The Entrepreneur’s Armor: Resilience

The Entrepreneur’s Armor: Resilience

Building Resilience: The Entrepreneur’s Armor

As a business management consultant, I’ve seen the highs and lows that come with building and growing a business. From the thrill of launching a successful service offering to the disappointment of a failed campaign, the entrepreneurial journey is a rollercoaster of emotions. However, one thing I’ve learned is that resilience is the key to not only surviving but thriving over time.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks, adapt to change, and keep going in the face of adversity.

It’s like having armor that protects you from the inevitable challenges that come with running a business.

In fact, studies have shown that resilience is a critical factor in entrepreneurial success.

According to a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, entrepreneurs who are more resilient are more likely to succeed than those who are not.

So, how can you build resilience as an entrepreneur? Here are a few strategies that have helped me and my clients:

Develop a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is a concept developed by psychologist Carol Dweck, which refers to the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed and improved over time through dedication, hard work, and learning.

Individuals with a growth mindset tend to see challenges as opportunities for growth, embrace failure as a stepping stone to success, and are more likely to persevere in the face of obstacles.

A growth mindset is particularly helpful when building resilience because it fundamentally changes how you perceive and respond to challenges and setbacks, which is essential as an entrepreneur.

Build a Strong Support Network

Research has shown that having mentors, advisors, and a network of fellow entrepreneurs can significantly impact your ability to overcome challenges.

Mentorship, in particular, has been identified as a powerful tool for building resilience.

A study published in the Journal of Business Venturing found that entrepreneurs who had mentors were more likely to exhibit behaviors associated with resilience, such as persistence and adaptability.

In addition to mentors, advisors and fellow entrepreneurs can also play a key role in a support network. Advisors provide specialized knowledge and expertise, while fellow entrepreneurs offer empathy, understanding, and camaraderie.

Together, these individuals form a support system that can help entrepreneurs weather inevitable ups and downs.

Stay Flexible

One of the most crucial ways to develop resilience is to practice adaptability.

Research shows that businesses that are able to adapt to change are more likely to succeed in the long run.

A great example is Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx.

Blakely started Spanx in 2000 with a revolutionary idea: to create comfortable, slimming undergarments for women.

After successfully launching Spanx and achieving rapid growth, Blakely faced a new challenge when the market began shifting towards athleisure wear. Instead of sticking to her original product line, she expanded Spanx to include leggings, activewear, and other clothing items that aligned with the new trend.

This pivot proved to be highly successful, as Spanx became a leader in the shapewear and athleisure markets.

Blakely’s ability to adapt to changing market trends and pivot her business model is a testament to her resilience and entrepreneurial spirit.

By embracing change and staying flexible, you position your business for sustained growth and relevance as the market evolves and changes.

Celebrate Your Successes

Celebrate successes, no matter how small.

While it’s natural to dwell on failures, focus on achievements to help cultivate a positive mindset and strengthen your ability to bounce back from setbacks. This is also why a growth mindset is so important to adopt.

It boosts confidence, provides perspective, strengthens relationships, and fosters resilience.

The journey of entrepreneurship is fraught with challenges and obstacles, but it’s how we respond to these obstacles that truly defines our success.

By developing a growth mindset, building a strong support network, staying flexible, and celebrating our successes, we can build the resilience needed to weather any storm.

How to Implement Micro-Commitments for Influence and Leadership

How to Implement Micro-Commitments for Influence and Leadership

Micro-commitments are small, manageable actions taken consistently over time. They are the complete opposite of grand, one-off gestures, championing instead the steady drip of effort that can lead to an ocean of impact. This concept, while simple, taps into the deep psychology of how we form habits and the intrinsic human desire for consistency and achievement.

A principle as simple as making micro-commitments stands out for its profound ability to build lasting influence and authority.

I’ve championed this approach and seen it flourish at BLUE SAGE Consulting. It holds untapped potential for professionals and businesses alike.

The Psychology Behind Micro-Commitments

At its core, the psychology behind micro-commitments revolves around cognitive dissonance. This is the uncomfortable tension that arises when our actions don’t align with our beliefs and values or fail to follow through on our commitments—when things don’t “feel right.” Conversely, when we make and keep small commitments, especially publicly, we’re driven to maintain consistency with our stated intentions, thereby reducing cognitive dissonance and bolstering our self-perception and determination.

This drive for consistency is powerful and impactful for online and offline professional influence. Regular, committed actions, no matter how small, signal reliability and dedication—traits highly valued in any professional sphere. They also build momentum, turning the potentially mighty task of establishing an online presence into manageable, achievable steps.

Consistency in Content Creation

When it comes to building professional influence online, consistency in content creation is vital. Here, micro-commitments can be a game-changer. For example, publishing a post every Wednesday, sharing industry insights biweekly, or commenting on peers’ content daily are micro-commitments in action. They emphasize that you are engaged with others and involved in different conversations. Though small, these actions compound over time, enhancing your visibility and establishing your voice as a thought leader in your space.

This consistent engagement keeps you visible within your network and beyond, slowly expanding your influence. It also feeds the algorithms that govern our online world, increasing the likelihood that your content will be seen and shared, thus amplifying your reach. Remember, a steady drip of effort can lead to an ocean of impact.

Implementing Micro-Commitments in Your Business

So, how can businesses and professionals implement micro-commitments into their content creation and posting schedules? Here are a few practical strategies:

  1. Start Small: The beauty of micro-commitments is that they are easy to manage without much effort. Choose actions that are achievable within your current resources and constraints. This could mean starting with one post weekly or dedicating 15 minutes daily to engaging with your network.
  2. Be Specific: Vague goals breed inaction and can lead to frustration. Define your micro-commitments with as much specificity as possible. Instead of “post more often,” commit to “posting an industry-related article every Tuesday morning.”
  3. Public Accountability: Announce your commitments publicly, or at least to a circle of peers or colleagues. This garners support and increases your accountability, leveraging the social pressure to follow through, which may be just the push you need.
  4. Track and Reflect: Keep a log of your commitments and their outcomes. This not only measures your consistency but also helps you reflect on your strategy for better results.
  5. Celebrate Small Wins: Acknowledge and celebrate each completed step. This positive reinforcement strengthens your commitment habit and keeps the momentum going, even when progress seems slow.

The Cumulative Impact of Micro-Commitments

The beauty of micro-commitments lies in their cumulative impact. Each small action builds upon the last, creating a tapestry of influence that, over time, can surpass even the most ambitious of initial goals. It’s a testament to the power of consistency, patience, and an incremental approach to achievement.

At BLUE SAGE Consulting, we’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of micro-commitments. From enhancing personal brands to launching new businesses, the principle remains the same: small, regular actions can and do lead to significant outcomes.

In the digital arena, where attention is fleeting and competition fierce, the ability to commit to and consistently execute a micro-commitment strategy can be your greatest asset. This method champions persistence, rewards patience, and ultimately leads to the building of an authentic and enduring professional influence.

So, as you navigate the complexities of the online professional world, remember the power of the small. In the realm of building influence and authority, micro-commitments can lead to the most monumental achievements.

Build a Purpose-Driven Brand: How to Integrate Volunteerism into Your Marketing Strategy

Build a Purpose-Driven Brand: How to Integrate Volunteerism into Your Marketing Strategy

As a business strategy and marketing consultant, I’ve always found the intricate interaction between organizational culture and strategy to be fascinating. Today, I’m excited to delve into a topic at the intersection of these domains: how businesses can authentically build purpose-driven brands by integrating volunteerism into their marketing strategy.

Volunteerism, often associated with acts of altruism and community service, is an unlikely candidate for inclusion in a company’s marketing efforts. However, the reality is quite different.

In today’s socially conscious landscape, consumers are increasingly drawn to brands that align with their values and contribute positively to society. Incorporating volunteerism into your marketing strategy enhances your brand’s image and deepens customer loyalty and engagement.

So, how can businesses effectively integrate volunteerism into their marketing strategy? Let’s explore some key considerations and strategies.

Authenticity Is Paramount

In an era characterized by skepticism and discerning consumers, any attempt to capitalize on volunteerism for purely self-serving purposes will likely backfire. Your company’s actions and messaging must underpin a genuine commitment to social responsibility. Authenticity breeds trust, and trust is the cornerstone of solid customer relationships.

One way to demonstrate authenticity is by aligning your volunteer efforts with your brand’s mission and values. Consider what causes resonate most deeply with your company’s ethos and how you can leverage your resources and expertise to make a meaningful impact. For example, a sustainable fashion brand might partner with environmental organizations to clean up local parks or beaches, aligning with its commitment to eco-conscious practices.

Transparency Is Essential

Be transparent about your motivations for volunteering and the tangible outcomes of your efforts. Share stories and testimonials that illustrate the real-world impact of your initiatives.

Transparency fosters accountability and strengthens your brand’s credibility.

Engage Your Employees

Another critical aspect of integrating volunteerism into your marketing strategy is employee engagement. Your employees are your most valuable asset; their enthusiasm and passion can be a powerful catalyst for change. Empower your employees to participate in volunteer activities that resonate with them by giving them time and space to do so and providing opportunities for them to contribute their skills and expertise to meaningful causes. Engaged employees are more productive and loyal and also serve as brand ambassadors, which amplifies your message both internally and externally.

Stay Tech Savvy

Consider the role of technology in facilitating volunteerism and amplifying its reach. Leverage social media, crowdfunding platforms, and volunteer management software to connect with volunteers, raise awareness about your initiatives, and mobilize support.

You can harness the power of storytelling through multimedia content—videos, photos, and blog posts—to showcase the impact of your volunteer efforts and inspire others to get involved.

Collaborate For Maximum Impact

By partnering with other businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community groups, you can amplify the impact of your volunteer initiatives and extend your reach. Collaboration fosters innovation and creativity while strengthening relationships with stakeholders to enhance your brand’s visibility and reputation.

By authentically aligning your volunteer efforts with your brand’s mission, engaging your employees, leveraging technology, and fostering collaboration, you can build a purpose-driven brand that resonates with consumers and leaves a lasting legacy of social impact.

Remember: the true measure of success lies not just in profits and market share but in the positive contribution you make to the lives of others and the world.

The Power of Association: How Joining an Industry Group Can Boost Your Credibility and Influence

The Power of Association: How Joining an Industry Group Can Boost Your Credibility and Influence

Gaining credibility and using influence is critical for success in the fast-paced business world. Whether you are an aspiring leader, an experienced professional, or an entrepreneur, joining an industry association is one of the most beneficial ways to build your network while enhancing your reputation. Such organizations provide many advantages that may enhance your reputation, bolster your knowledge, and offer you credibility.

Let’s explore how joining such a group may transform your professional life.

1. Building Credibility Through Collective Expertise

When you align yourself with a reputable industry group, you automatically gain access to a vast reservoir of collective expertise. These organizations often comprise seasoned veterans, thought leaders, and top performers in your field. By actively participating in group discussions, attending seminars, or contributing to collaborative projects, you position yourself as a knowledgeable and engaged member of your industry community.

Moreover, connecting with respected peers lends credence to your professional standing. Potential clients, partners, or employers may align trust with someone affiliated with a recognized industry body. Involvement in an association validates your expertise and signals your commitment to your craft.

2. Amplifying Influence Through Networking Opportunities

Influence stems not only from what you know but also from who you know. Industry groups serve as fertile ground for networking, offering numerous opportunities to connect with influential figures and decision-makers. These interactions can open doors to new partnerships, business opportunities, and career advancements, whether through formal networking events, online forums, or mentorship programs.

By actively engaging with fellow members, contributing meaningfully to discussions and supporting your interests, you can gradually expand your sphere of influence within your industry. Over time, your insights, ideas, and contributions can be recognized and respected, bolstering your reputation as a thought leader and influencer.

3. Cultivating Gravitas Through Leadership Roles

One of the most effective ways to demonstrate your expertise and solidify your influence within an industry group is to assume leadership roles. There are many ways to volunteer in an industry group: serving on the board of directors, chairing a committee, or spearheading a special initiative. Leadership positions afford you the opportunity to make a tangible impact and leave a lasting impression.

Taking on leadership responsibilities enhances your visibility within the organization and showcases your leadership abilities and strategic acumen to a broader industry audience. It positions you as a trusted authority and gives you a platform to champion essential causes, drive innovation, and shape the direction of your industry.

Final Thoughts

By surrounding yourself with like-minded experts, using their aggregate expertise, and actively engaging in networking and leadership opportunities, you can significantly increase your credibility, magnify your influence, and develop a sense of gravitas that makes you stand out in your area. So don’t undervalue the influence of affiliations; they might be the spark that propels your career forward.

Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

The Heart and Soul of a Membership Organization

The volunteer community is a membership organization’s heart and soul. Their contribution is priceless, and the organization couldn’t function without them. Not only do they make things happen behind the scenes, but they also express the values of the organization in their activities. Characteristics such as leadership, personal growth, gratitude, community, vision, honor, and respect are evident in their involvement.

The Power of Gratitude in Volunteer Contributions

While leaders who value contribution will give regardless of recognition, without acknowledgment, their energy, interest, and enthusiasm may wane over time. A simple act of gratitude fuels their internal drivers and affirms them as individuals and contributors, encouraging them personally and professionally.

Challenges in Keeping Recognition at the Forefront

Why is it so difficult to keep recognition at the forefront when organizations often depend on it? A couple of reasons come to mind. First, those who volunteer are motivated by personal satisfaction and a commitment to the organization and aren’t usually seeking acknowledgment. Second, in an organization like CMC-Global Institute, the leaders are also volunteers who contribute their time and expertise in addition to full-time work.

Creating and Reinforcing a Culture of Recognition

How can we create and reinforce a culture of recognition? Josh Bersin researched the topic of employee recognition and shared these best practices that apply in both workplace and non-profit scenarios:

  • Implement Peer-to-Peer Recognition: Not top-down.
  • Make Recognition Easy and Frequent: In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, two of the most valuable psychological needs we have as human beings are the need to be appreciated and the need to “belong.” These needs are met through peer-to-peer thanks and recognition.

The study revealed that “Companies that scored in the top 20% for building a ‘recognition-rich culture’ actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates!”

Fostering a Culture of Recognition

What would a culture of recognition look like in your company? In any organization to which you belong? It starts with individuals, teams, and leaders noticing, inquiring, and being interested in the actions of others, and recognizing their achievements. A culture of recognition starts with an attitude of gratitude.

The Ripple Effects of Gratitude

An attitude of gratitude has ripple effects far beyond the impact on a company, a volunteer organization, or the individuals themselves. It can resonate within the culture and help to shape it into the future. Start today.

(Adapted from the original version that appeared in C2M Connect, January 2015 by Kathie Nelson and Pamela Campagna)

Canary in the Coal Mine or Canary in the Classroom?

Canary in the Coal Mine or Canary in the Classroom?

“Mom, why are you doing this?”

A text message I’ve received many times in the past few weeks from my daughter – a millennial whose employer (along with her husband’s) has decided to wait until 2021 before they allow employees back into the workplace. I am a primary caregiver for two octogenarians (one of whom recently suffered a stroke). I am a mother, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, a consultant, and a professor.

I have been “asked” to teach an upcoming course on Persuasion and Influence in a face-to-face classroom on July 6, 2020. During this time of uncertainty, we’re encountering situations we couldn’t have imagined even a few months ago. Situations challenge our beliefs, persistence, and the world we knew before the pandemic.

 I’ve been a teacher for most of my life, and for the past 20+ years I’ve been paid for it.


Feelings of Going Into The Classroom

Although my university is adopting the necessary precautions and following state guidelines, the uncontrollable reopening aspects are difficult to anticipate. Our student population is skewed toward global learners, many of whom opt to attend university in the U.S. to experience the social aspects of living abroad.

While we may be able to enforce social distancing, personal hygiene practices, and mask-wearing on campus, we can’t ensure these practices outside of campus. 

Many articles characterize the risk of returning to the classroom:

“But as much as I love brick-and-mortar teaching, I shudder at the prospect of teaching in a room filled with asymptomatic superspreaders,” wrote Paul M. Kellermann, Teaching Professor of English at Penn State University.  

At the same time, researchers and government entities lay out the fact that reopening our schools is inevitable.


Student PTSD

Safety considerations aside (but of paramount importance), there is also the student experience. When COVID-19 started its rampage worldwide, I taught in a “physical presence” classroom of 75 students. The direct impact on my students tracked the sickness as it spread from Asia to Europe.

Each day, new reports of sick or dying friends and family members flowed into class discussions. Students lived through the trauma of the onset of city, state, and country shutdowns; many of them hastily returned to the safety of their families in their home countries.

Within days, the university programs shifted to online instruction before the end of the term, so students quickly experienced a change in lifestyle and education.  During next week’s in-person class, I’ve allotted time in my lesson plan to discuss students’ experiences and re-entry to encourage a psychologically safe classroom that supports a physically safe one.



Preparing to teach a course during a pandemic has a subtle yet important impact on pedagogy and learning objectives. My teaching style is driven by movement and use of space in the classroom – all of which must be rethought and rearranged.

Instead of moving among teams of students in the classroom, each interaction comes with a thoughtful 6-feet of distance.

Instead of ideating around a piece of paper taped to a wall, students will take turns adding their thoughts to a page (using their own assigned markers, of course). 

A safe classroom requires down-to-the-minute planning to anticipate social distancing and safety measures and extra time needed to do so. 


Canary In The Classroom

What can we learn from the experience of cautiously reopening our classrooms? How will this change the way that we teach or the learning experience of our students?  There is certainly more to come as we explore this new way of learning.




Pamela Campagna MBA, CMC is the President of BLUE SAGE Consulting, Inc. a certified women-owned consulting firm. Pamela is a board member and chair of the Marketing and Membership Committee of CMC-Global Institute, a virtual global community for professional management consultants.

She is also a Professor of Practice at Hult International Business School, where she has taught leadership, strategy, and management courses since 2014.