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Using Setbacks to Propel Your Business Forward

By Rachel Clarkson

If you stood in a room with 500 business owners and asked that anyone who has had setbacks to raise their hands, you would likely see 500 hands raised. Everyone has experienced and can relate to a plan gone wrong, a dream unrealized, a vision that met a roadblock. Yet if you went back and asked those same people how they handled those setbacks, you would get a multitude of answers.

A setback is not a cue to stop moving forward. Setbacks allow you to review your plan, make the necessary revisions and continue moving forward. Some setbacks are minor: a seminar that did not draw the anticipated attendees, or a glitch in a marketing plan. Other setbacks may require a shift in a completely new direction, such as the loss of a job, or the loss of your company. Here are his tips for turning setbacks into a setup for a comeback:

  • If you're willing, new opportunities await. Handling setbacks in a positive manner requires a positive mindset. You must have flexibility and a willingness to change and move quickly. Look past the setback for the new opportunity. You may find that tremendous success lies ahead because you were willing to adapt.
  • Plan to be successful. The most successful organizations did not just happen, they planned it. Plan to be the best, see the possibilities and then consistently do the things that it will take to realize your plan. Make the necessary investments in your organization and your people and foster a can do culture. Everyone must not only work toward the plan, but believe in the plan. Belief will drive action and action will lead to success.
  • Eighty percent of success is just showing up. Before you can be successful you have to show up. Perhaps you have not perfected your technique, or achieved your plan of being the best in your field, but if you don't show up you will not win. There are countless examples of people who were bold enough to show up where they did not belong and as a result of showing up they were successful. Do not hinder your success by being afraid to take a risk and show up.
  • After you show up, stand up! You must continue working on yourself and your business. Do not become complacent in your success but determine each day that tomorrow you will be better than today. The secret to success is never ending self development.
  • Step up and take your swing. As children we are taught that success is rewarded and failure is punished. This mindset has caused many people to be afraid to take a shot if they were not assured of succeeding. Yet in life, we fail much more often than we succeed. The failures are lessons which help us to learn how to succeed. If you fail to hit the ball the first time or even the 100th time, you learn to adjust your stance, your grip on the bat, even your coordination. The next time the ball comes you are better prepared because of your failure.

Failures and setbacks are a part of everyone's life but the response to these events is what separates winners and losers. It has been said that regret is worse than failure. If you are afraid to try for fear of failing you will never have the life or the success that you desire. You must be willing to do a thing bad until you can do it well. With determination and endurance you will develop the mindset of a champion and your life and business will reflect it.

Rachel Clarkson helps small business owners to grow their companies, increase revenues and become great leaders.
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