Artwork for podcast Nerds of Business
#26. How ‘disruptive’ entrepreneurs are using resilience to power a winning mindset
Episode 2628th September 2021 • Nerds of Business • Webbuzz Media
00:00:00 00:46:30

Share Episode

Shownotes

Season 3: 'Mindset of the disruptive entrepreneur', Episode 1

Resilience is a key personality trait of any entrepreneur who gets to the top, but especially those who are disrupting markets. In this episode a business psychologist, a start up guru, and two entrepreneurs reveal how to be more resilient .

Guest Bios:

Stephanie Thompson is business psychologist & the founder of Insight Matters https://www.linkedin.com/in/insightinitiatives/

Rachael Neumann is the founder of Flying Fix Ventures and is a board member of StartupAus https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachaelneumann/

Sam White is the founder of Freedom Services Group & Stella Insurance https://www.linkedin.com/in/sam-white-093b9b22/

Chris Brycki is the founder & CEO of online share investing platform Stockspot.com.au https://www.linkedin.com/in/brycki/

What to listen out for:

3.07 Jim Dyson's story of resilience, he failed 5,127 times

10.15 Psychologist deconstructs resilience from a clinical perspective

12.20 'Energy management' technique for improving resilience

14.16 What the most resilient start up founders have in common

23.27 British bulldogs game - personal story of perseverance

25.53 Entrepreneurs often seem to have a 'hole' they're trying to fill

27.44 Is there a correlation between trauma in childhood, and higher resilience later in life as an adult

32.53 Nature vs nurture segment, with Chris Brycki

34.04 Things you can do to improve resilience from a clinical perspective

37.18 The importance of movement & exercise in the resilience of entrepreneurs & business leaders

38.25 The importance of food & 'gut health' for resilience

44.11 Recurring segment NERD UNDER PRESSURE

Resources & links:

  1. Dyson vacuum cleaner protoyping story https://www.wired.com/2012/11/mf-james-dyson/

*****

Enjoyed this podcast? >>>> Please SHARE via text or social media ((!))

Get in touch with us here: https://nerdsofbusiness.com/contact/

You can follow Nerds of Business on socials:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/business_nerds

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nerdsbusiness/

Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nerds-of-business/

Transcripts

Darren Moffatt:

Hi there and welcome to the nerds of business podcast. I'm your host, Darren Moffatt. It's great to have you with us. Once again. I'm excited to announce that the classic format is back today. We begin season three in our mission to problem solve the entrepreneurial journey. Regular listeners will recall that in the first series we tackled the topic of branding. And in season two, we took a very nerdy look at product design and development. Well, now we turn our attention to the universal challenge of mindset in particular, the mindset of the very elite, the disruptive entrepreneur. My hypothesis is that if we can unlock the mindset, secrets, that power, the likes of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos to the top, then we can help entrepreneurs everywhere to crack the code to growth in their own ventures. In fact, we can probably help anyone to achieve the pinnacle of success in their chosen field.

Darren Moffatt:

But before we get started, I've got a confession. For many years, I didn't really rate the importance of mindset. I thought it was largely quackery peddled by self-appointed gurus to make a fast buck. You know, the type, I mean, you can say them on LinkedIn all over the place, but in the course of launching and scaling several companies myself, I've personally experienced the power of positive mindset, perhaps like you it's helped me get through some really tough times. On the flip side, I've also observed in others how poor attitude and motivation can have a debilitating effect on the fortunes of a company. So as a rationalist and a believer in signs, I've enlisted the help of two expert nerds to get us some answers. Throughout the series, you’ll be hearing from a qualified business psychologist who explains the clinical aspects of mindset. You'll also hear from a leader in the start-up ecosystem who provides the investor perspective on the character traits and behaviours that VCs, that's venture capitalists, look for in transformational founders. In addition, I've interviewed six entrepreneurs who are disrupting markets right now. They share their incredible stories from across the fields of technology, labour hire, financial services, online dating, pet health, and more. Together, this panel of nerds and I will attempt to solve the key mindset challenges that all businesses must overcome. One problem at a time. But first we start with a story, a trip back in time that shows what the power of resilience can really achieve.

Darren Moffatt:

It's the mid-1970s and a young British engineer called James Dyson is beginning to make a name for himself as a designer and inventor. At just 22 years of age, he invented a C truck that can carry three tons at 50 miles per hour across the water. A few years later, he invents a wheelbarrow with an innovative ball wheel that won't sink the mud. It quickly snares 50% market share. In 1978, Dyson is mulling his next move. When one day he walks past a local sawmill and sees a machine in use called a cyclonic separator.

Darren Moffatt:

By this stage he's already become frustrated with the poor performance of his Hoover vacuum cleaner. The dust bag pores keep getting clogged with dust, reducing its suction. The process of cyclonic separation might just be the innovation he needs to design a better type of vacuum cleaner. He rushes’ home and build a rough prototype that day. It's the first in a very, very long cycle of product development. Over the next 15 years, partly supported by his wife's salary, as an art teacher, he builds an astonishing 5,127 prototypes. It's an industrial strength show of perseverance. Although he releases his first product, the G-Force cleaner in 1983, it was not until almost a decade later that Dyson's innovation finally breaks through. In the UK market, he runs a TV advertising campaign, which emphasizes that unlike most of its rivals, the Dyson vacuum does not require the continuing purchase of replacement bags.

Darren Moffatt:

At that time, the UK market for disposable cleaner bags is 100 million pounds, the slogan say goodbye to the bag proves more attractive to the buying public than a previous emphasis on the such an efficiency that is technology delivers. The Dyson dual cyclone soon becomes the fastest selling vacuum cleaner ever made in the UK and outsells those of the companies that have rejected his idea. Following his success, other major manufacturers begin to market their own cyclonic vacuum cleaners. In 1999, Dyson sue's Hoover for patent infringement. The high court rules that Hoover has deliberately copied a fundamental part of his Patinate Design's. Hoover agrees to pay damages of four million pounds. Fast forward 20 years and Dyson vacuum cleaners is a global household brand with annual revenue of $7.3 billion. And James Dyson himself. He's now the 60th wealthiest person on the planet with a net worth of $25 million. And it all started with a fanatical dedication to prototyping.

Music:

[inaudible]

Darren Moffatt:

Now regular listeners might recognize the Dyson story from episode 16 on prototyping. Try as I might, I simply could not find a better real-life demonstration for the theme of this episode. Jim Dyson definitely qualifies as a disruptive entrepreneur. I think by any fair measure, his cyclonic suction technology has completely disrupted the global market for vacuum cleaners. The fact that he persevered through all those setbacks and iterated his product through what he described as 5,127 failures shows an industrial grade resilience. It's obviously been a key factor in his journey to becoming a billionaire. If you're thinking about improving your own performance as a founder or business leader, then it all starts with optimizing your mindset. So, what can you do to improve resilience to the level required to catapult your business into the big time?

Background Audio:

I love data. You need to have systems need to have structure. You're going to get chopped to pieces. Enthusiasm is unstoppable. We kind of hit a point where we were like, we need another lever. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and richer than you.

Darren Moffatt:

This is nerd of business. We'll start the show in a minute, but first a word from our sponsor. Hi everyone. It's your host, Darren here with a special announcement. We've launched a new website for the show at nerdsofbusiness.com. You can find all the episodes, transcriptions and information on our guests at this new address. So come and take a look at nerdsofbusiness.com and while you're there, sign up to our newsletter for early access to unreleased content and special offers that we'll be releasing real soon. It's the best place to totally nerd out.

Darren Moffatt:

So, the title of today's episode and the problem we're trying to solve is how disruptive entrepreneurs use resilience to power a winning mindset. It's a big show today, and we've got some really amazing guests lined up. Up soon, you’ll hear from the founder of an online share market platform with $400 million under management and the British founder of a female centric brand disrupting the staid old world of insurance. But first here's a quick reminder that if you're enjoying nerds of business, to please hit the subscribe button on your podcast player, it means you'll automatically receive each new episode every fortnight, and it makes it easier for us to stay in touch.

Darren Moffatt:

For this series on mindset. I'm thrilled to be joined by Stephanie Thompson. Stephanie is a qualified psychologist and business coach based in Sydney, Australia with over 25 years’ experience helping executive leaders and entrepreneurs to optimize their mindset and performance. She's the founder of her practice insight matters. And she's regularly in the media appearing on the ABC, channel nine, the financial review and more so she's the perfect technical expert for a series on mindset. I began by asking her to deconstruct resilience and to explain where it comes from in a person. Turns out it's all rather more complex than what you might think.

Stephanie Thompson:

Well, it's quite similar to resilience as we might think of it in engineering actually. So, it's abrasion resistance or the ability to spring back into shape after stress. Okay. Um, adaptability, um, yes. Resistance to damage.

Darren Moffatt:

Yep. Great. And what qualities feed into that? You know, like what what's, what sort of, what are the component parts to resilience?

Stephanie Thompson:

Um, I'd say there are two main branches, and one is, um, things like, uh, being non-anxious and unworried, levelheaded being optimistic and cheerful. That would be one branch. And the other branch is more interpersonal. I think we might be talking about that in another episode as an interpersonal trait. So, resilience in the face of criticism, for example, which is a slightly separate concept.

Darren Moffatt:

Um, and you know, again, once again, this stuff is super important quality in an entrepreneur. Is it something that people are hardwired with, or can it be learned? Like, you know, it's a bit of a nature versus nurture question.

Stephanie Thompson:

Um, well the answer for most of these things is it's an element of both. So, some people do seem to come into this world pre-loaded with a degree of resilience and others less so. There is a learnability factor as well. Um, and yes, it can be somewhat learned significantly, significantly. So actually, I would say yes, it can be learned.

Darren Moffatt:

So that's the clinical perspective and Stephanie will return later in the episode with some actually quite surprising tips on how you can improve your own resilience. But first, why is resilience so important that it's almost a precondition for entrepreneurs to succeed?

Rachael Neumann:

I think we talk about resilience a lot and it's for the reasons that you just mentioned Darren, that this is a roller coaster ride. Starting a company has many twists and turns, emotional highs and lows, physical pain. Um, you know, it's not for the light of heart. I think that we need to make sure that resilience is not misunderstood, um, because to its logical extension, it can be abusive, right? There's a lot of like toxic productivity, um, or this expectation that resilience means that you can't feel the emotions. Um, and in fact, what matters a little bit more to me is around energy management, right? So, I talked to my founders all the time about managing their energy. We always say, you know, this is a marathon, this isn't a sprint. So, I don't say like, get back in their mental toughness, be resilient. I say, how can we manage your energy right now so that you can go the distance and what do you need from me or from your team or from your advisors or investors, that's going to help you go the distance.

Rachael Neumann:

Um, and sometimes that actually means when someone is experiencing a time of, um, mental and physical low, we, you know, we take the foot off the pedal a little bit and we say, you know what? We are going to continue to execute our strategy. And hopefully someone else on the team can kind of pick up that slack. But what we need right now is rest, right? I come from an athletics background. Won't know now because I'm a bit washed up, but at Stanford I played division one lacrosse. And what we know as athletes is that rest and recovery is the most important tool that we have for executing on the field. And yet in business, we don't think about building and rest and recovery. So, I think that resilience comes from someone who understands that it's not just full throttle, push through walls at all costs.

Rachael Neumann:

It's how do I manage my energy? How do I manage my emotions? How do I manage my physical self, my time so that I'm able to build in rest and recovery? I was having a conversation with someone the other day. And I actually think that what the most resilient people that I've seen and this pandemic I think has really helped to kind of elucidate this even more is people who are able to either release themselves from expectations, that, of how they thought something was going to be and allow them to find the right balance between this is where I need to go. So don't keep moving the goal posts but understand what's outside of their control and figure out how to navigate that. So, I'll give you some live examples. You know, two of my portfolio companies, one is Muzo. One is pixel, both amazing companies.

Rachael Neumann:

Um, you know, I've been a part of their journeys, um, from day one and both of them work in the live events and ticketing space. So, I made those investments, obviously with my event bright, uh, hat on, because I know the space very well, but listen, being in the live events or ticketing space has not been a great place to be in the last, you know, year and a half, both of these companies. So first of all, both of them have raised around in the middle of COVID a significant round with a significant valuation bump, which is like, unbelievable. It's pretty gutsy to say, you know what, I'm going to go raise capital during this time. But both Muzo and pixel said, right, you know, there are no live events right now. What can we do to make this the most valuable 12, 16 months that we could possibly have?

Rachael Neumann:

Both of them put their head down we're building product like crazy. Both of them were talking to customers like crazy because all of sudden customers were available. They weren't throwing events; they would pick up the phone. And so, this is when they went really deep on customer insights, really deep and building really deep in testing and experimenting. In some cases, you know, they, they built up their war chest with capital. This is where they started to grab as much talent as they could. So, the rest of the industry had released talent. They consumed talent. And I think both of these companies when live events can, you know, go back to their original levels, both of these companies are positioned to win. So, for me, that's resilience. That's saying right now, this situation that's completely out of our control, sucks, but what's within our control is how we make this the most important time in our company's history. So, my hats go off to both of those teams.

Darren Moffatt:

That's Rachael Neumann, she's the founder of flying Fox ventures based in Melbourne Australia. They're an early-stage venture firm for angel investors. Prior to that, she was the managing director of event bright for Australia and New Zealand and the head of start-ups at Amazon web services, where she worked with literally thousands of entrepreneurs. She has also served as the chair of start-up Oz, Australia's national start-up advocacy and lobbying group. So, she's a highly respected leader in the start-up ecosystem, who knows exactly what it takes to be a disruptive entrepreneur. You'll be hearing a lot more from Rachael over the course of the series.

Darren Moffatt:

And now for the first of our entrepreneur guests. Sam white is the founder and CEO of the UK based freedom services group, where she's disrupting the stuffy old world of insurance with multiple brands, such as Pukka insure, and action 365. Sam employs over 250 people in the UK, Gibraltar and Australia. She's a vocal supporter of equal rights and the promotion of diversity throughout the workplace. 67% of Sam's directors are women. In 2020, She launched Stella insurance into the Australian market. And it's the first company to offer insurance for women by women. Sam is an absolute force of nature with a truly compelling story. In the conversation you're about to hear, she reveals her unlikely origin story as an entrepreneur, the adversity that she's had to overcome, and she shares some really powerful insights into her own mindset that we can all learn from. I'd love to hear about your journey into entrepreneurship, you know, uh, how did you end up becoming the founder of five successful brands and a podcast host, where did it all start?

Sam White:

So, it's a slightly unorthodox story. Um, I started my first company when I was 24. Um, and it, it really was as a result of some quite challenging life events, if I quite a difficult childhood. Um, and then, uh, at 24, I was, um, I was out drinking with some friends as you do. Um, some, some male friends we'd been out clubbing. We came back to my place for some reason, we decided that it was a good idea to get into a water fight. For anybody listening to this, it is not a good idea to get into a water fight at three o'clock in the morning when drunk with a group of burly fellows, when you were five foot, four Northern female, female, or other, I chased one of them into the kitchen with a pan of water because he just drenched me, um, and slipped on and ended up dislocating my ankle and breaking my leg. Oh no.

Sam White:

I didn't realize at the time, so I fell asleep on the couch with a bag of frozen peas on my leg and then woke up in the morning and realized that things were considerably worse than I had anticipated. Um, and I got this really good job at the time, I'd been hired by this company who was actually a, um, worked in motor claims. So, they, they used to handle most of the claims on behalf of insurance brokers. And, you know, I was earning really good money. Um, I'd been promoted and promoted, and I bought my own house. And, you know, I was kind of feeling like king or queen of the world. Um, but I wasn't taking particularly good care of myself. So, you know, I'd put on a lot of weight. I was probably five stone overweights, uh, you know, out partying is that kind of counterbalanced to all of the hard work, smoking at the time.

Sam White:

Um, and this, um, break meant that I wasn't able to go anywhere or do anything. So, I was trapped on my sister's couch for six weeks, and I think it, it really did make me sort of stop and, and assess what I was doing with my life and whether I was doing the, I was on the right path or not, which, you know, on assessment, I kind of went well, yeah, I'm doing this job that I love. Um, but I'm working 14, 16 hours a day. I'm not taking care of myself. Like, I don't think I'm on the right track. And then I also split up with a boyfriend that I had at the time that I'd been living with, as I realized, lovely lad, that he was utterly useless in crisis, um, because he was completely incapable of even remotely taking care of me.

Sam White:

Um, then, um, and then a month after that my mom died. So as, as a combination of all of these things, it kind of made me go, no, I'm not doing the right thing. And I was supposed to go traveling. So, the plan was actually to go to Oz at that point. I've got a friend who was planning on doing a year off. I applied for the visa. I was like, this is what I'm going to do. Um, and whilst I was off, um, my uncle who had a CCTV company at the time asked if I'd help him out, because he was really struggling with his business and he was struggling to make sales and he knew I'd done some tele sales, et cetera. Um, and I agreed to help him. And, um, I set up at my sister's conservatory with like a phone at the time, like a yellow page, so a phone and a desk in the yellow pages. And it just really mushroomed from there. I started doing some stuff from him, and then a couple of other people approached me and asked me if I'd help them. And, you know, it’s kind of, I never ended up going to Australia at that point, put it that way, I ended up carrying on doing what I was doing.

Darren Moffatt:

We now come to the kind of the very sort of meaty cracks if I can put it that way of the, um, of this particular, uh, conversation today. And that is the mindset of the disruptive entrepreneur. So, um, you definitely qualify as a disruptive entrepreneur. You've got a lot of experience. You've got a lot of a lot of things on the go and you're disrupting markets. So, I'm very keen Sam to hear from you in your journey so far. Like what personality traits do you find yourself drawing on most, as it relates to sort of that disruptive element?

Sam White:

So as a kid, I don't know if you have this game in Australia, but we used to play something called British bulldog. Oh yes. And the object of the game, the below to kids against the wall. And you would run from one side of a wall to the other side of the playground, and you'd have to catch the person. Now, our game north of England, probably a bit rougher than the south of England. I don't know about the Aussies, I couldn't possibly comment, but, um, we didn't just tag them. You would drag them back to the other side of the wall and then that person would join, and you'd carry on until you got to the end. I was always the last person that they would go for because I, there was no way they were stopping me getting to the other side of the wall. And they would literally have to sort of like, I'd be crawling to get to the other side.

Sam White:

And sometimes I would make it even with the rest of the class, trying to stop me getting to the wall. Um, and I think that that trait is as wheeled out, in the sense that, um, I'm very resilient. I, I just don't give up. I think as, as an entrepreneur, the most important thing to remember is that it will inevitably be extremely difficult at times you'll inevitably fail. Um, and all that you can do when it gets really tough is just keep going. You know, I, it wasn't Winston Churchill, but, um, everybody always puts this to him. If you're going through hell, just keep going. Um, I think every entrepreneur has those moments. It's not what people see. It's not what people refer to, but it's those times where you just keep, you know, one foot in front of the other, carry on, I'm pushing through, that is above all other traits. I think the most important thing,

Darren Moffatt:

I couldn't agree more. I mean, resilience is a really big one, but it's, uh, I think it's also interesting what's behind that. So, you know, you, you're resilient, you've got a lot of determination, but where does that come from? Like for instance, is it driven by a sense of ambition, you know, or is it driven by a sense of, uh, competitiveness? Like what, what's the driver behind that, behind that really, uh, amazing drive that you've obviously got?

Sam White:

Uh, so, in all honesty, I don't know whether this is controversial or not, but, um, you know, um, I mentioned before I had quite a difficult childhood, most entrepreneurs that I know haven't had an easy run of it in life. And actually, I think this is a terrible thing to say, but I actually think to a degree there's, um, there's something missing. There's, there's, there's a, a hole that you're trying to fill that creates that entrepreneurial energy that you, whether it be that you haven't, you know, haven't felt fully loved as a child or you've, you know, there's, there's been, you know, I've met entrepreneurs that have been bullied as kids I've met entrepreneurs that have, have had very difficult childhoods or have had, uh, you know, addiction or there is normally something actually not necessarily a good thing. I think that sits behind that absolute.

Sam White:

I am going to keep going at this, so I'm going to do it regardless. And of course, you know, I was dyslexic as a kid, and I think a lot of entrepreneurs that I've met are dyslexic. Um, again, that's, that's challenging going through the education system with that type of, um, brain wiring. I like to see, I like to think it's a bit of a superpower once you, once you realize what it is, but for a lot of people as, as children, it is quite a difficult thing to handle. So yeah, I, I do think it's born out of adversity most of the time. I don't meet a lot of entrepreneurs that have had perfect, warm, wonderful, loving childhoods that have then decided that they want to put themselves through this probably, you know, there's probably a degree of insanity in there somewhere.

Darren Moffatt:

As you just heard, Sam has an interesting theory that many entrepreneurs are driven to succeed because of some trauma or damage from their childhood that leaves a hole to be filled as she put it. So, I turned to business psychologist, Stephanie Thompson, and her answer is surprising. Um, Stephanie, one of the things that's come up in my conversations with entrepreneurs for this series is a running theme. Quite a few of them have when asked, have nominated a traumatic event, uh, in their childhood or in their past as the source of their resilience. So, I'm really curious in your experience, um, or maybe even in the published research, is there a correlation or causation between what we might call trauma or damage in childhood and a high degree of resilience in a person in later life?

Stephanie Thompson:

Hmm. It's very interesting. You say that actually, because the literature in the main says, yes, there is a correlation, but it's a negative correlation when we look across the population as a whole, in that trauma in childhood tends to produce a more fragility in the adult's as well. Um, certainly things like less, uh, poor mental health and poor physical health generally correlate. So, it doesn't mean there can't be exceptions or that somebody can't launch off a particular experience. Yep.

Darren Moffatt:

So, what we might have here, I mean, obviously my conversations with a bunch of entrepreneurs is hardly scientific, but what we might have is a skewed cohort here. I mean, we've got, you know, would that be the case?

Stephanie Thompson:

It could be a very interesting cohort. You have. Yes. Yes. There are different kinds of stress too, in that there's trauma stress and effort stress. So, for example, we might think of somebody who maybe was raised on a farm or in a very, natural environment where they had to carry water up the hill every day, for example, but they are in a community that is nice, they've got good relationships. They've got a secure food supply, no real stress in the sense of traumatic stress, it's just effort stress, but they might be perfectly content and actually very resilient from that sort of upbringing. The traumatic stress tends to be more to do with being raised in fear. Yep. So just never really feeling safe and solid in their foundation. And that on average tends to produce a less steady adult. Yeah. But of course, not without exception, of course,

Darren Moffatt:

We're semi famous here at nerds’ business for our special segments. So, I'm excited to introduce a new one, especially for the mindset series called nature versus nurture. It's where we ask a guest for their view on whether a key skill or attribute can be learned, or if it's purely inherent. Today's entrepreneur in the hot seat is Chris Brycki, he's the founder and CEO of share investing platform, stock spot.com.au. Let's hear what Chris has to say on resilience. When it comes to that kind of disruptive mindset, you know, for those entrepreneurs that really sort of break the established orthodoxy one way or another. Um, you know, what are your thoughts? Do you think that is, it's a nature versus nurture question, do you think it is, uh, more so the fact that those entrepreneurs are kind of born that way, they're hard wired that way, or is it learned, is it learned behaviour?

Chris Brycki:

It's a great question. And coincidentally, I recently just took my whole team to see one of my favourite movies of all time called trading places. I don't know if you've seen it.

Darren Moffatt:

Trading places, Oh yes!

Chris Brycki:

With Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, but it's actually a great movie about nature versus nurture, because if you can remember the two old blokes in the movie have a bet about whether it's nature or nurture that drives behaviour.

Darren Moffatt:

I'd forgotten that. Yeah. That's a good one.

Chris Brycki:

So yeah, I mean, it's an interesting one. I mean, I definitely , it's actually hard to kind of have a view on it because I can't really see what I would have looked like if I grew up in a different environmental family, you, you know, it's path dependent. I can only see who I am based on the family and the upbringing I had. And so, you know, you probably inclined to say that the upbringing had to be impact because I can definitely observe areas that are, probably did have an impact. Um, but it's really hard to know. I mean, there's some fascinating documentaries, I saw one recently about it. It was a, the triplets that were, that were split up and then came back together and they all ended up in very similar professions despite having very different upbringings.

Darren Moffatt:

Yes, I saw that as well. That was in America, wasn't it?

Chris Brycki:

Yeah, really interesting one. So, I mean, I can definitely see a lot of, you know, likely to discussed the, you know, the sport that we did as kids and, and, you know, the way that we were told to kind of challenge, um, you know, challenge the status quo, and to always be questioning and, and, um, you know, the first like learning that always, you know, you can see that coming out in, in your later life, but would you have had it in a different environment? I don't know. Without actually living through that. It's an unknown,

Darren Moffatt:

It's pretty wild thought, isn’t it to think what might've happened. Um, and business psychologist, Stephanie Thompson also shared some super useful tips on how everyone can improve their resilience. Check this out. You said that it can be learned, or there are many parts of this that can, can be learned in many cases. So, what can entrepreneurs do in a practical sense to improve their own resilience?

Stephanie Thompson:

That's a big question, Darren. There's a lot that falls under that heading of what can you do.

Darren Moffatt:

That's probably what you do or most of the day in your professional work.

Stephanie Thompson:

Yes, correct. Um, I actually have a model of resilience that I created. I always feel like I should give it some sort of funky name and I haven't thought of one yet, but there are three main inputs into what creates resilience. And one of them is what we think of as classic psychology. So, it's mind it's things like, uh, thinking habits, certain psychological skills around awareness and self-regulation and techniques and relationship, and maybe even spiritual practices and such things. So that's one category. One input is mind. A huge input that so often get over gets overlooked is actually bodily its physiology. Um, in that so much of what we think of as emotion is really us just reading signals from our animal body.

Darren Moffatt:

Wow. That's interesting. That's not something, see the conversation's already gone in a direction I hadn't anticipated. That's not something that you, you know, the everyday sort of lay person would, would really consider, you know, they think ok, I get the mindset, I get the psychology part, but you're actually linking it to, to the body. Maybe you give us a bit more detail on that.

Stephanie Thompson:

Yes. It's, it's not, I don't even really think of it as a link. It's like two sides of the same coin. And we forget that our brain and our nervous system, um, they don't float around separately in the ISA. They're wired in, in fact, that is the wiring. Um, so it's really all one thing. And anything that you do for your body's, uh, resilience translates also somewhat into psychological resilience. Um, so another subheading under that category would be brain function. And there are many aspects of, uh, uh, many things that you can do to support and optimize brain function. There are physical habits , even how you use your body , can have, uh, an impact, um, which may sound a little bit strange and unexpected, but, uh, we could talk about that more if you like. And there are even a few little genetic elements that can make a difference as to how easy it is for somebody to produce a very, uh, steady, solid, calm, positive mood.

Darren Moffatt:

And so, yes, let's drill down into that a little bit more on the, uh, the physical slash bodily side, you know, like what kind of habits, um, can entrepreneurs do to sort of build that resilience? I mean, I've noticed in my talks with lots of top entrepreneurs over the last 18 months or so that a lot of them are runners, you know, they're, they're, they're, they're, they're, they're runners, they're joggers, they're quite fit. They're quite regimented in their, um, uh, in their habits and their sort of personal fitness systems. Is that, is that something that you, you would say is, is a good way to build that, that emotional or mental resilience in a person

Stephanie Thompson:

Definitely physical movement is a huge aspect of it. Yes. I tend to call it movement rather than exercise. Exercise always sounds to me like a chore, like a thing that should be done, whereas movement is integral to life. We're not supposed to be sitting around stationary at a desk for very long anyway. Yep. Um, and that sense of, uh, power. And actually, we will, hopefully we know what it feels like when we're at our fittest, we do feel more resilient and we're firing on all cylinders. Um, and people, even though they're using a lot of energy, they say, if they work out some way in the morning, they tend to function much better during the day.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. Fantastic. And so aside from say, you know, movement, I won't call it exercise. Um, I personally liked the idea of Cal aesthetics. It's very seventies, a bit retro, but, um, what other little things can entrepreneurs do to build that sense of resilience? Um, yeah. Maybe aside from sort of, you know, hardcore running or jogging

Stephanie Thompson:

Food, big thing, whatever you do for your gut, there's a very strong relationship between gut health and mental health in a number of respects. So, whatever you do really for your gut health will, um, help to support everyday healthy functioning, which means resilient functioning. Um, and, uh, I can give you some input on that, but a naturopath is probably the best person to talk to somebody who specializes in that side of things. Um, what else? And the third input into resilience is environmental. So, it's the stuff outside of yourself. So, mind or psychology is internal body , we think of that's internal physiology and then environment. So that means things like, um, a sense of safety. So, home shelter, greenery, peace, and quiet, key relationships, um, resources like money , free time. Um, all of those things are also inputs into creating, uh, a sense of safety, um, which tends to produce more resilience if we feel fundamentally safe in the world and all, or more precisely if our nervous system perceives safety, not if we intellectually perceived safety, but our nervous system has the signals. It needs, uh, that it reads that the environment is safe, then we become bolder and more experimental.

Darren Moffatt:

And so that's a very interesting topic right there because I mean, that's very rational listening, so it makes a lot of sense, but of course that's not the lived experience of so many entrepreneurs. And I'm going to the point here around stress, you know, because someone can be notionally living in a nice house and safe and, you know, have all of those signals satisfied on an intellectual level. But if they're stressed out of their mind about running businesses and negative cashflow and stuff like that, then I'm guessing that's what you're referring to that that's sending that negative signal to the central nervous system. Is that right?

Stephanie Thompson:

Um, yes or though, the interesting thing is it's not a part of resilience is that it's not always about the external situation, in that having cashflow problems for somebody who is not feeling resilient at that time will be perceived as an impending doom disaster. But for somebody who is resilient, the cashflow problem is a more practical, manageable situation. So same reality, but different subjective experience.

Darren Moffatt:

So, the problem we set out to solve in this episode was, how do disruptive entrepreneurs use resilience to power, a winning mindset? Our mindset expert, Stephanie Thompson revealed the psychological theory behind resilience and our start up guru, Rachel Neumaan explained why this is so important in a founder. And we've also heard some fascinating, real-life stories from our entrepreneur, guests, Sam White, at stellar insurance and Chris Brycki from stock spot. I hope their wisdom and insights have given you some ideas to crack the code to growth in your own business. For me, there are three key conclusions we can all take from this episode. Number one, managing your energy is important. I loved what Rachael had to say on this and how the ability of entrepreneurs to regulate their own energy output is actually a key driver of longer-term resilience. Number two don't ignore diet and movement. As Stephanie said, there is a strong physical component to the mental wellbeing of humans.

Darren Moffatt:

And this is especially so for founders and entrepreneurs routinely under lots of pressure, those who take more care to look after themselves will be better placed to ride out the inevitable tough times. Number three, create a positive and safe environment for yourself at home, and at work, the research shows that if our central nervous system reads the environment as safe, then we become bolder and more experimental, which is surely the foundation stone for innovation. As we heard at the top of the episode in the Dyson story, some business ventures will test the resilience of the founding team for years and even decades before the breakthrough moment of market domination are achieved. So, although almost everyone in this world likes to make a fast buck, oftentimes it's a long slow grind. Even for those innovative entrepreneurs who are using technology to disrupt markets, resilience can be an incredible competitive advantage, especially for those who are playing the long game. The good news is yes, it can be learned, but like anything practice makes perfect we're coming to the end. But before we go, it's time for our regular segment nerd under pressure where a guest has to share one killer hack or tip, they recommend for you, our listeners let's find out who our nerd under pressure is today. I'm now going to ask you a question for a famous, uh, recurring segment of hours, called

:

Nerd Under pressure.

Darren Moffatt:

So, I know it under pressure out, right? So, this is where we ask you Sam white, um, our, what should we say? What we should call you an insurance nerd, but you're really, you're a nerd across many different things, but, um, we're looking for one killer tip or hack that could give to other business owners, budding entrepreneurs out there for launching a disruptive start-up. So, I'm going to give you five seconds thinking time, Okay. Over to you

Sam White:

Under Pressure. And it's early here as well. Darren, so extremely harsh. And I would have to say, make sure that the problem that you're solving for is a problem that others actually want you to solve. So, I've seen, I've seen some, um, tech disruptors go down a path that they're very excited about that I'm creating this new thing is brilliant, it does X, Y Zed, but actually it's not, it's not a problem that other people want solving. And so, it, it just falls on its ass, make very, very sure that this problem that you're solving is one that others also wish you to solve.

Darren Moffatt:

So, thanks for listening to episode 26 of the nerd’s business podcast. If you've enjoyed it, please leave a review on apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. It helps us climb up the ranks and become more visible to other people, just like you remember, we want to help as many entrepreneurs and businesses as possible. If you've got a question, or some feedback, we’d love to hear from you. You can now engage with us at our new website. Of course, that's nerdsofbusiness.com, nerdsofbusiness.com. So, feel free to reach out and say hello. I want to thank all of our guests and the team at Webbuzz for helping me put this show together. We'll be back in two weeks with our next episode, which is on the topic of harnessing creativity to disrupt markets. Until then I'm your host, Darren Moffatt, and I look forward to nerding out with you next time. Bye for now.

Links