In my life and career I have found that there are times that are more difficult than others. The capacity to stay mentally well during those times is what I call ‘resilience’. - and as someone who lives with the peaks and troughs of having mental health, it is with that learnt resilience that has assisted in the success of my business.
Whereas traditional business models haven't nurtured an environment to sustain different levels of my mental health, being a freelance consultant has. I have been able to build a life that compliments it, and am purely measured on output, not input.
I have the freedom to work when I feel fit to, but do it knowing that if I take my foot of the gas for too long then there will be hungry mouths at home, unpaid bills, or worse.
On top of this, to combat the isolation that often can be felt by a consultant, I am very fortunate to have developed a strategic partner network, with whom I work with on a regular basis. As experts in their niche fields, these trusted delivery partners enable me to be flexible in my approach, but also allow me to offer a valued proposition that usually only full service agencies can provide. - subsequently allowing me to produce award winning campaigns and strategies for my clients.
To me, resilience represents the knowing of how to recover quickly from a challenge; to understand that success often relies on how fast you can react to failure.
It is with this knowledge that I have been empowered to work through challenging times with more ease, and been given the ability to live positively with my mental health.
Different people have their own ways of bouncing back and keeping going when things get challenging. If I were to share any tips for people struggling, whether in a professional or personal capacity it would be these three things:
Share your challenges. Just soundboarding off a friend or colleague can help you solve a problem or articulate it in a different way.
Remove yourself to gain perspective. When we allow ourselves to be immersed in our challenges, we struggle to see a way out and therefore cannot bounce back.
Keep a healthy sense of humour. If I wasn't able to laugh at when shit hits the fan, I know I wouldn't have been able to take the risks necessary to succeed.