Chef inside her chocolate shop gazing out the window with her arms crossed.
From flexibility to adaptiveness, these six personality traits will help business owners wade, and succeed, through times of economic recession. — Getty Images/Maskot

As inflation in the United States continues putting businesses at risk, the economy will likely get worse before it gets better. According to a recent CNBC CFO Council survey, 40% of chief financial officers from various companies stated inflation is the main external risk to their companies. Additionally, 68% of respondents believe a recession will occur within the first six months of 2023.

Setting your business up for success is crucial when facing the threat of a possible recession. Here are six personality traits you’ll need to run your business during times of economic uncertainty.

[Read more: Is Your Business Recession Ready?]


Business owners with strong mental resilience understand they can bounce back from any troubles that may come during a recession. Things will inevitably go wrong in your business, and you and your team will make mistakes along the way. However, having a resilient mentality can remind you that obstacles, setbacks, and failures are great learning tools. The ability to pick you and your employees up from a less-than-ideal situation and turn it into a growing experience will only help you to create successful future outcomes.


Flexible entrepreneurs are willing to compromise when facing difficulties, listening to their staff’s concerns, needs, and ideas and acting accordingly. Flexibility involves either giving more or taking less to remediate a situation.

For instance, during a recession or other difficult economic period, consider being flexible when it comes to directly managing your employees and creating an optimal work-life balance for them. Offering intangible perks such as flexible schedules can boost morale and motivation in your team without breaking the bank.

Analytical skills

Problem-solving skills and the ability to think clearly will come in handy when planning the next steps in your business. Though a recession may be inevitable, staying “in the know” by assessing your business’s health frequently — and acting on your findings — gives you the chance to create proactive strategies ahead of any major bumps down the road.

If you have carefully thought out all of the potential obstacles a recession could bring to your business and have a plan to combat it moving forward, your business will be better off regardless of the economic climate. It’s better to be prepared than to have to turn on survival mode and run the risk of losing your business entirely.

[Read more: How to Create a Recession-Proof Business Plan]

The ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape will help your business become more recession-resistant. Often, this means letting go of what you thought your business would or should be and allowing it to flourish in the current climate.


The ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape will help your business become more recession-resistant. Often, this means letting go of what you thought your business would or should be and allowing it to flourish in the current climate.

As a recession also impacts consumers and their spending habits, an adaptive business owner can switch gears within their company and identify ways to create a stable revenue stream despite an economic downturn. With an adaptive personality trait, these business owners have a willingness to explore outside the typical entrepreneur’s comfort zone and learn new things on the road to success.


A recession may require an entrepreneur to use their available resources to continue running their business. Some businesses may need to pivot and switch up what they provide to consumers in terms of applicable products and services.

For example, if you rent or own office spaces when most of your employees work remotely, consider downsizing to eliminate unnecessary expenses. A resourceful owner may also shift their service offerings by working with what they already have so they are still highly sought after by their customers — even in a recession.


Regardless of a recession, your business will run smoother and induce less stress if you are positive about your day-to-day outcomes. An optimistic outlook on life — and your business — can help promote much-needed change.

Optimism is also considered a strength as it allows your mind to look to the future, be open to new possibilities, and create new realities. In addition, optimism often leads to more confident and persistent leaders.

[Read more: How to Market Your Business During a Recession]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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