Oh, I’ve been through many of them. I remember being at my wit’s end with marketing and trying to make money online. I’d invested pretty heavily into something that was new, but very exciting and popular. I followed the training, made some money, built my team and was doing exceptionally well.
And then, things went haywire.
The company started having trouble. People weren’t getting paid. The rumors were flying and oh, it was bad.
I was disgusted, to say the least.
And when this company shut it’s doors, it left me and a lot of other people feeling the pinch. It sucked.
I was also mad. I felt badly for the people who had followed me, trusted me. People who I cared about who had invested as much or more as I did and were now left without a primary company. It was embarrassing and the amount of people who came out of the woodwork to tell me that ‘they had told me so’ was ridiculous.
I almost gave up. Called it quits. Went back to …. *gasp* …. working for someone else.
But, after some time of reflection, I came to the realization that setbacks are simply a fact of life. And maybe I should have planned for it a little better. I might not have been thinking realistically about where I was going.
I had to accept what had happened and just let it happen in order to handle it and I advised my team members to follow my example. And even though this may seem a bit crazy or like dangerous advice, the fact remains that setbacks are how we learn, or at least how we should be learning. Strange as it may seem, when you allow setbacks to occur, you prevent future setbacks by learning how to avoid them.
I mean, think about it..
Think about the last time you learned any new skill. Better yet, think about learning how to ride a bike, or ski or skate. The first time you attempted any of these things you were awful at it. In fact, you were probably awful at any of them for quite some time. You were also very likely afraid, not only before and during your initial attempt, but also before and during each subsequent attempt, again for quite some time. You probably fell down, a lot. You also probably hurt yourself, perhaps seriously. If you think back on it honestly, learning any or all of these new skills was, in the beginning, a series of setbacks.
Then, probably quite suddenly, something unexpected happened. You started to learn the skill. Perhaps in an instant, you went from being stumbling, awkward and injury prone to being graceful and swift. It’s likely you laughed or smiled. It probable that you felt exhilarated. It’s certain that you succeeded.
This process of going from a series of setbacks to a moment of success is a perfect example of how any setback is actually an opportunity to succeed. If you had let your fear, awkwardness, embarrassment or injuries stop you back when you were learning how to ride a bike, you would have given up on the success you ultimately did achieve. Instead, what you did was persevere. You learned from the mistakes you made and you became more skillful at avoiding those same mistakes. You learned to treat your setbacks as opportunities to succeed.
If you bring that same mindset to any adversity you currently face, you will continue your record of success. Every experience, new or familiar, comes with the potential for error. When you see that the mistakes you make are actually signposts on the road to success, you become unstoppable.
In my case, I learned not to depend on any particular company for my livelihood. I learned that it wasn’t the company or the product even that was earning me money online. It was ME. My actions, habits, personality, perseverance. It was the relationships I built and the friends that I made and the fact that I could be brave and encouraging in the midst of a crisis.
That was an invaluable lesson to learn and it has made my life a lot easier when it comes to my profession. In retrospect, if that setback had not happened, I might not have learned how to become a successful work at home mom.
So, if you are going through some kind of setback right now, whether it is in your personal life, your business or.. wherever. Step back and take a good hard look at what you can learn from it and just.. don’t fight it. Fight through it, but realize that sometimes there is nothing you can do but gain wisdom and experience to use at a later time. This too, shall pass. And you will come out of it ahead of the game, knowing how to avoid this certain kind of setback later on.
Keep it EPIC!
~ Carrie A Medford
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