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Business Resiliency. Why it matters to Freelancers, Entrepreneurs & the Gig Economy

As defined by Merriam-Webster, Resilience is two things:

  1. The capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.

  2. An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

If you don’t already have one, find a stress ball and take a moment to compress it and cause it to deform. Watch its level of resilience. This is the perfect, tangible way to show how we can recover from adversity. Definition number two.

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, threats or significant sources of stress.”

Our ability to recover….

As someone freelancing, starting a business and working a side hustle, these endeavors alone are significant sources of stress. Then let’s add the rest of life because while sometimes we may want to pretend the only thing we have to do is what’s in front of us right now, we’re parents, spouses or significant others. We’re pet owners, friends, volunteers. We’re responsible for paying the mortgage, utilities, car payments, insurance, food, cell phones, college loans (our own or our child’s). Let’s not forget those friends we want to have dinner with sometimes. Weekend get-away or week-long vacation, we need downtime, right?

Resilience matters because regardless of what we do to plan ahead for all of life’s experiences, we are thrown a curveball and a wrench and sometimes a tiny human….

These are the biggest parts of our lives, right? We don’t have to deal with gigantic stressors like these all the time and you are probably reading this right now and thinking you have no problem dealing with these kinds of situations. Bring on the curve balls, right?

OK. Let’s try these on.

Ever encounter a client that wants to suck the life out of you, pay you thousands less than you’re worth and then expects you to thank them for the experience?

The idiot driver who is obviously ignoring both the green light and you. Then has the audacity to DO THE SPEED LIMIT!?!

The kids threw the most epic tantrums in Target last night and you’re still pissed about it.

Are you a fanatic? You know, you have the room dedicated to your favorite team. Have all the jersey’s, know all the scores and then can feel your blood pressure rising with every missed opportunity. Are you THAT person? The pissed person that throws stuff and no one can talk to after the loss?

I thought so.

These are all stressors too and they compound. They wear us down. They sneak up and kick us in the teeth. These are the stressors that will hurt us in the long run, because they keep our bodies in fight or flight more often than life’s bigger curve balls and this is far more dangerous for us.

Our ability to cope, to bounce back, to adapt in any situation does not just apply to our business or our home life. It applies to all parts of our lives and the more we become aware of our responses, the easier it is to be more resilient.

The bottom line is this: We are human. Whether we are a freelancer or a factory worker, we have had life experiences that have shaped the way we view the world, experience stress and happiness, and respond to adversity. We learned to be this way.

The good news is, we can learn to be more resilient too.

How? Here are few ways to start right now.

Connect. Positive relationships with those who support and accept us help us through all the times of good and bad.

Gratitude.Because it helps us recognize the good in every situation. Really it does.

Self-Care. This isn’t only baths and spa days, it’s doing the activities you enjoy simply because you enjoy them. It’s also sleep, healthy eating, deep breathing and hobbies.

Rina is a Business Resiliency Coach, Super Connector, Speaker and Small Business Advocate. She works with small business owners to overcome fear, set boundaries and stop the attachment to expectations. To learn more, connect with her.

– Rina Jensen

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