What’s the best predictor of success as an entrepreneur? Resiliency. That’s according to Eric Casaburi, a serial entrepreneur who founded Fierce Brands and Retro Fitness, and author of “JUST MAKE MONEY!”
“Business is Darwinian to the core,” Casaburi writes. It’s all about survival of the fittest, he adds, and “the fittest people are the most resourceful, spirited, and adaptable. People who utilize all their resources and possess the passion to thrive and survive will always find and create the ideal environment in which to succeed.”
Most entrepreneurs start out with a fair dose of resourcefulness already, he adds, or they would never have gotten their businesses off the ground. “Most of us have gone to banks and to family members, business plan in hand, and tried to borrow the money to fund our dreams,” he says. But to stay successful, you’ll need even more of that quality. “Being a business owner never gets easier,” he writes. “Rent never goes down, labor costs always go up, and word-of-mouth now moves at the speed of lightning. Owning a business means you can never slow down.”
How can you increase your own resourcefulness? Here’s Casaburi’s advice:
1. Develop a resourcefulness mindset.
If your doctor told you that you were gravely ill, what would you do? “You would immediately seek a second opinion, see a specialist, research all you could online, and do whatever you could do every single day to remedy the situation,” Casaburi writes. “Similarly, if your business took a hit–a new competitor set up shop two blocks down, or the economy hit the skids (again)–you would have to rally.” You would gather your employees together, or if you’re a solopreneur you might turn to your network of business colleagues and advisors, and together you would brainstorm, research, and find all possible solutions, Casaburi notes. “Learning to gather the needed resources for the task at hand is the first practical principle of resourcefulness.”
2. Check your own behavior and attitudes.
“Most often, the chokehold in a business is the business owner,” Casaburi explains. “Sometimes you’re your own worst enemy.” To keep this from becoming a problem, take the time to reflect on your own behavior patterns and performance–often. “How you perceive challenges, stay focused, and beat the mental and physical exhaustion or self-defeat out of your own mind is crucial,” he writes.
3. Study–a lot.
“You don't need a college education to be a successful entrepreneur,” Casaburi writes. “Immerse yourself in books and periodicals, and attend as many in-person interviews and seminars as you can fit into your schedule.”
4. Network like you really mean it.
“You should be constantly seeking out the stories of business people, investors, attorneys, accountants, and creative types,” Casaburi advises. “Why would you spend your valuable lunch hour alone behind your desk or with anyone who doesn't educate you in some way about how to run your business better? Networking is the entrepreneur's middle name.”
What if you’re intimidated by more successful people, threatened by others’ success, or feel shy about asking for their time? You’d better get over it fast, he advises. “Entrepreneurs seek enlightenment.”
5. Mimic successful patterns.
“Meeting experts is part of building your resources, and so the more experts you come into contact with, the more resourceful you'll be when the time calls for it,” Casaburi explains. “You want to franchise your business? Start by asking yourself, ‘Who has done this successfully?’”
Figure out what actions led to their success and then do the same, he suggests. “One fast track to success is finding those who have done what you want to do, and mimicking their patterns. Just make sure you are observing and picking up the relevant patterns. What kinds of questions can you ask that will save you time and money in the future? I asked thousands of questions.”
6. Plan for problems.
“Many people come together to make your business a success. A resourceful entrepreneur has to expect that someone along the way will make a mistake,” Casaburi warns. “Being the owner means taking on the responsibility of problems that you haven't created. It also means running through the variables beforehand, and having a ‘hazard plan’ that covers how to respond to the unexpected.”
Too many entrepreneurs count on a best-case scenario, or assume that they’ll never suffer a big financial setback or lose a major piece of their business. Having resources in place for when these things happen is the best thing you can do to set your business up for success.