Is it really possible to change your defeats into victories? I get questions from small business owners every day and often it’s about something that went wrong. Two things happen when something goes wrong:
- The defeat happens
- We form a certain feeling about the defeat.
Honestly, the defeat is not the important thing – if you’ve lived or owned a business for very long you KNOW that defeats and failures happen. The critical key thing is the feeling we form about the defeat. I propose that you can change your defeats into income by changing your feeling from deflation, fear, anger, or disgust into curiosity.
Here’s what I wrote to a business owner who felt defeated a few days ago.
Don’t feel defeated. Feel elated…elated that you DID it, elated that you had 2 people there, elated that you did your very best job with it, elated that your first experiment with it showed you the results it did. Rest well and in the morning get a coffee or a tea and evaluate. Ask yourself “what other day and time will I try?” “What more will I do to let people know about the event?” “How will I plan my time so that next time around I am showing up hopeful and enthusiastic and not already thinking it will be a failure?” In business there is no failure, only feedback. Congrats for getting your first piece of feedback. Now get some rest and tomorrow work on making it different next time around.
What I’m encouraging her to do is to change from defeat into curiosity. Here’s how to do that.
- Put some time and distance between you and the defeat. Change your environment and rest. Wait at least a day to do anything more.
- List everything you did to make this situation a success.
- List anything you can think of that you might have done to help it be more successful.
- List things you would change the next time.
- Thank the people who did participate, even if there were only a few.
- Let those folks know they are welcome to participate again and bring a friend.
- Give yourself twice as long to publicize and launch your event (or product or offer) as you did the first time.
To change your defeats into income means that you look at the feedback you received and go at it again. It’s self-sabotage to feel anything other than curiosity about what went wrong. There’s no failure, only feedback. That’s all it is.
I love helping biz owners take something that didn’t work and change it into something that does. If you need ideas and help with that, go here to see about spending an hour with me. And if you want to read about 7 habits of true champions click here to get to a related blog post.