In my previous post, I encouraged you not to fret in the face of setbacks. I’m glad you haven’t given up because if you have, you wouldn’t be here now.
So, how do you turn your business setbacks into stepping stones? You need two things: a positive attitude and action. If you are serious about turning your setbacks into stepping stones to higher heights in your business, you need to embrace your challenges with a positive attitude. Pessimism will only make things get worse. Remain optimistic that things will get better.
Here are my top 5 tips for turning setbacks into stepping stones.
1. Limit your sulking phase.
Do your absolute best to set time limits for disappointment. It is perfectly fine to feel whatever emotions you choose whether hurt, pain, anger, or frustration. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT waste your time feeling these emotions if they do not fuel your next steps. Mentally and verbally decide how long you are going to allow yourself to sit in disappointment. Say to yourself, “I am going to allow myself to feel this way for the next 10 minutes, and when those 10 minutes are up, I am going to get up and do something.” If you set a time limit, honor it.
2. Get straight to the facts.
Emotions are fickle and they don’t always help you make the right decisions. Be objective about what caused the setback. As yourself the hard questions and be as honest with yourself as you can. As you do the digging, write down your findings. There’s something about writing things down that solidifies the idea and can move you forward in your resolution planning.
3. Remember Your Why.
It the midst of a setback it is so important to pause and dedicate some time to remembering your “why.” Your “why” is your purpose and reasoning for starting the journey of entrepreneurship in the first place. Allowing your why to guide your decision making should assure you that you are on the right track. Assessing your why and if the current circumstances support your why can give you great confidence and assurance. A great exercise for remembering your why is to close your eyes and envision where you want to be in 5 years. Sit with the image, notice how it makes you feel, open your eyes, and GO!
We all have heard Newtons First Law of Motion at some point in our lives. If not, let me remind you. Newtons First Law of Motion states “A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless it is acted upon by an external force.” The Longer you remain at rest, the more difficult it will be for you to bounce back after a setback. On the opposite end of the spectrum, once star with the motion of your plans, it becomes a snowball effect and once that snowball becomes larger and larger, nothing can stop it. A practical way to get going is to make a list of viable options and evaluate each one intellectually instead of emotionally. Once you settle on a plan of action, get going! The only thing stopping you is you.
Remember that optimism without a corresponding action will take you nowhere. You have to back up your positive attitude with actions to overcome your business challenges. A mix of positive attitude and the right actions will help turn your business setbacks into stepping stones.
Janneh K. Wright