The Emotional Entrepreneur: How To Move Forward After Hitting A Wall
It happens to everyone. You get bad news. Maybe it's a break up. Or an injury.
Maybe you didn't land the big client you wanted.
Or you didn't get a product shipment in time.
Regardless of what the setback is, it can affect you personally AND professionally.
That's what happened in my case. What was supposed to be a mild injury turned into an issue from years ago coming back to haunt me. And it literally stopped me in my tracks.
You know how it goes from there. You start thinking about it and let it get to you. You think of the places you needed to be that are now cancelled or rescheduled to a much later date.
In my particular case, I couldn't drive to meetings, or even walk into my office to have my copywriting Zoom meetings. I was at the mercy of my teenage daughter to go into my closet to pick out my outfits for the day.
You know it's bad when you have to let your teenage daughter dress you for work.
So I did what so many others tend to do. I grabbed a pity party hat and sank into my own pit of self-loathing and victimization.
No phone calls. No social media posts. No blogs. No content writing or collaborations.
What you (and I) have to remember as an entrepreneur and small business owner is that it's okay to have bad days and setbacks.
It's okay to feel a little sorry for yourself once in a while. It's human to be disappointed occasionally. Or mad. Or just tired.
At some point you will realize you're doing more harm than good by shutting everything down. No one else is there to make up the work you haven't done. You are responsible for putting things back on track.
That, too, can become overwhelming. In some cases, it will make an entrepreneur freeze even more until the stress becomes too much. Now, instead of a small setback, they have a tragic loss of the business. It doesn't seem like a small event can snowball into such a huge disaster, but left unchecked, a bad day can turn into a tragic failure.
The difference between success and failure is how long you decide to wallow in your own self-pity. It's not okay to let everything go by the wayside with your business. You need to figure out what to do to get out of the pit you dug for yourself.
So what can you do to keep moving forward after hitting a wall?
Here are a few things to try when you find yourself having trouble getting back into a productive mindset:
1. Learn from your setback.
If the problem stems from a failure such as being fired or not landing a client, learn from your situation. What could you have done differently? Would staying in the position or working with that client been a good fit for you? Are you better off without it? Take a step back and look at the full picture as if you were an outsider. Analyze the problem and figure out ways to either improve it in the future. Or come to terms with the fact it may have been in your best interest to not have the outcome you thought you should have.
2. Do Something...anything.
You've likely heard the phrase "taking baby steps." That's exactly what you need to do to get back on track within your business. Don't multi-task. Just focus on one task at a time. It doesn't have to be anything big. Read your email. Post a single social media post. Brainstorm ideas for a blog post. It doesn't matter WHAT the task is or how small. Any completed task is a win. Each small step forward is a step closer to the end goal. Those little steps add up over time. And those small victories will help you get back into the proper mindset to start tackling your business tasks once again.
3. Control the things you CAN control right now and let go of the things you can't control.
Realize that the setback is temporary. NOTHING is permanent.
Time does not stop despite how it feels when you hit an obstacle. Injuries heal. Relationships change. There are more clients than the one that got away. Create a timeline and organize your calendar with tasks moving forward. When you stop focusing on the past and start planning for your future, your mind let's go of self-defeating attitudes. It focuses on what you need to do to hit your new deadlines and you are left with a more productive (and positive) mindset.
4. Don't only learn from your setback, but learn something new!
If you find yourself with extra time on your hands due to your setback (an injury for example), use it to grow. Take a class, learn a new skill, surround yourself with people/mentors who can help you improve your business. Focus and take this time for doing the things you didn't have time for before. Wanted to get a certification? Hoping to be the next YouTube phenomenon? Use the extra time to develop talents and skills that will help you scale your business.
It's okay to get down when things don't go your way as an entrepreneur. But you don't have to let it defeat you. The most successful business people turn their challenges into strengths. Using the steps above, you, too, can be that next big success.
Go climb those walls!
Sheral~Founder/ C3 Specialties