The great thing about having facebook is the links that people post are often interesting. This one really spoke to me, in fact it spoke so much that I have asked for the book for Christmas. It talks about the opposite of being fragile or Antifragile. The book is Antifragile:Things that Gain from Disorder is written Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I am taking my understanding of Taleb’s book from this website; http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/12/03/beyond-sissy-resilience-on-becoming-antifragile/
The article discusses the opposite of fragile. They discuss the fact that the opposite of fragile isn’t robust or resilient. As being Anti-fragile should put you ahead of where you started before the bad time happened. Instead of breaking during stressful personal or business times we should become stronger.
I have come through a time recently when I felt very fragile and I am continuing to feel fragile. So this concept is very attractive to me from a personal standpoint and as a small business owner.
The article touches on how large often equals fragile due to red tape, an inability to swiftly react to market changes, or icebergs in the case of the Titanic. It talks about being optimized to make use of every resource. In my case it would be a calendar with no extra time for the daily life occurrences that happen ie a flat tire, a sick child, medical emergencies that all play havoc with our calendar, budget and life. People try to reduce this randomness in life by planning it out. An example of this in real life are parents that try to keep their children from experiencing small hurts like Johnny doesn’t want to play with Jimmy. The author states that stress strengthens us and removing stresses from our children’s lives weakens them.
Resilience or the ability to bounce back while a great ability to have is useless if you do not grow from your experience. Growing means that you have moved beyond randomness or become anti fragile.
The great news is that Taleb feels that being small is great for being antifragile! Small business are more able to change direction.
You really should read the rest of it and gather some great insight but here are some insights that I gathered from this article.
1. What doesn’t kill your small business should make it stronger. Will you learn from your mistakes? Change your focus if it is needed!
2. Have a back up plan! Having more than one critical piece of equipment isn’t a bad thing, for my business this would be to have more than one sewing machine that works well.
3. Add some stress to your life! You can do this by changing your work schedule, or how you do things. See if there is a new way to do what you have always done. Stress strengthens you as it forces you to change.
4. Play it safe and also take risks. In a small retail business this might be continuing to sell your best selling items while you learn a new skill or sell something else just to see how it goes.
5. Don’t take advice from someone that doesn’t also do what you do.Why would you take advice from someone that doesn’t also run a small business?
6. Reduce the negatives. Remove things that are detracting from your business or life. Do you have bad habits or debt? Get rid of the debt and work on the bad habits.
7. Keep your options open. So,keep some money in the bank for the slow times. If your best selling item stops selling then stop making it and move on.
I am excited to get to read this book as it reinforces what I have always known; What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! We just have to decide that we are going to grow from what has happened and move forward or in a completely different direction.
This poster just says it all! I’m off to change my focus, add some stress, and finish some things up!
See you later!