BY LYNN BARDOWSKI
Have you ever put all your energy into achieving a goal, only to lose it all? I quit my corporate career to become an entrepreneur and went “all in” – putting my passion into action. Three years into my PartyLite business I was at the top, and well on my way to achieving 1 Million in annual revenue.
I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and took a breath to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Momentum is a funny thing, it can create incredible growth or, work in reverse and topple your business in what seems like seconds, as if someone flicked a finger on a long line of dominos. I had invested not only my time and money but more importantly, my self worth, into achieving “the goal.” Can you relate?
Failure took me down a long paralyzing road of self-doubt. It was as if I suddenly fell into a big sink hole. I told myself I was trapped with no way out, even though there was a “ladder” with me the entire time. Anthony Hopkins’ character from the movie The Edge explains it best…”most people lost in the wilds, they, they die of shame.” We waste our time and energy thinking about the woulda, coulda, shoulda, instead of taking action.
Failure is your blessing; however, when I experienced it I was really thinking that failure sucks. Hindsight is always 20/20.
3 TIPS TO BOUNCE BACK FROM FAILURE
1. Cry If You Want To
We all know the failure cliché, “Failure is necessary to succeed”, blah, blah, blah. No one who is experiencing failure wants to hear it. You’re grieving a loss so give yourself time to go through the natural feelings of denial and anger. You’re human. Have a good cry, get pissed and then pick yourself up and get back to work. I realized that I created a self-imposed “failure bubble” – kind of like a time out. As soon as I got out of my bubble and got back out into the world I was able to stop grieving. Get involved with your favorite charity or volunteer at a soup kitchen to get some perspective – you’ll realize your problems are not so big.
2. Reaffirm your Purpose and Vision
I keep a file of cards I’ve saved from customers & entrepreneurs whom I’ve served over the last 2 decades. When the doubter starts to creep in they remind me of the lives I’ve impacted and reaffirm my purpose, To Serve.
My vision, to “Share my glow and empower a gazillion women to discover theirs”, reminds me that it’s not about me.
People are counting on me, and you, to get back up. Start by focusing on a past success and put one foot in front of the other. You did it before and you’ll do it again.
3. Stop Reacting, Start Anticipating
My mother used to say, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I did exactly the opposite and was caught off guard when my business fell apart, leaping into reaction mode. Reaction almost always leads to the blame game. It’s the economy, people, lack of support – you name it, I blamed it. In order to bounce back, take a long look in the mirror.
Most likely, the solution to your problem will be you looking back at you. Have a long talk with your ego and be honest about what didn’t work. Start with your intention and go for a long walk to clear your head. If you’re still doing business the same way you did it three years ago it’s time to innovate and embrace change. What inspired action will take your business into the future? Decide and do it.
At the end of the day, failure is part of the process that leads to success. They are one in the same. To put it another way, failure could become your biggest success. Just ask Thomas Edison who, when asked about failure replied, "Young Man, don't you realize that I have not failed but I have successfully discovered six thousand ways that won't work."
Lynn Bardowski is a 22 year entrepreneur, best selling author, national speaker and business coach. For insights on entrepreneurship, leadership and vision, follow her blog, milliondollarpartygirl.com and LIKE her FB page, https://www.facebook.com/MillionDollarPartyGirl. You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.
photo credit: Krissy Venosdale