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How to Bounce Back after a Failure or Disappointment in Your Business

Updated: Apr 17

Say this outloud: Disappoinments happen, and it’s ok when they do.

Now say it again, and this time, actually believe it!

It’s a fact of life Crew — disappointments are simply a part of being a small business owner. It doesn’t matter if you are the most successful marketer, creator, or coach on the planet – or if you’re just getting started — disappointments happen to everyone, including me.

Even after your business is rolling and growing – disappointments still happen to everyone, including me.

Over the nearly 8 years I’ve been in business I have done dozens of launches, created multiple products and programs, and put my hand and brain to every facet of marketing – and what I’ve learned through all of that is that disappointment does not discriminate. It will literally take the launch or the idea that you poured your heart and soul into — the one that you were certain would be a smashing success — and turn it into a complete flop, leaving you disheartened and totally confused.

Well, that’s what it can seem like anyways — and if you’ve ever had a launch of something that didn’t go as well as you expected, I’m sure you can relate!

The question is, how do you move on from those disappointments and make sure that the next one blows it out of the park? We’ll get to that.

But first, let me set this up for you.

If you'd rather listen to the podcast of this content, click here >> Podcast

I'm not going to share with you the tactics or step-by-step process I personally use to recover from a struggling launch. I’ve shared launch, product development, and marketing tactics in multiple episodes previously.

I know you're thinking, “But Justin, that's what I NEED. That's what I WANT.”

It may be what you want, but it's actually not what you need. Trust me on this one.

Rather, I want to talk to you about the mindset you need to have in order to recover from disappointment. Because I know the dark places disappointment can take you.

You know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? When you spiral down that deep dark abyss of drama, lies, and insecurities and convince yourself that you’re a complete failure that will never amount to anything..

That doesn’t sound familiar at all does it? Mmm hmm.

I’m sure you’ve been there. I know I've been there. It doesn't even have to be a launch. It could be anything in your business that you put effort into it, and it didn't turn out the way you had hoped, and now you feel defeated, and you feel like a failure.

Or maybe you feel like you’re not cut out to be an entrepreneur. Maybe you feel like you’re not capable or competent enough to build a successful business. Like, maybe this isn't for you?

I don't want you to feel or think any of those things, because they are all lies straight from the pit of hell.

As with anything, practice makes perfect, and it's always good to be reminded that managing your negative thoughts and emotions play a huge role in being a successful entrepreneur.

That's why I believe that I can give you all the strategies in the world — tweak your sales page, change up your content strategy, do this or that with your social media marketing — but the most value that I can offer you is to get right in your head when things don't go as planned, because the faster you can bounce back from a disappointment, the more creative you can be, the more productive you can be, the more efficient you absolutely will be, and the more you can truly lead your business in a way that makes you feel really proud.

But when you stay in that low-level depression or frustration or overwhelm that's kind of like a cloud that follows you after a big disappointment, your vibe or frequency drops down so low that it's hard to bounce back from it. And that's what I want to make sure doesn't happen for you.

So, let's say that your launch totally flops.

You're understandably heartbroken because you poured your soul into it. The first thing you do is you look at the metrics.

You’re asking yourself all the questions like what did I love about this launch? What did I not enjoy about it? What worked? What didn't work? What do I want to double down on next time?

This project was legitimately a lot of work and ended up being a significant disappointment, so you give yourself a good twenty-four hours or so to be bummed, to be frustrated, to be irritated, to feel defeated, and that’s TOTALLY OK.

I'm not here to say never feel a negative emotion. I'm just here to say you can't stay there.

So, one thing that you might be surprised to hear me say is that if you need a little pity party, you got twenty-four hours.. Pity away. Go there and do whatever you need to do — sleep a little extra, take an impromptu day off, call a friend, cry, whatever that looks like to you — have your moment because then you’re going to be moving on.

Then it's time to get back in the game. So you literally give yourself a cutoff time. Like, “All right. Enough is enough.”

Now, here's another thing: whatever you do during that pity party, if you want to have one, which I've had many, or even after the pity party, whatever you do, do not compare your disappointment to previous experiences or projects that performed better. I repeat: do not do it.

I hear it all the time. “Why didn't this work? Something's wrong in my business. It must be broken. Last year, when I did this, it worked so much better.”

That happens.

I'm telling you, as an online marketer, you need to understand with every ounce of your being that bad launches happen. Disappointments happen. Failures happen. They just do. It is part of the game. Welcome to entrepreneurship. I have had them. All of my peers have had them, whether they admit it or not. We've all had bad launches.

So what is so much more valuable than saying, “This didn't work out as well as it did in the past”?

A better question — because, you know one sure-fire way to always advance your knowledge and skills is to ask better questions — a better question to ask yourself is, what can I do differently next time? What would make me excited to start creating this next opportunity? How can I serve my audience in a bigger and better way?

Let's keep looking forward because, sure, you can look at the last launch in a debrief kind of way and say, “Okay. This launch, we did x, y, z. But the last launch we did x, y, z but in addition we did these three other things that we decided not to do this time. Maybe we bring those back.” That's a debrief conversation.

What I don't want to hear.. (and I know this from personal experience so I'm talking from my personal emotions here) is saying..

“What's wrong with me?

What's wrong with my business?

Maybe I’m not as relevant anymore.

Maybe my time has passed.

Maybe I’m not cut out for this.

Maybe people are passing us up,” or whatever it might look like for you.

Thinking something's broken in you or in your business because of one bad launch or one big disappointment is just not the truth, and you can't live there.

Instead, here’s a great question to ask. “What would get me excited about creating a new opportunity for the next time I launch?”

What's great about this question is that you allow yourself to get creative based on the lessons you learned, and that way, you will always strive to do bigger and better things based on the lessons you learned in that experience.

You’re not trying to live in the past, but you're not ignoring it either. You're just saying, “All right. What can I do better next time?”

I can tell you what y’all, I have learned so much more from the things that I have done wrong than from the things I have done right.

The other super important point to note is that failure is literally the fuel that your business needs to grow. Because when things don’t go your way, it forces you to think differently and that’s when ideas that are anointed for breakthrough are born.

Tony Robbins has a great quote that says “In life, you need either inspiration or desperation.”

So we have to remember that some of your most significant breakthroughs and successes can absolutely come from the lessons learned in failure and disappointment, but only if you keep moving forward and stop looking backward.

The lesson you're learning is right in front of you. It is not behind you. It is happening right now, right in front of you.

One of the most significant things that you lose when you’re dwelling on the past – is the present.

So often we hear about being present in your personal life with your partner or your family, but it's just as important to be present in your business. And dwelling on whatever has happened in the past takes away your focus and attention on what's happening right now in front of you.

You owe it to your audience; your clients; and, most of all, yourself to be present with them.

So when you prepare for your next big move, you've got to step into it thinking, “This is a new opportunity. This is different. This is where I'm at right now,” and you own it. Whether or not it exceeds your expectations or not, you own it in the present.

And here's the thing: if the last couple of years have taught any of us anything about our businesses, it’s that sometimes you just don't know how things are going to shake out.

And that's totally okay. So for me, in the last couple years of covid and all the things, some stuff felt weird in my business. Strategies that I've used for years and years no longer worked. I had to adapt. I had to change some things.

I.. had to change.

For quite a while it felt a bit harder to do the things that I've always done. And I just wasn’t sure what was going on.

And the thing is, what I could have done is I could have looked at 2018 and 2019, and said, “My business was stronger then,” or “I was really in my zone, and now I'm not,” or whatever. But instead of making it mean something about me or my business, I literally said, “Okay. What is the lesson here? What do I need to learn here? How do I need to adapt to and change? ” And I stayed as present as possible.

Taking that approach allowed me to take a step back, look at my business from a different perspective, and make some really exciting decisions about how I wanted to move my business forward.

Now I couldn’t be more excited about the state of my business and the direction that I am headed, and that would never have happened if I didn't experience the disappointment and struggle that 2020 and 2021 brought so many of us, and stay present with what was happening versus make it mean something terrible, which it absolutely didn't.

I ended both of those years very strong, and I'm very proud of that. But they were hard years, and I learned from the lessons, and I'm still learning from them.

So, if I can give you one huge piece of advice from this conversation today, it’s that when things don't go as planned, whether it be a launch, some kind of promotion, some kind of opportunity that fell through, don't make it mean something it doesn't. Don’t make it bigger than it is.

And don't look back in the past and compare it to something you've done that was, let's say, “better” — and think that it means something about your business today in a negative way.

Be very careful of putting meaning to a disappointment, because like I said in the very beginning, in every single business, there's going to be crash and burns. Launches that don't work out are part of the game. Disappointments happen.

You staying present and you learning from the lessons and you creating from a space of opportunity based on what you've learned, that is what will keep you in the game and keep you moving forward.

So, cheers to new opportunities; cheers to new goals; and cheers to a new mindset around moving forward.

That’s what I’ve got for you today Crew.

If you’re stuck and you know it, I challenge you to reach out to me.

If I had the opportunity to go back in time and tell myself one thing in the early stages of my business, all I would say is “Get help sooner.”

I didn’t. I tried to do it all myself. And listen, there’s nothing wrong with being a do-it-yourselfer. I think that’s a natural trait of an entrepreneur.

The problem comes when you are a do-it-yourselfer AND. IT. SHOWS.

Get help sooner. Invest in the tools, training, and support you need to accomplish the things that you’ve been unable to do on your own.

I guarantee it’ll change everything.

Cheers and be great! ~ JC

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