Handling a Professional Setback

setbackSetbacks; we all experience them at one point or another. Professional setbacks or personal – the emotions you feel may be similar. They range from sadness, anger, regret or uncertainty; just to name a few. But, this post is not about dwelling on the setback. It’s about how you react to one and how to move forward. For the sake of a business blog, let’s focus on professional setbacks. An example of a professional setback could be losing a high-paying, long-term client. In the moments after the break, you may feel upset, nervous; heck downright panicked. Here’s the thing, it’s just a moment. And, moments are fleeting. Here’s some advice (tried and true advice, by yours truly) on how to deal with a professional setback.

  1. Accept it – in all its terrible glory. Cry, scream and shout. It’s okay to do that. Setbacks suck. Allow yourself to experience your emotions. It's important to understand I am not giving you permission to dwell on it. Experience your emotions and then move on.
  2. Understand it – once you have given yourself time to work through your emotions, understand why it happened. Most times, a setback has nothing to do with something you did. Yes, sometimes it does. Understand how and why it happened. This is important.
  3. Plan for it – now that you have screamed and cursed and understand why the setback happened, you can put a plan into place to avoid such a setback in the future or at least help soften the blow; should it happen again.

Now, let’s go back to the loss of the high-paying, long-term client. Sure, this may very well happen again with a future client. However, by accepting the initial setback, understanding why it happened, you can now put a plan into place to ensure a full practice or consistent interest in your services. Perhaps marketing efforts were less than stellar prior to your setback. Now, by consistently marketing your business, you can keep your marketing funnel full; and thus lessen the fear of losing a client.

Remember, when one door closes, another one is right around the corner – open and letting in a cool refreshing breeze.