It’s inevitable that at some point in your business it will feel like nothing is going right and perhaps this was all a big mistake. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up. A major client backed out at the last minute, you didn’t meet your financial goal for the year, or a competitor comes out of nowhere. Setbacks are necessary and unavoidable for growth. You will never move forward and reach your full potential without them. So, how do you cope?
1) Embrace it – “Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” Steve Maraboli. As beaten down as you may feel, realize this is part of life. My parents told me when I was young “hey, life isn’t always fair.” They didn’t tell me this in a mean-spirited way, but more in a matter of fact, prepping me for the realities of life kind of way. Remember the 90/10 rule, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react.
2) Look how far you’ve come – “Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” – Victor Kiam. Where were you a year ago at this time? Now is the perfect time for self-validation, reflection and to relish in your accomplishments. Read some of your stellar reviews from your clients. Look at some of your best selling work, and give yourself a pat on the back for putting yourself out there to begin with. Most people are not brave enough to have even started.
3) What can you learn from your mistake? – “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” – Thomas Edison. If you look for it there is a learning opportunity found within every event, mistake or no mistake. I believe these learning opportunities to be the best of life’s little teachers. Fix it and move on.
4) Stay Positive – “Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller. Take a break. Go have coffee with a friend, bounce it off someone else in your field. Sometimes a third party may offer unique insights. You may just need to recharge your creative energy.
5) Show the setback who’s boss – “The role of a Leader is to always display a winning attitude.” – Colin Powell. Once you’ve completed steps 1-4, maybe once or twice, shake it off and get back to the drawing board. Most importantly, remember WHY you started in the first place. You have drive, determination, talent and love for what you do, remember this!
Be careful not to put a lot of pressure on yourself, yet identify what went wrong. On the flip side of the coin, understand sometimes there is no root cause and it’s just the way things go. Defeats are sometimes unavoidable. You aren’t going to sell a ton of bathing suits in January unless you are marketing in Austrailia. Hmmmm…Austrailia! Look at it as a new business opportunity and not a setback, and realize that perhaps it’s just time to expand.