Handling Setbacks: Just Do It!

I don't care what you do for a living, there comes a time when your business takes a dive or things don't go the way you had planned in a project or with a client. The question becomes, "How do I stay motivated to do this when it seems that things clearly aren't going as I had hoped?"

It is easy to become discouraged and look at how to pull back or even quit. We sometimes look for the nearest person to complain to or we just want to plan a "sick day" and hide. While this is certainly an option, and I have done both of these things, I want to suggest another plan.

I've heard that when Donald Trump was going through his darkest days, the last thing he wanted to do was strap on a tuxedo and go to some gala business function. But he knew that he wasn't going to find business opportunities while he was sitting on his couch with a beer (or martini, I really don't know Trump's beverage of choice.) Hiding out wasn't going to get him out of his situation, so he just adjusted his comb over and got out there. You know what happened, he came back strong as ever.

There is a lesson for us here. Like a locomotive, once we stop doing what we need to do for our business, it can come to a grinding halt, and getting it going again can take 10 times the effort to get it started again. So no matter how things are going; good, bad or just so so, we need to keep on going. Like the Nike ad says, Just Do It!

What "IT" is can vary. Determine what the two or three main activities are that keep your business running and growing. For me it is making new contacts and following up with the ones I already have. Recently, I lost a huge amount of business contacts to the mortgage industry collapse. Realtors, lenders and other real estate professionals were no longer in business, and out of my sphere. I could have given up on them, but now I am finding them and getting them back as potential clients. I don't know what it is that you need to do to keep you on track, but when you find out, do it.

Don't let discouragment stop you. Scale back if you need to, rethink, replan, redirect but don't give up. Keep one foot moving in front of the other and I can almost guarantee that things will pick up and you will be back where you want to be. Perhaps in an even better place.