Without you live under a rock, you've experienced setbacks in your life. The part in the school play you did not get. The cute boy or girl who did not ask you out for a date – or who turned you down when you did the asking. The test you failed, the job you did not get, the marriage that did not work, the investment that did not pay off.
Life is full of setbacks. Why should business be any different? Yet many entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, "mompreneurs" and small business owners crumble under the strain of business setbacks. Typical setbacks may be slow sales, losing clients, failed products or programs, or revenues losses.
I think of business setbacks as temporary situations in which something better, greater, and even more awesome is coming my way. I like to think about it like this. Many years ago I heard this story. A woman was expecting to find a house with four bedrooms in a good neighborhood near good schools. Of course, it had to be within the price range she could afford. She set out to find her dream home. Six months went by with countless disappointments. Some homes were in bad neighborhoods. Some did not have the right number of rooms, or were too far away from schools, or were not in her price range. She felt like giving up but trusted that her dream home was out there.
Then BAM – six months later, the perfect home was found. Not only did it have the four bedrooms the family needed, it was right across the street from a highly acclaimed elementary school. Her children just had to walk across the street to get to school and activities!
Now what was happening during those six months? You could view six months of countless open houses as failures, but during that time, something very special happening. The people living in that house across the street from the school were trying to move into the house of their dreams. But they needed those six months to find and close on their new home, pack up their belonging and move. In other words, time was needed to clear the way for the blessings to flow . It could not happen overnight. The stage had to be set for success.
During those fallow times when you feel like nothing is working out for you, think about the myriad things that are probably happening in the background, unseen, paving the way for you to get that new account, hire that new person, find a new job or make that six figure income you've dreamed about. The stage must not only be set in your life – but in others' lives too.
- You can not get the big account you want until they have the money to pay you. Maybe that time is necessary for them to obtain the money to pay you what you want to ask.
- You can not find the right job until the person sitting in that job today finds another position. Maybe that person needs to move on but is not ready yet to vacate the chair in the corner office that you should hold.
- You need to attract clients, but maybe you are not ready yet to handle them. This waiting period may be a time for your to regroup, update your computer systems, find that virtual assistant, hire that coach, or engage that marketing agency to help you spruce up your website.
But it's definitely not a time to sit around and twiddle your thumbs.
Look not upon setbacks and waiting times as failures. Instead, trust that the universe has something in store for you bigger, better and more wonderful than you can possible conceive.