How to Forgive Yourself for a Disappointing Year

How to Forgive Yourself for a Disappointing Year

So, that 11-month-old list of business goals have more unchecked items instead of the other way around. You’re facing a new year with a fresh set of aspirations while the others are still waiting to come to fruition. Now what? Avoid the self-loathing and dust yourself off. Here are a few ways to jump start the healing process after getting wounded by business failures this year.

Get up.

Imagine going from a personal net worth of $3 billion to $0 because of poor planning. Bill Bartmann spent years building debt collection company, Credit Financial Services, from the ground up for years only to have it stripped away by the U.S. government after they determined one of his business partners was involved in illegal activity. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to wallow in self-pity, right? Nah.

“We all stumble and fall,” Bartmann said in an interview. “Maybe I’ve done it more cataclysmically than most. But you can learn so much if you open your eyes rather than blame everyone else and feel pity for yourself. You need to dust yourself off, turn around backwards, and learn what you could have done differently. When you can do that, big things can result.”

Once he was cleared of charges from the Feds, he took the devastating experience, called in some favors, wrote a book and started touring to share his comeback story. This is an extreme example, but at its core, the principle is applicable to anyone’s situation: spend more time strategizing your future win than lamenting in your current failure.

Prep mentally for failure before it even happens.

The best way to build a successful business from the bottom up is to fail fast. I know what you’re thinking. “This sounds a lot like self-fulfilling prophecy; if I think that my business will fail in advance, I can will it to happen.” There’s a big difference between thinking negatively and thinking realistically. By looking at your business through a truthful lens, it allows for the necessary contingency plans to be put in place for use when you need it most.

Don’t internalize the failure.

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to blame yourself for your business’s stagnation or regression. It’s like a mother blaming herself for her child acting out in class. Your business is your baby and if it doesn’t behave in the manner you raised it to, you can’t help but take full responsibility. But here’s the thing, you shouldn’t. It’s life and even more importantly, it’s just business. It has its ebbs and flows. Don’t self-criticize or regret taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. Take this time to critique the current circumstances and re-structure.

Own your mistakes.

Although you shouldn’t take your business woes as a personal affront to your character, you do need to take responsibility for your missteps. Awareness and self assessment are the keys to moving forward in the right direction after failing.
Have no idea where to start? The Entrepreneur Equation is a New York Times bestselling book that provides “a bevy of exercises and assessments to help you assess your personality vis-à-vis entrepreneurship, as well as your mindset, timing and the particular opportunity,” says author Carol Roth. She has also put together an interactive online quiz to see how your personality could lead to certain wins or failures in your business.

Start again.

After all is said and done, keep in mind that success is on the other side of any failure. Take the things you learned, devise a plan and operate from a place of awareness.
You’ve got this. Show 2017 who’s boss!


MADE by Jasmine Browley

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