In my previous life as a project manager on major projects, I learnt the value of tenacity and persistence. Many times as the Project Manager you’re the only one holding the vision and purpose of the project safe. The pressure is on you to a certain extent, but how you handle it is what really matters.
Others around you get fatigued by change, overwhelmed with stakeholder demands and frazzled with their colleagues. Conflict brews and if you’re not careful, precious time gets wasted with squabbles and misunderstandings. Focus is lost and the whole thing can fall apart.
You have to be the one to keep it together, to hold your ground, to keep believing in your project outcomes. It is as simple as that old adage of ‘Failure is not an option’. As a project manager I staked my reputation in delivering what I said I would deliver – no matter what.
I don’t want to bore you with my war stories (though there are plenty!), I just want you to think about tenacity and how it applies to you in your business. It’s up to you to hold that vision of the future safe, to keep it sacred – even when others have lost sight of it.
Yes it takes courage, and yes it can be hard – but you can do it.
There are three things I suggest to combat fear, and build resilience and tenacity if times are tough:
Remember what FEAR stands for: False Evidence Appearing Real
Get back in touch with your vision, your reasons for doing this.
Take a short break and nurture yourself in some way – a walk, an inspirational poem or quote, a blast of your favourite music or perfume. This will remind you that you are more than this job, this business – and it gives you a bit of perspective back so that you return refreshed and reinvigorated.
If you want the vision enough, if you make up your mind to go for it, the rest becomes easy. They just become obstacles and challenges for you to problem solve – rather than each time wondering whether or not to proceed.
As a business owner and entrepreneur, tenacity is often the factor that determines whether your business succeeds or fails. You decide! It’s down to you to take control of the situation and show the character that you know you have.
Joanne Ernst (previously Murphy) of Online Catalyst helps busy mangers become influential and inspirational leaders. An ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) accredited and experienced executive coach, she is passionate about facilitating great results. She offers E-learning resources, 1:1 executive coaching and Secrets of Coaching for Managers workshops.