When you run your own business and make all the decisions there are bound to be a few bumps in the road. If not a flying face-plant in front of your entire audience.
In 9 years I’ve been there, done that…a few times 🤣
This is why this week’s podcast episode is all about my 3-step, 3-day process for getting through the difficult times in business. So you can rebound quickly without letting failure slow you down, crush your confidence, or knock you off your game.
And yes, my strategy includes ice cream 👌🏻
I realized a few weeks ago that I actually have a process for getting through failures, challenges, problems. And I use it in both my personal life and with business stuff.
I remember doing this back in 2012 when I was leaving my day job. I had a plan to leave in September and was building my freelance business on the side. But when I had my yearly review in May my boss told me that he wanted me to start writing more for the website and working on Saturdays. And as I’m like nodding and smiling my brain is going, “Oh hell no,” and I start panicking knowing that I need to leave my job sooner than I had planned.
Then I went back to my desk and panicked another 20 minutes about all the things that could go wrong and then I got out a notebook and wrote down what needed to happen to leave my job sooner.
Now some challenges do require more than a 20-minute panic. I think it was only that short because I had to go back and sit at my desk and finish my workday. If I was at home I would’ve probably been on the couch in a Snuggie with a gallon of ice cream. But since I was surrounded by people who had no idea that I was building a freelance business and was going to quit my job I had to have a quick, quiet panic.
So today I’m sharing my process for going from feeling like a total failure to taking action, feeling confident, and getting back to work quickly.
Day 1 ➜ All you need to do on day 1 is wallow
Feel all your feelings, feel terrible about yourself, feel terrible about what happened, what you did or didn’t do. Maybe you need to cry it out. Maybe you need to lay on the couch like you’re dying and just stare at the TV for hours. (I recommend Schitt’s Creek for this) Maybe you need to eat all the pizza and ice cream. Maybe you need to take a bottle of wine into the bathtub. Or one of my favorites…sleep in until like 2 PM.
I would also recommend adding in some sort of mindset practice like journaling. Sometimes just writing out what happened helps to release some of those feelings or at least make them less intense. As Brené Brown says, the more you bring shame into the light the more it dissipates. And that doesn’t mean you have to go on Instagram and tell us all what happened and why you feel terrible. You can just journal it out.
You only need to wallow for one day because I find that by the end of the day if I’ve done a good job of wallowing and feeling bad for myself, I actually get tired of feeling terrible.
It’s not a life-and-death situation. You can and will bounce back from literally anything. There have been many businesses who have had massive failures, declared bankruptcy multiple times, and still they end up being able to rebuild their business, being able to rebuild their reputation, being able to hire people and get back to where they were. If giant companies can screw up and bounce back, we solopreneurs can bounce back too.
So get out all the negative feelings, get out all the self-doubt, let yourself feel like garbage just for one day. Because what is also happening while you are indulging in sweets or staring at Netflix for 12 hours, is that you are giving yourself the break that you probably needed. You’re giving yourself time off even if it’s less fun than taking a vacation day.
Day 2 ➜ Get up and get moving.
Now that you’ve taken a time out and felt all your feelings, you need to go for a walk, put on Spotify and dance you’re a little heart out, do some yoga, run up an down the stairs 10 times. Whatever floats your boat, just move your body.
And then, again, do some mindset work. Journal it out, do some EFT tapping, write out a page of affirmations. It might sound cheesy, but I write things like “People learn so much from hanging out with me” or “I’m great at making people laugh” or “my audience benefits every time I show up.” And pro-tip, your affirmations don’t have to be true right now. They can be things you want to be true, like “I feel confident and excited every time I go live” but you might currently be feeling sweaty and anxious when you go live. You can write it down anyway and you will start to see yourself living that way almost unconsciously.
Then you’re going to open a document or grab a notebook and brainstorm, strategize, and figure out a million ways to get out of this situation or recover from what happened. Go bananas – write down every single thing you can think of from standing on the corner with a sign, to going live, to jumping into a new app like Clubhouse or Quilt. The more ideas you can come up with the better. This is not the time to edit yourself or think about whether it’s actually possible, you just want to get ideas down on paper. And if you find that you only can come up with a few ideas, I want you to set a goal of coming with 30!
You might also be crunching numbers at this time, checking in with a coaching group or mastermind, and of course if you’re in The Essentials (my membership) you can always check in with us for feedback and support!
Sometimes it sucks to show up and say “well I fucked this up” or “I wanted 100 to sign up and I only got three” but people in those groups have done those things or are aiming for those goals too. They will be more than happy to help you out, help you brainstorm, or just say, “I’ve been there, it sucks, but you’re going to be fine.”
And then once you have your list, you’re gonna go through it again and prioritize so you’re not paralyzed by a massive task list. We need to turn it into a plan.
Put a #1 next to things that you either need to do ASAP or will have the biggest impact. Put a #2 next to things that will help but wait a few days or a few weeks. And then put a #3 next to anything you can put off for a month or more.
Don’t overthink it, don’t spend a lot of time weighing your options, just quickly decide 1, 2, or 3?
Just like step one you’re only gonna do this for a day, you don’t need to sit down for a month and make a ton of plans. The only way you’re going to find out if you can fix the situation or if you can still go after that goal is by trying things out. Often feel like we need to research and plan for a long time to make sure it’s gonna work. But you can really figure out a lot in one day.
So you’re gonna take a day to wallow, take a day to plan and strategize, and then you’re going to get down to business!
Day 3 ➜ Start taking action
Look at all the #1’s on your list and pick the easiest task to check off and the task that will have the biggest impact and do them first. And then you’re going complete all the #1’s, then move onto the twos, and then move onto the 3’s. Though once you get there you may not need to do any of the #3’s.
And again you want to be using mindset tools to keep you from going back to wallowing, negativity, and self-doubt. For me this looks like breathwork, tapping, journaling, writing affirmations, meditations, talking to a friend or therapist, movement, getting outside. The more I do these the more I see the value and the results that come from it.
You know I like to remind you that the best strategy is the one you’ll actually do, so I sprinkle mindset practices throughout my day. Sometimes I do things in the morning, sometimes I do them in the middle of the day, sometimes I do them at night. But I always make sure that I do some sort of physical activity and mindset work every single day.
I hope this helps you if not today then whenever the next business challenge pops up. Remember that failure, completely missing a goal, or a bad decision doesn’t have to knock you out for more than three days. Just wallow in it, make a plan, and use those mindset practices to get back to work!