It’s no secret that we’re currently facing the possibility of an economic downturn. And the reality is that business leaders need to be resilient if they want to make it through unscathed. There are plenty of ways to prepare for situations like these, but shifting your mindset can be just as powerful as any business tactic.
Steve Sims, an entrepreneur, and author whose path to success is both unconventional and fascinating, is a master of resilient thinking. He has been able to find success in the most unlikely places and is known for making the impossible possible–either through brilliant thinking or sheer boldness, depending on your perspective.
In his new book, Go For Stupid: The Art of Achieving Ridiculous Goals, he outlines the three common mindset traits that all successful people he’s encountered have. They’re all focused around resiliency, so whether you need to prepare for an economic downturn or you simply want to become a better business leader, I’d highly recommend you read closely–and start shifting your thinking.
Every entrepreneur knows that business is all about relationships–whether it’s with your employees, customers, suppliers, or other stakeholders. This is how trust and loyalty are born and, by extension, how money is made. But in times of crisis, these relationships will be tested (which is often when you’ll need them most).
To build more resilient relationships, Sims suggests seeking out people with shared “values, standards, commitments, and beliefs” for a stronger and more fruitful connection.
Smart leaders partner with others who share their cultural values to achieve success. If your relationships are purely financially driven, your connection will be severely limited. When there’s no shared understanding of values and beliefs, conflicts are bound to occur. This is why leaders should value relationships even when money isn’t involved, and recognize that they can improve in areas where they are lacking with the right support.
Leaders also have the opportunity to create a culture with a shared set of values, beliefs, and goals to unite their team. As Sims notes, when leaders prioritize relationships and culture, they can bring together people who have different skill sets and strengths to achieve great things. A shared culture provides a common language and framework that allows for effective collaboration, even when team members have different areas of expertise.
Moral of the story? The people who you share values, standards, commitments, and beliefs with will always be your strongest connections. Seek them out and prioritize them, even when money isn’t involved.
When you’re endlessly curious, you never take anything for granted. You will find yourself always looking for smarter approaches and better ways to do things. Curiosity helps leaders challenge the status quo, question assumptions, and push the boundaries of what’s possible.
In the face of a looming recession, curiosity can be especially helpful. Instead of sticking to the same old methods and approaches, you can use your curiosity to explore new strategies and solutions. By asking “Is there a better way?” and “What if we did it differently?” you can find innovative solutions to complex problems.
Curiosity can also help you approach challenges with a sense of play and experimentation. By gamifying business, you’ll make work fun and engaging for your team. This can help boost morale and productivity, even in the face of challenging circumstances.
In my experience, most entrepreneurs are inherently curious–yet many feel as if it’s a hindrance. A distraction that keeps them from focusing on what’s most important. But in times of crisis, curiosity could mean the difference between success and failure.
Sims emphasizes that successful leaders value time as their most valuable resource above all else. That’s because they view time differently than everyone else. They know they can make more money, but they can never generate more time.
If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with efficiency and time-saving. But what I’ve learned over the years is that you can’t just focus on saving time. You also need to focus on optimizing your time.
We all view our time as linear–where each hour of the day is given equal value–but that’s not really the case. Surely, there are some times of the day when you’re ultra-productive and others when you’re not. I know that 9:00 am on a Monday, after I’ve had a relaxing weekend, worked out, and have a coffee in my hand, is a highly-valuable time for me. 4:00 pm on a Friday, after I’ve been on Zoom all day, isn’t nearly as productive.
Once you become aware of this, you can hack your schedule to prioritize high-value, revenue-generating tasks over less mentally-intensive work like administrative activities or meetings. That way, you get the most out of your productive time and pour your energy into what will make your company thrive during an economic downturn.