Every business or idea started with a watershed moment. A moment in time where you as the leader became inspired to do what you do. By recognizing your watershed moment, you’ll have a foundation built that will help to build a resilient attitude and perspective to defend against any negative situation that may arise.
You must remember your watershed moments. Ruth Zuckerman, founder of SoulCycle and Flywheel, knows all about these watershed moments and the way hers created resiliency to chase her passion. She went from dreaming of dancing for a living to a desperate position after letting that dream die. It was in this moment she felt a push to join a daily spin class that led to her starting SoulCycle.
She recalls her watershed moment this way: “I feel that I was so desperate for something at that juncture in my life … it was traumatic, and I wasn’t really experiencing much pleasure. And there was something, there was a kind of an energy I felt from the spinning room, from looking from the outside in … it felt very intense and focused, and there was a group energy and community.”
She eventually joined the class, which led to her becoming the instructor of the class, which in turn led to her starting SoulCycle — an all spinning fitness center. Her watershed became her passion. “My main motivation in wanting to bring this to a bigger audience was to simply be able to spread the wealth and let other people experience this, too,” she said.
From Watershed to Resilient
For all business leaders, it should look very similar to this. Our watershed moment begins our journey to chase our passion. And when the bumps come, that watershed becomes a source of resiliency.
Zuckerman defines resiliency in this way: “Resilience means not giving up, sticking to your core passion and beliefs and trying to maintain a certain hopefulness when things feel really bad or are feeling hopeless. It’s having faith and, at the end of the day, having faith in yourself.”
Resilience is a choice, but even more, it’s a sign of preparedness and good planning. If you have used your watershed moment to chase a passion, then you can always return to that place to draw strength and re-center your soul to take on the challenges you face. It will mark you as a good leader if you can take in stride the twists and turns that business will bring and, through them, prove your stalwart can-do attitude as a living example to your company.
Resiliency is something that every CEO-minded person needs to have. Zuckerman is a great example and her story radiates from watershed to resilient. But, it also goes a step further. When we have that watershed moment, even through the resiliency, we still have one thing that must happen to grow our business: We must take risks.
Be Resilient and Take Risks
Risk-taking is second nature to some and scares the daylights out of others. But risks are a natural part of growing a business. Feeling the nudge from the universe to move our company in a different direction requires that we be in tune with our soul and the soul of our company.
This connectedness will allow us to analyze decisions in light of the passions behind our watershed moment. Risk shouldn’t be shied away from, but rather celebrated as a way to take our business to newer heights.
The nature of risk means there will be moments where you won’t reach the mountain top; this is where your resiliency comes back to the forefront. But, by nature, risk also means that there will be celebratory mountain-top experiences — moments where you step back and think, Wow, we did it!
If we are to grow our businesses in sustainable ways, we have to be able to handle and experience each of these moments in stride. Learning from the lower moments and celebrating the high mountain-top moments — always striving to better ourselves.
Our watershed moment is the reason we do what we do. It powers everything. It also permits us to take risks. Remember: Take risks. Try something new. Be resilient. Why? Because your business matters!
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