Philosophy for Success: Embrace Change and Practice Resilience with Stoicism

For some years, I have studied Philosophy in my spare time. In this ‘Philosophy for Success’ series, I aim to draw on my favourite ancient and modern thinkers and apply their wisdom to the world of business and marketing. In this first article, we will delve into the ancient philosophy of Stoicism, which remains relevant and popular to this day.
Stoicism, founded in Greece by the philosopher Zeno of Citium, has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its practicality and effectiveness in helping individuals navigate the challenges of life. Stoicism teaches us how to live a life of virtue, self-discipline, and resilience in the face of adversity. But did you know that the principles of Stoicism can also be applied to marketing and business? 
As a marketing firm, Nimbler is always looking for ways to improve our services and provide more value to our clients. Therefore, by applying some of the principles of Stoicism to our work, we can help our clients achieve success in their marketing goals and stand out in a crowded marketplace. In this article, we’ll explore how the teachings of Stoicism can help achieve success in marketing and business.

“Don't seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will - then your life will flow well.”

One of the core tenets of Stoicism is to focus on what you can control and let go of what you cannot. In marketing and business, this means focusing on the things that are within our control, such as the quality of products, the customer experience, and our own attitudes and behaviours. Instead of getting caught up in external factors, such as competitors’ actions or market fluctuations, we should focus on doing our best with what we have and adapting to change when necessary.

Stoicism also emphasises the importance of continuous learning and self-improvement. In business, this means cultivating a growth mindset and constantly seeking opportunities for learning and development.
This growth mindset forms part of the culture at Nimbler. We constantly seek new ways to develop and innovate internally and in collaboration with clients. Recently that has involved a complete overhaul of our project and account management approach, software infrastructure and even our brand. By embracing challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth, we can develop the skills and knowledge needed to stay ahead of the curve and deliver cutting-edge marketing solutions.

Self-discipline is a key component of Stoicism, and it’s essential for those who are or want to be part of the Nimbler team. Working independently from home, with all of modern life’s distractions and minimal oversight, requires a tremendous amount of self-control. This involves staying organised, prioritising work and avoiding distractions that can derail time-sensitive efforts so we can ensure that we always deliver the best possible results for our clients.

Stoicism emphasises the importance of humility and avoiding arrogance or hubris. In our fast-paced industry, this means acknowledging our limitations and seeking out feedback and advice from others. By staying humble and open to new perspectives and ideas, we can avoid the pitfalls of overconfidence and continue to grow and improve.

Stoicism teaches us to embrace discomfort and adversity as opportunities for growth and transformation. In business, this means stepping outside of our comfort zones and taking calculated risks to achieve success. Something we push our clients to do all the time when we advise them to rebrand, innovate or launch that new venture or campaign.
At Nimbler, embracing the discomfort of uncertainty and taking action despite fear is how we achieve great things and make a meaningful impact on our clients. By constantly looking to try new things, we can create innovative marketing campaigns that connect with our clients’ audiences and drive long-term success for their businesses. Moreover, we often have uncomfortable talks with our clients, in which we act as an honest, independent soundboard for ideas and strategies that may not be working so well. Having a partner that isn’t afraid to be frank and direct has proven invaluable for many of our clients along the way.
In conclusion, many lessons from Stoicism can be applied to achieve success in the world of business. By focusing on what you can control, embracing change and adaptability (being ‘nimbler’), practising resilience, and practising empathy and connection, you can create effective marketing strategies that connect with your audience and drive long-term success for your business. These principles of Stoicism enable Nimbler to deliver the best possible results for our clients and help their businesses thrive.

Would you like to embrace change and become more resilient in your industry? Then book a Discovery Call with our Founder, Lead Strategist and author of this article, Jeffrey de Visser.


Jeffrey de Visser is Nimbler’s Founder, Managing Director and Lead Strategist. Visit his LinkedIn profile to find out more.

The artwork in this series was created using DALL·E 2, a deep learning models developed by OpenAI to generate digital images from natural language descriptions.