François Bordes, CEO at WeSmart

Here are François’s testimony and 4 tips to cultivate resilience as a person but also as a company: 

The ability of a person or a group to develop well, to continue to project oneself into the future in spite of destabilizing events, difficult living conditions, severe traumas” is how Manciaux, Vanistendael, Lecomte and Cyrulnik defined resilience in 2001.

We hence need to set up a defensive management in anticipation of potential risks, but also preventive, ingenious and creative strategies to keep developing once the shock has occurred. 

However, a company must dig deeper. In times of crisis, learning is not enough. You also need to identify your weaknesses, correct them, and thus be able to take advantage of the opportunities present in each difficult period. 

My process of entrepreneurial resilience began in 2013 when I left my position and my career path in a large group to create my company. My first challenge was to realize, a few years later, that it was more complicated than expected to differentiate oneself in the energy monitoring market. I had no choice but to innovate differently!

In 2018 and 2019, two European directives opened up new possibilities around energy communities, which promised to revolutionize the energy market. Following a collective workshop, we decided that we had all the necessary assets to make this strategic shift towards energy communities. In 2019, we jumped in and embarked on this new adventure… 

Since March, the COVID-related crisis has been increasingly pushing us to reinvent ourselves and understand the newly created opportunities. My years as an entrepreneur have allowed me to identify 4 key factors to cultivate one’s resilience and thus navigate with agility and flexibility in this tumultuous period:

  1. Project yourself into new positive ideas and work towards their realization. Define and adopt the habits that will allow you to really carry out this project! 
  2. Be connected with yourself: listen to yourself, trust yourself and invest in what makes sense for you. This will also give meaning to the hardships you are going through. 
  3. Learn from your mistakes: take the time to analyze what went wrong so that a mistake doesn’t happen again. It’s important to know your strengths and how to take advantage of them to get out of the tricky situations you encounter.
  4. Keep the beginner’s mind: As the Zen Master Suzuki Roshi said, the expert’s mind often limits the scope of possible solutions while everything is possible in beginners’ mind. Always be open, keep learning.

It is very important to be aware of the potential in each of us. It enables us to overcome the greatest difficulties, to question ourselves and to learn every day. In this way, I intend to achieve the missions we have set ourselves at WeSmart, namely, to be a company with a positive social and environmental impact and to bring citizens together (yes, even during COVID !) to create tomorrow’s energy society.

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