On Dealing with Disappointment
Waiting in the airport hoping to catch an early flight back home and I’m thinking about how my meeting didn’t go quite as I had hoped. But I took away so much positive from it and already have my awesome action plan for improving the next meeting. I realized that I am seeing the optimistic side right off the bat because I’ve trained myself to have that point of view. So, I thought I’d write a quick post before my flight about how I deal with disappointment and set-backs. Like all of my ‘experience-sharing’ posts, take it all with a grain of salt and feel free to share your experiences too!
There’s a reason clichés are …. cliché. There are many experiences that are universal. Yes, I’ve watched a pot not boil. I too have counted my chickens before they hatched and had my back against a wall because I bet my bottom dollar barking up the wrong tree.
And, the ‘When God closes a door, he opens a window’ characterization is equally true.
When you are in business, there are often doors closed, shut and slammed in your face. And sometimes, it’s hard to see the window at first. Here are my favorite tips for recovering when you are disappointed in a business situation:
1. Have a pity party. Acknowledge you are disappointed. Your feelings ARE justified. You just had your favorite store say ‘No’/(insert your experience here). Wallow. FOR ONE DAY. No more than that. Another pithy yet true saying Bramble Berry’s business coach says is “Celebrate your successes for one day. Mourn your losses for one day. After one day, move on.”
2. Call your trusted friends and advisors. Talk it out. Tell them about the experience. If you’re on Day One, you can wallow and whine about how unfair it all is. Good friends are awesome for this. They’re on your side no matter what. But, if you’re not still on Day One, suck it up and start to problem solve with them.
3. Action. So you didn’t land the sale/get into the juried craft show/get product placement in a big magazine; that’s okay. And what’s your plan to change it and make it better next time? Rip that scab wide open and Monday morning quarterback. What went wrong? If there is someone to ask, be sure to ask your account rep/media contact/decision maker why you didn’t make the sale or why you didn’t get product placement rather than speculating. Then, move into planning: what is the action plan to fixing it next time? WRITE IT DOWN. Action plans are useless if you don’t write them down and commit to being accountable.
4. Work off that stress and tension. Like the song says, “move it move it.” When you work out, you give your body something to do while your brain can zone out and process without you constantly second guessing yourself (you already did that, remember?). Physical activity is a great stress relief no matter if it’s walking, running or weight lifting. Just do something to get yourself out of your house/office and in a different situation. Move your body. Let your brain wander as your limbs work out your stress and dismay.
- You didn’t get the account: “Wow, I didn’t walk out with a Purchase Order but I sure am closer to one the next time!”
- You were promised placement in magazine/tv and it didn’t happen: “We didn’t get placed this time but I am so excited that I have this contact for next time.”
- You didn’t get into a juried show: “Well, that’s okay. They have my stuff for next year and man, look at the cute designs I thought up just for the show. They will be great on Etsy/my own site/Artfire/another craftshow/to send to potential wholesale accounts”
There will be another chance. Just think how much you learned. Work on those takeaways. And, be sure to look out for that window. It will open up. I promise.