Entrepreneurial Leaders Need to Increase Their Resilience — Lessons From Bella Thorne
Over half (54 percent) of Gen-Z desire to create their own firms, believing that control, debt-free living, purposeful lives, and environmentally responsible outlooks are all worthy goals that entrepreneurial pursuits and motivations may help achieve.
This comes as no surprise to Bella Thorne, who just transitioned from actress, model, and singer to successful book and business mogul. Despite his youth, the Gen-Zer is already one of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs, motivating millions of aspiring business owners to follow suit.
Thorne began his career in the entertainment world at the age of six months. She has now built an empire through a variety of economic endeavors and charity endeavors, amassing a global audience of over 50 million social media followers across many platforms.
So how does The Disney Channel alum maintain her imaginative and entrepreneurial spirit after achieving so much? “That is an excellent question!” she exclaims over Zoom. “It’s inherent in me; both of my parents were constantly pushing the envelope and breaking down barriers when I was a child. As a result, I suppose I’ve continued what they started!”
Thorne’s words serve as a reminder that external influences shape our identity, a sentiment echoed by Christina Milian and Roger Sanchez, as well as research concluding that we are not only products of our genes but also of our environments, hard work, and experiences – all of which Thorne ‘the mogul’ possesses in abundance.
“The difficult part is keeping track of everything,” she explains. “I could be writing a book, directing a music video, performing in a film, or hosting recording sessions on any given day! As a result, I occasionally ponder adjusting my method of operation because there is always more I could do.”
Dr Lebene Soga of Henley Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurship discusses neuroscience research that supports this view, specifically how modifying a behavioral pattern contributes to the brain’s ability to learn and be creative in the manner described by Thorne. The difficulty with this technique, however, is maintaining track of different projects and activities, as Thorne argues, because many wonderful ideas might fade away if they are not recorded. “I’m constantly grabbing at the fact that I’m not accomplishing everything I need to. However, if you have a notes list on your phone, for example, it will save your life – everything I need to do gets into my notes list!”
Thorne exemplifies the truism that a short pencil is preferable to a long memory. This truism is backed up by studies that links note-taking to the brain’s ability to remember, and for a hectic lifestyle, this habit is clearly worth emulating.
Thorne’s pro tip on the subject is to begin with documenting remarkable activities, followed by what outcomes were accomplished, then what obstacles were met, and ultimately, how obstacles were overcome collaboratively. This fosters the development of a deeply introspective enterprise, which enriches entrepreneurialism.
When Thorne and I discuss her entrepreneurial experience in further detail, one startling lesson emerges: never listen to self-doubt. “Every time your thinking goes there, toss it,” she says adamantly. “Keep tossing it in the trash until you stop believing it!” the Gen-Zer continues, “I didn’t know how to read; I taught myself.” I had no idea how to act; I had to learn how to act. I did not know how to dance; I had to learn. I was illiterate; now I’m a writer.”
Her sentiments reflect those of legendary cellist Pablo Casals, who was asked why he continued to practice six hours a day at the age of 95. “Because I’m progressing,” he famously countered. Entrepreneurial success, such as his and Thorne’s, is a result of persistent trying, tempered by humility, because one is perpetually on a path to success.
This sentiment is bolstered by Thorne’s latest research on Hubris — especially, how to avoid it. “Associate with people who are as passionate about things as you are,” she recommends. “Or else you will accomplish nothing!” “There are so many projects I want to complete, accomplish, and accomplish,” the mogul continues, “but if you’re slow, Joe, over here next to you, it’s never going to work.”
Forbidden Flowers and Content X are two of Thorne’s rapidly developing businesses. Forbidden Flowers is a true and unadulterated representation of Bella’s free-spirited temperament. The brand has an ethereal and feminine style that is fueled by a sun-grown cannabis collection created in Santa Barbara in collaboration with the freshly public Glass House Group. Thorne personally controls the strain selection and sampling, having spent a year researching, perfecting the packaging, and ensuring the product’s quality.
As a result, she refers to herself as a ‘cannabis entrepreneur,’ with the goal of educating her followers while also providing them with the same high-quality cannabis that she consumes on a regular basis. This is critical in her opinion, as she states, “I’ve struggled with anxiety for years, and cannabis was the only source that provided the greatest healing – it’s, therefore, a business initiative near and dear to my heart.”
Thorne, too, is invested in Context X. The ground-breaking content management organization is dedicated to assisting social media influencers in building profitable profiles, focusing in finding and developing emerging authors and directors. Thorne, an early adopter of social media, is a world-renowned expert on content development and management, as well as active social media leveraging, which explains why Context X is already immensely popular. As a result, Thorne envisions the platform by 2026 having a studio-owning parent business that focuses exclusively on production.
Despite this, the Gen-Zer still has a lot to accomplish. “Seeing the top of the mountain and then trekking up is a lot easier than hiking an endless mountain that you can’t see the top of – that’s how I view milestones,” she explains. “Every stride, no matter how insignificant, is another small step toward the summit.”
Thorne continues, “that does not mean I never doubt myself.” When discussing this topic further, Thorne says, “that does not imply I never doubt myself.” And that is not to say that I am not insecure. At times, I cry at night, wondering if I’ll ever attain what I’ve desired so desperately. And when that occurs, I try hard to overcome any self-doubt and continue moving forward.”
Dr Naeema Pasha, Henley Business School’s Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, recognizes this approach in high-achieving innovators. Female entrepreneurs, in particular, encounter a greater number of setbacks and pushbacks than their male colleagues, which develops a deep, steadfast resilience. “It is for this reason that female leaders and entrepreneurs are very inventive and driven,” Pasha explains. “They’ve had to acquire the ability to be.”
Thorne’s attitude is appropriately optimized by this assumption; she learned to be this way. However, if she can do it, so can we.
While resilience is a well-known concept, many individuals are unaware of how to develop it in themselves, according to Dr Selin Kudret of Kingston Business School. At the end of the day, resilience is derived from good emotions such as joy, contentment, pride, hope, optimism, and love.
These emotions help an individual expand his or her thought-action repertoire and strengthen their physical, intellectual, social, and psychological resources throughout time. Entrepreneurial resilience is developed when these resources are used to view various obstacles as overcomeable challenges – that is, creative problem solving and the ability to bounce back from negative experiences; entrepreneurial resilience is, in turn, a critical factor in the survival of new businesses, as evidenced by a time-lagged study of new entrepreneurs.
And, as Thorne indicates, widening the thought-action repertoire, and hence entrepreneurial resilience, through happy emotions is a timely and necessary technique that all entrepreneurs should pursue.