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In business, courage is everything

21.07.10 | Posted in General

I’ve had a tough few months in business and have learned a lot of lessons. The one lesson that stands out the most for me is having courage in those moments when you think you can’t possibly muster it.

It’s having courage to make strong decisions. It’s being brave enough to make calls that you know are right in your heart of hearts, but are going to have an impact on others. It’s being open and honest when all you feel like doing is curling up in a ball and never speaking to another soul.Young brave superhero

I’ve just learned of a business that’s sadly gone into administration. The owner didn’t break the news. Instead some associates did, leaving the loyal staff bewildered and upset.

I’m not for one moment underestimating the impact on the owner, and how disheartening and soul-destroying this situation must be. I’m just saying that things could have been so much more powerful if that owner had come in, sat down, and been authentic and real with their team.

This takes guts (and no doubt, a lot of pain and tears) but ultimately this courage would have lead to a much better outcome for everyone. The owner would have felt relieved and as though they weren’t alone, and the team would’ve felt appreciated for the honesty and openness shown to them.

Is there a decision that you’re currently putting off because you’re scared? A conversation you know you need to have but are frightened of what may happen? Try find the courage to make those decisions and have those conversations, and if you do, be sure to consider everyone in the process and be brave with how you conduct yourself. I promise you, you’ll feel so much better for it.

I like this quote from Dan Rather about courage: Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow.

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1 Comment

  1. Robyn Logan

    Hi Emma,

    I can totally relate to your comments on courage. I think it takes a lot of courage to run a business especially for women. I know I am generalising and stereotyping here, but women generally take on the feelings of others more than men and find it difficult to make decisions that will result in them not being “liked” and so they often put off hard business decisions that they know they have to make, but don’t want to for fear of upsetting someone.

    I think its important to have a contingency plan in place – a “worst case scenario” plan. I know in our business we have no intention of going under – and yet we have talked about how we would exit if that day ever came. And the key things for us are 1. maintaining our integrity and 2. fulfilling our commitment to clients. The rest is inconsequential.

    So, yes it makes me sad too when I hear of businesses and their owners just disappearing, because I think that although you might not be able to save your business, you can definitely save your reputation.