I have been quiet for a while to attend to a series of injuries in my family. Nothing serious, but it took up a lot of time for weekly doctor appointments for four of us.. This x-ray is of my son Keegan who broke his arm in a soccer game. He has been in a cast all the way up to his shoulder for eight weeks. Our other son Thomas has been in a boot for six weeks, also from a soccer injury.
During the same time, my husband had surgery, which limited his mobility for a few weeks. Shortly thereafter, I woke up with frozen shoulder, a painful condition where I needed constant help to do basic everyday things. God sure had a sense of humor. All four of us needed help simply to get our socks on! (That ended up becoming our daughter’s job.)
So, as a return to writing to you again, as I think about the injuries that set us back in my family I thought it would be appropriate to come back with tips on how to deal with setbacks in your business. Please share your comments on my blog — at least to just let me know you’re still there 🙂
What I love about the life of an entrepreneur is it challenges my personal growth. But, developing that personal growth can sometimes hurt. In the gym, we often say, NO PAIN, NO GAIN. I find in business it’s not different.
No matter how many years you have been in business, it’s never just smooth sailing till the end. Setbacks are bound to happen. When they do here are 7 ways to help you turn your setbacks into success:
#1. Expect setbacks to happen.
There is a universal truth that a person’s reaction is based on their expectation.
If you expect that achieving business success is easy, when you experience a setback, it can immobilize you because you weren’t prepared to handle the setback.
Maybe you were blindsided by a key person on your staff who unexpectedly quit. Or, you may not have been prepared to lose your biggest client.
Whether the setbacks were out of your control or they occurred as a result of a poor decision you might ha’ve made, business ups and downs are a part of an entrepreneur’s life.
Part of expecting setbacks is preparing Plan B for how you will handle common setbacks that could happen to you in your business.
#2. Calm your emotions.
You have so much invested into your business that when a major setback happens, it’s only natural to react out of emotion.But be careful to not let emotions cloud your thinking.
Take time to quiet your mind and your emotions before you decide how to respond. I like to find a quiet place to pray and seek wisdom and guidance. Let me tell you about a time I did not do that, when I let my emotions put me in reactionary mode.
I hired a general manager years ago, who I thought was doing a great job. I was blindsided to receive a letter from her attorney accusing me of pregnancy discrimination. As a working mother myself, I was in complete shock that I could be dragged into such a ludicrous lawsuit.
I immediately called in the rest of my staff, where I led an emotionally charged, unproductive, mandatory meeting. While the lawsuit against me was eventually dropped, in retrospect, I was embarrassed how poorly I handled myself in that staff meeting. It has served as an important lesson to always stop and calm my emotions first.
#3. Focus on the learning.
Whatever setback is happening that’s affecting your business success, if you focus on the problem and the pain, you’re only going to get stuck in worry and anxiety.
Remember that character is revealed during times of adversity. When you’re going through a setback, make some key decisions.
> Will I choose to grow bitter or get better?
> Will I complain about the pain or learn from the pain?
> Will I dwell on the problem or decide to discover the lesson to learn?
#4. Retrain your brain.
When you’re dealing with a crisis, adversity, obstacles or challenges in your business, it’s critical that you develop success mindset muscles. One of my first mentors who impacted my thinking is Brian Tracy. I first purchased his personal development training 22 years ago when it was still on cassette tapes.
I would highly recommend his book titled, Change Your Thinking; Change Your Life. You can order the book, the MP3 or both. It’s only an hour to listen to on the go.
Retraining your brain is like developing any muscle. In the beginning, you may find it challenging to change from your old, negative way of thinking to a new, positive habit of thinking. I have found the easiest way to shut up all that negative inner dialogue is to blast positive messages from people like Brian Tracy.
#5. Get expert support and guidance.
Two heads are always better than one. Seek out experts in your network you can call on as a lifeline when you are going through a difficult setback. You can grow so accustomed to doing things the way you’ve always done them that thinking out of the box may not come naturally.
#6. Have a push week.
It’s hard for many businesses to find good people. When my office manager notified me she was moving to another state, it took me much longer than usual to find a replacement. In her absence, I was juggling both her job and mine.
After six weeks of frustration from this setback, I finally decided to push all my other priorities aside and for one week give 100 percent of my energy solely to finding and hiring a new office manager. By the end of the week I had my new hire. Having that push week got a job that previously set me back for six weeks done in five days.
#7. Keep your setbacks in perspective.
Whether in life or business, you can always find someone who has achieved greater success than you, as well as others who have suffered greater failures and adversity.
When we go through tough times we can become easily self-absorbed and overwhelmed by our own challenges. I find the best cure to get some perspective on our setbacks is to listen to someone else who is going through an even greater struggle.
I’m not just talking about listening as in a one-time five-minute exercise, but taking the time to fully process their story. Whenever I do this, my mind gets readjusted and I see that my problem is truly small stuff compared to theirs.
I leave with a renewed confidence that I can handle my setback because in comparison to the other person’s problems, mine is a cake walk. When you also choose to help that person or cause – through donating or volunteering on a regular monthly basis, it not only blesses them, but it reminds you how truly blessed you are.
QUESTION: What was the best lesson you learned from a setback in your business? Please share your comments and questions.
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