There is no straight shot to success, and the journey of an entrepreneur is rocky and unpredictable. You believe you made the best decisions but may find yourself at a point where you hit a wall. A major setback occurs such as a important client backing out, a key employee or partner leaves or a large unexpected expense sends you into a panic. When you feel deflated over a blow to your plans, do these four things to get your mind focused and regain momentum.
1. Take full responsibility.
The only way to claim power in a difficult situation is to take full responsibility for the outcome you are experiencing. This is not to blame yourself, as many of us have that 20-20 hindsight, but to take a good critical (not criticizing) look as to how it happened and how you can be proactive in moving forward. Blaming others only makes you feel less in control and more anxious about taking another risk.
2. Find the gold.
In every setback there is an opportunity or what I call "the gold" that will bring you more success through self-awareness and experience. There is something you needed to learn in order to get to the next level of your business. For every business owner the gold is different.
Often business owners will discover that a financial setback reveals a pattern of over-giving or undercharging which would have gone unnoticed if a cash flow crisis did not occur. Sometimes the gold is in changing strategy and other times the setback is about the personal growth of the business owner.
3. Reset your vision.
When a slowdown or failure occurs, it is an excellent time to revisit your goals and reset your vision. Failure is not a period but a comma. When you are going at rapid speed, you can get off track and the failure gives you that comma, the pause, to re-evaluate your vision and what you are trying to accomplish.
For example, our business was running on autopilot for years. We had the same lead generation and sales funnel, and it worked effortlessly. Over the past few years there has been a change in technology and the old sales process was not as effective. We, as owners, were changing and growing but our business was still running on old ideas and sales started to slow down. This was the perfect opportunity for us to look at who our target market was and where we wanted to go long-term. We realized how we needed this slow down to stop and reset our vision.
4. Celebrate small wins.
The best way to regain momentum is by creating small wins for yourself. The key to controlling the win is to be non-attached to the result of your action. Celebrate your actions as a success in themselves.
In other words, face difficulties in your business with non-judgment. Avoid thinking of setbacks as losing or failing and you will not be emotionally-tied to the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. When you can take advantage of the down times you can emerge even stronger and create a legacy that lasts.