The following blog is made up of the best bits of editorial, articles and blogs that I’ve come across in my 38 years of working life, 30 of which I spent as my own boss at a very successful Creative Agency.

I thank all those that have inspired me to make (and write!) my own observations on these subjects. I now want to switch my focus to helping the next generation find the success that I did, and hopefully avoid a few of the pitfalls I didn’t!

For any business owner the greatest skill you will have to learn is to be resilient. No one is born with it and whilst some take to it more easily than others, resilience is key to long term success.

Wherever you are with your career or business development it’s worthwhile reminding yourself what you need to do to become resilient.

There are:


• Be Optimistic and Patient.

• Find a Sense of Purpose in Your Life.

• Look after Yourself.

• Establish Achievable Goals.


• Build Positive Beliefs in Your Abilities.

• Develop Your Problem-Solving Skills.

• Never Stop Learning.

• Embrace Change.


• Develop a Strong Social Network.

• Do things that Challenge You.

• Dismiss Energy Vampires.


The YOU part is perhaps the hardest. It begins with having a positive, can-do, attitude. The type of optimism that, no matter what the circumstances are, can put a smile on your face. If you can achieve this without thinking about it you’ll find a sense of purpose in your life. But to effectively do this you need to be patient. Not everything happens at once and you may well need to go down a few cul-de-sacs before you find what you’re looking for.

In the meantime it’s essential you look after yourself. The mind is a complex machine that lives in a fragile body and unless that body is looked after, the mind will never work properly. So spend time exercising, eating well and healthily and getting the right amount of sleep.

Achievable goal setting will also give you focus and direction. There is no point is setting goals that are so elevated that the realistic chances of those being achieved is slim. However you should always set goals that are slightly outside your comfort zone. This will both stretch you and give you a sense of achievement.


You have to be realistic about your capabilities. Focus on what you’re good at and be honest about what you’re not good at. This way you’ll build a confidence that is unbreakable. You can always polish what you’re really good at and minimise what you’re not. But the first revelation is knowing that.

Being good at problem solving is essential to building resilience. Problems will always emerge and challenge you. Taking them head on and viewing them as a challenge to be solved rather than something to worry about.

No matter how good you are at something you can never stop learning. Rapid advances in technology has ensured that nothing remains constant and change is absolutely part and parcel of life. This will only accelerate further and I say embrace it and keep your mind supple by learning something new every day and celebrate change.


You are what you are surrounded by. The people you have as friends, the business colleagues you know. Each one of those will support you unconditionally provided that you do the same for them. This is not scorekeeping either. It’s giving you, your time and your efforts selflessly and with an open heart.

From time to time you must get out of your comfort zone and do something that is challenging to you. The sense of achievement can add to your confidence and core resilience. It tells you are capable of anything.

Lastly, get rid of the energy vampires in your life. You know who they are. They’re the pessimists, the impatient, the glass half empties.

SelfJonathan Leafe