retrain, reinvent, repurpose, rise from the ashes or change direction and start something new.  There is always HOPE.

You will notice that some people and businesses seem to cope better than others in difficult times.  They rebound. They deal with adversity and find new ways; they get creative with opportunities by staying alert and curious; and they manage future threats with patience and open mindedness instead of catastrophizing.  We call them RESILIENT.

Why you need RESILIENCE

You will be familiar with Resilience.  You will see it all around you.  It is proven everywhere, over time, across cultures and in all circumstances.  There is much evidence to show that our capacity to survive and thrive after adversity is undisputed.

Our own personal bounce back started with paid work.  Anything and everything to pay the bills.  It was hand to mouth, week by week. Then we engaged our brains. We were both well qualified, yet our academia left us ill equipped for real business, even for life as a family with two young children.  We started on our transformation and our journey of personal development and change began. Soon we were ready for another business challenge and over a few years, developed a business which led us into other opportunities and the joy of developing a team of super supporters.  My motto of ‘recruit attitude, train the rest’ always stood us in good stead. Resilience isn’t a quick fix.  It’s effort.  It’s engagement. Our biggest success was perceived as an ‘overnight success’ but that took almost exactly ten years!


‘We are where we are’ was a favourite saying of one of our Financial Directors. As a team who acknowledged the present, we always knew we expected something from the future and we expected something from ourselves to provide it. And you need to find that something from yourselves too. To get from ‘here’ to ‘there’ we need to be resourceful and act with some caution but with more optimism. As a team, we used sound business strategies, some variety, a certain amount of daring and a fair share of fun! And this is what might be needed now for survival as we cope with the unnerving combination of an economic recession and a global pandemic.

To survive, I believe, our businesses need multiple strategies. On one hand, we need to be realistic and contemplate difficulties and set-backs and we need to be resilient and find ways around obstacles.  On the other hand, we need to get motivated, inspired, alert, curious and encouraged and even find some sense of enjoyment and closeness while working towards a new future. As we gain momentum and staying power, the positive energy created finds further creativity, ideas, confidence and HOPE.

We have to ease off the brakes of caution and engage effort, action and even passion to survive and thrive.

So our rational approach is to hold on to HOPE, work hard to achieve RESILIENCE and unleash our SURVIVAL INSTINCT.

In Part 2 of this article I talk about how we can combine these things with the subtle tools of positive emotions so that our teams can engage at a deeper level and grow.
Click here to read Part 2