I saw a list of the top reasons for business failures yesterday. You can imagine some of the things it included: inadequate cashflow, poor understanding of the market, inadequate market size, poor strategy, poor management, poor planning, etc. These are the usual reasons given when a business closes.

All are logical potential causes of business failure. However, a niggle with this list prompted me to look at the top reasons for business success. While some of the reasons were common, e.g. adequate financing, deep market understanding, etc., there were also a number of others like, perseverance, resilience, vision and purpose, dedication, confidence, adaptability. The opposite of these just don’t appear very often on lists of reasons of business failure. But I guess no one wants to admit that they gave up or lost their way or lost their faith in themselves or their idea, do they.

But how can the lists point to such different factors? If this is a list of success factors, what is the opposite and is that actually a factor in failure that is often over-looked, or at least undisclosed?

These success factors are not fixed, you can have confidence and then lose confidence, resilience can be worn away, you can lose sight of why things are important. In fact, putting this together sounds a lot like burnout.

Burnout starts when disappointments, rejection and the overwhelm of wearing so many hats builds up. When there is no relief physically, mentally or emotionally and the suppressed emotions fester, all your physical systems are under attack. Someone with burnout may not sleep well, their body may ache unaccountably, and they might have swings in emotions that are difficult to control. Their confidence might slip. If they begin to lose hope, they might lose their desire to work.

Despite starting with a grand vision for what they hoped to achieve, reality hits and the business becomes overwhelming and perhaps a little disappointing. They may lose their sense of purpose and possibly their sense of self.

Here are three steps to overcoming this; bolstering resilience, confidence and adaptability:

  1. Detect the early signs of burnout by monitoring how you feel. Awareness is always the first step, but if you find self-monitoring difficult then:
  2. Find someone you can talk to. I’m not a religious person, but there can be wisdom in religious writings. Here’s one that seems to apply: For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers – Proverbs 11:14. A problem shared is a problem halved, and then you can focus on:
  3. Reconnecting daily with your purpose, the value your business offers and what inspired you to start it in the first place.

Here’s to victory, to your success…

If you’d like to talk to an adviser about increasing your resilience, confidence or regaining your vision, then book a Business Success Strategy Session here.