Resiliency for the Small Business Owner with Gary Gzik

Oct 21, 2020
4 mins | 1055 words
By: May Ning

May Ning

Why do some businesses thrive despite being met with challenge after challenge? It’s because these businesses and the people behind them have grit.

Resiliency for the Small Business Owner explores the topic of grit. As part of the Digital Main Street Future Proof program, in this recent webinar, Gary Gzik covered principles to build grit in yourself, your team and your business. He also identified tools and techniques to help build resiliency in your business.

Gary Gzik is CEO of BizXcel Inc, and Champion of Build a Kick-Ass Company, an organization dedicated to talent development, building engaging cultures and changing people’s lives. He’s an author, a corporate trainer and an international presenter who’s been inspiring people and organizations for the past 34 years.

Chance or choice?

Gary’s enthusiastic session starts with a quick stretch and an inspirational story about his father’s journey of beating cancer. His father’s outlook on life taught Gary early on that every day is a good day, with some just better than others. And that during tough times, mindset is one of the only things that can be controlled.

How can your small business be proactive during this tough time?

Here is Gary’s three-step plan of revival.

Step One: Protect yourself – be the best you possible

Everything grows from you. How do you choose to show up every day?

If you want everything and everyone around you to thrive, Gary explains, you first have to take care of yourself. Your family, friendships, culture, career, and community are all an extension of you. If you choose to be happier and more positive, doesn’t it make sense that this attitude would benefit others?

One tool that Gary offers to begin engaging in self-improvement is to journal before bed using his “Building a Strong You Journal.” This technique involves asking yourself the following questions:

  • What do I like about myself?
  • What are my greatest strengths?
  • What accomplishment am I really proud of?

Doing so every night helps you actively keep track of the good things.

To build on this exercise further, you can also add gratitude related reflections to your practice:

  • List what matters most in your life
  • What can you do to appreciate these things more?
  • Are there certain excuses you use not to appreciate what you have now? Explain
  • Tell three people how much you appreciate them today. What was their reaction? How did it make you feel?
  • For the next seven days, identify one way you can give back (these don’t need to be big gestures)

Other examples of self-care that Gary highlights include learning new things, going for walks, and staying hydrated.

Step Two: Look out for one another

Once you’ve begun the process of taking care of yourself, you can begin to build meaningful connections. As you begin to connect, you should show up with intention–especially with others now at a distance.

Building grit is the difference between obligation versus opportunity and a threat versus a challenge. As human beings, we’re built for struggle. Grit is made up of perseverance and passion, and according to Gary, perseverance comes from relationships, as good relationships give people more to fight for.

With grit, we build on what Gary calls ‘human culture‘ or how we increase the will to win while simultaneously decreasing the fear of failure.

Gary highlights three things that are scarce in the world right now: relationships, enthusiasm, and feeling good. With this knowledge, you can build energy through safety, connection, and appreciation.

The latter three can be sparked by engaging employees through a ‘heart and minds’ exercise involving questions like:

  • What work are you proudest of and why?
  • What aspects of your job are a struggle?
  • What motivates you at work and makes you feel engaged?

A way to connect outside of your organization is to support your eco-system and reach out to others through networking. Ask yourself: what do you have to offer? What do those around you have to offer you? Look for ways to creatively share resources, promote each other on social media, expand others’ reach, co-market complementary products, or master and maximize on-line opportunities.

Step Three: Connect with your success

Finally, Gary summarizes how you can leverage all these tools and exercises to connect with your calling. He emphasizes that perseverance without passion isn’t grit; it’s just ground.

To tune into your passion at the end of each day, you should assess yourself and ask what worked and what didn’t to learn and fail forward.

How this applies to your business could look like:

  • Explore new possibilities to engage with customers virtually
  • Pay attention to the changing needs in your marketplace, be agile
  • Explore resources to help educate yourself
  • Embrace digital technology
  • Take time to look for gaps and find opportunities in your business

Gary recommends changing the question of are you ready to are you willing? Being ready permits you to hold back while being willing to push you to move ahead. A rule of thumb for doing this is just to do it when you have 80% of the information. The remaining 20% is overthinking and ruminating, which could cause you to miss your chance.

Gary finishes his session by exploring the power of one theory. As humans, we try to fix too much at once. By making small one percent improvements every day, you’ll experience the improvement compound over time.

Success is a split-second decision, it’s all the agonizing and doubt that takes up so much time. You want more success? Make the decision and act on it. – Chester Gzik

Help for businesses is available

Right now, Digital Main Street is helping small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in Eastern Ontario to recover and grow. Through the Digital Main Street Future Proof Program, qualified applicants (restaurant, retail shops, skilled trades, and home-based businesses) can access their own digital transformation team, business advisors, and training resources – for free.

You might need to build or improve your online e-commerce system to grow revenue. Create promo videos or take high-end photos for Instagram ads. Attract customers back with digital marketing campaigns. Whatever it is, our team can help.

Apply today and access personalized digital marketing services and more. Did we mention that it’s completely free?

A image of a business owner working on the computer. The copy reads, "Helping you sell online and build a future-proof business. Cost free. Learn more and apply." The graphic includes the Invest Ottawa and Digital Main Street logos.

About the author 

May Ning is a Digital Marketing Coordinator for the Digital Main Street program at Invest Ottawa. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in Marketing from the University of Ottawa and runs her own marketing company. May is passionate about helping small businesses grow and supporting local. She also loves to travel, read/write, design, and embark on new adventures.


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