How many times have you heard people say ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’?

On the other hand, it could be said that failing to plan means that failure then comes as a complete surprise and is not preceded by a period of severe anxiety and stress!

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will take years to measure. No matter what plans we had in place before, business or personal, there was nothing that any one of us could have done to prevent the crisis and the economic effect of lockdown.

However, there are different ways of coping and adapting and ways of not getting caught out again.

Resilience is our ability to adapt and to bounce back when things don’t go as planned.

If you Google the word you might find the ‘Seven Cs of Resilience’.

This is my take on that:

Control… what are you in control of? What is out of your control? Necessity is so often the mother of invention. Focusing on new opportunities can help to regain control.

Competence… where do your strengths lie? Leadership and Management are the key to any successful business. Many people have the skill to make or create, but neglect to focus on the need to market and sell. The pandemic has given us all time to reflect on where we want to build our strengths.

Coping… coping can be a healthy way of getting through a situation. However, are you hoping to simply survive…or to thrive? Remember the many distilleries adapting their production lines to make hand sanitiser.

Confidence… what are you proud of? What skill or talent does that represent? Where could that lead you? Think about setting new pathways and goals. Seize opportunities to build confidence and recognise successes.

Connection… what value do you place on connection? Now is the time to work on your contacts and build your network. Who could you build new connections with or for?

Character… doing the right thing. What will you or your Business be remembered for post pandemic?

Contribution… paying it forward. Invest in your contacts and your business future.

Explore situations where your business can really contribute and find ways to bring those situations into being.

Forty-one years of working in financial services has taught me a lot about resilience and made me reflect on each of these seven Cs on many occasions.

I have always believed that the best way to understand and to learn is to get involved.

That mindset has led me, among other business roles, to become chair of Torbay Business Forum.

When lockdown hit us back on March 23, suddenly we were all thrown into a state of not knowing. Our very nature was challenged.

How could we possibly continue to network and carry on TBF during lockdown?

Well, we started with what we could control. We had a database of keen and willing members who wanted to stay connected. We had a team of great people whose talents enabled us to quickly switch to ‘virtual’ meetings.

Keeping focused on our purpose of bringing businesses together, we were quickly able to adapt to the new way of working, creating a sustainable and popular new platform.

Ten events later, featuring more than 40 naturally inspiring guests, we have proved that resilience can lead to new-found successes.

Somebody once said: “If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, then you probably don’t understand the seriousness of the situation!”

Many a true word said in jest, of course, but I like to think that they had a good point.

When lockdown knocked us all sideways, economic production stopped and social diaries had to be cancelled, we did not give in.

We simply and briefly pressed ‘pause’ and then found a new way.

A new way that will take Torbay forward, because truly #nowisthetime!

Original story by Steve Reynolds in Torbay Weekly