Defeat, setbacks, losing… they’re all inevitable parts of business and life, but how do you turn defeat into a success?
On the days when you’ve worked your butt off and no one buys from you…
Or no one watches your the video you spent weeks making…
Or you have a great conversation with a potential client and you think the sale is in the bag… and then she says no...
How do you get back in the saddle when you’ve taken a huge blow? That’s exactly what this post (and the accompanying video) is all about.
First, I want to acknowledge a reality: It sucks when you get rejected, when people don’t appreciate your hard work, and when you pour your heart and soul into something only to have it metaphorically stomped on. I’m not going to pretend like they don’t or that it doesn’t hurt when they do.
But letting defeat get the best of you isn’t the answer… and, if you’re in business for yourself, it’s even more critical that you turn your mindset around quickly so you don’t give up on yourself or your dreams.
So HOW do you do that exactly? How do you bounce back from defeat and turn it into fuel for future success?
Step #1: Review and evaluate
When something doesn’t go the way you’d hoped it would, the first step is to take a look back at what happened and evaluate what happened.
- What’s the truth about what happened?
- Where did things go wrong?
- Was there something in particular that seemed to throw a wrench in the whole process?
Is there something that obviously sticks out that could have been done better that would’ve made a big difference in your outcome?
For example, if you had a sales call with a potential client and they didn’t end up signing up with you, could it be that you didn’t actually ask for the sale? Sometimes people kind of chicken out at the end and don’t make the ask for someone to sign up for their program or coaching services. They just hope that the other person will be the one to ask, “How do I get started working with you?”... and that rarely happens without making a specific invitation.
Or perhaps you didn’t strongly position the value of what you do with an offer that really speaks to their urgent problems and dream solutions. This is a very common mistake that a lot of amazing, heart-centered entrepreneurs make: their offers talk about how they deliver their services far more than the offer conveys the benefits to the client.
Also be sure to look at what went right.
- What worked?
- At what points did things go smoothly?
- Was there a particular time when you felt lit up and excited about what you were doing?
Making a list of what went right and what could have been done better will make the next step much easier and more effective.
Step #2: Look for the Hidden Lessons
I am a huge believer in constant learning and suffering a defeat is no different. In every setback lies a treasure trove of hidden lessons for you to uncover if you spend a little time looking for them. Not only will you find valuable information you can use, it’s a lot easier to mentally move past disappointment when you’re able to glean something of value from a bad situation. Instead of beating yourself up, quickly move into learning mode.
To discover the hidden lessons, ask yourself these 3 questions:
What did I learn about myself?
What did I learn about my audience or the people involved?
What can I do about it right now?
That will help recharge you energetically and move you into the next step.
Step #3: Take positive action
Although you can’t control what other people do, you can control how you react to a defeat and the effect it has on your life going forward. By moving into quick action, you’ll create positive forward momentum again. Ideally, you should do this the same day you suffered the setback because the longer you stay stuck in a negative feedback loop around it, the greater the negative impact the defeat has on you will be. It’s critical you quickly shift your mindset and move forward.
What actions can you take right now that will help move you in a positive direction again?
Maybe your action is to send out a follow-up email to the potential client who said “no” and ask if she’d be willing to give you feedback about why she decided not to sign up. Or perhaps you need to adjust your marketing plan or the offers you’re making.
If you can’t think of anything, what’s something you can do to simply shift your mindset and start feeling better? It could even be as easy as taking 15 minutes to meditate, taking a walk or doing something you enjoy to shift your negative energy to positive. Simply taking some kind of positive action will help create forward momentum again.
Step #4: Refocus on being of service
Go back to your Big Why for your business and serving others and reconnect with those.
- What’s the big, important reason for your business or for doing what you’re doing?
- What excites you and energizes you about it?
- How does your business or that activity feed your soul?
Reminding yourself of your purpose will help you quickly shift into a positive and productive mindset.
Then use that energy to decide how can you be of service to your ideal clients right now. What’s one thing you could do today? Two examples of simple acts of being of service to your audience are commenting on someone’s Facebook post and offer helpful advice or getting on a discovery call and really giving from your heart. When you’re coming from a place of true service and feeling good, it takes a lot of the sting out of a temporary defeat and realigns your energy with that which you want to create in your business and life.
Lastly, remember that getting a “no” today doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a “no” forever. Life and business are about trial and error. The most important thing is to make sure you don’t let the defeats don’t keep you down because the contribution you’re meant to make during your lifetime is far too important.