5 min read

The Power of Resilience

The Power of Resilience

The third part of this mindset triad is Resilience. I have said it many times, I owe a sizable amount of my success as a film producer to the fact that I was resilient - I stuck around for 12 years before producing my first feature film.

Resilience is the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties. It’s mental toughness. For 12 years I failed to produce a movie, to raise money, to attach a big enough “name” to our projects. I was told by people I loved and trusted that my writing was terrible, and then thrown under the bus with an interested investor. For years I was ignored and overlooked because of my age and became well acquainted with the desire to give up.

Had I given up, I wouldn’t be writing this book today.

I attribute that gift of resilience to my father. I remember when I was young how he was promised a promotion to a managerial position at his company, only to have it given to someone from outside. He left that job and took on a position with a company where his boss attempted to get him fired by taking merchandise from the warehouse and hiding it in his office. He left that job and partnered with a friend and previous neighbor in a shear-sharpening business.

Even then I remember the long days, the late hours, the years of building a business from scratch. Until, one day, it finally worked. He’s been doing that job now for 31 years. His resilience comes from a single belief: “If I can get one client, I can get 100.”

In the early years, he would encounter salon after salon who replied, “We already have a guy that does our sharpening.”

But he didn’t give up. On the first day, he got 8 shears from one client. “That was enough to buy groceries,” he told me. He kept going. Kept knocking on doors. Expanding his radius until, by year 5, he had hundreds of clients and was now “their guy”.

All of us who choose the path of the entrepreneur, the creative business owner, will encounter rejection, failure, and discouragement. It’s our resilience that gets us through it.

So, how to cultivate resilience? I have two thoughts for you.

First of all, a “no” from a potential client is not a “no”. It’s a “not yet”.

If you find yourself encountering a lot of “no’s”, there may be a number of reasons, least of all being that they absolutely don’t want what you’re selling. If that’s the case, you’re trying to convince the wrong people, which is a bigger problem we’ll cover when we talk about creating offers and building your sales system.

Besides being the wrong person, it may be the wrong time, the wrong price, or the wrong offer altogether. These are all things you need to rule out to ensure that you’re only pitching to people who already value what you do.

Having a process of staying in touch with your dream clients is an important asset for your business. Most of my consulting and coaching clients over the years came after 3-6 months of being on my email list. I use email as a way to stay top of mind for people that are looking for what I offer. By the time they reach out, they’re already “sold” on working with me, and so the conversation is about how to get started, not convincing them to buy.

Adding “yet” to those no’s shifts your mindset to possibility and patience rather than rejection and resentment.

Secondly, taking on a mindset of learning from “failure”. I don’t call a “no” from a potential client failure, but many of us do. We are creatives at heart, so we’re fragile creatures at times. So let’s soften the language we’re using, and instead of calling them failures, let’s call them lessons.

By asking yourself, “What did I learn from that interaction”, you set yourself up for improvement and progress. Imagine asking yourself, “What did I learn” after 100 cold calls this week? Or after sending out a new email sequence? Or running an ad online to attract your ideal, right-fit client.

What would you learn if you had that mindset? I guarantee at minimum that you’d learn that you’re much more resilient than you thought you were. With that new level of resilience, what might be possible for you now in the next few months, the next year, or the next few years? Maybe you'll become "the guy (or gal)" for your market...


Grab a piece of paper and write down the last 5 times you pitched an offer to a potential client. How many yeses and no’s did you get? What did you learn from each one?

Rate yourself on a 1-10 scale for resilience. Then ask yourself what you can do to become more resilient over the coming months. What mindset shifts can you make around your business and how you approach different parts of it?

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