Small Business, Big Lessons: How To Learn The Hard Way And Live To Earn Another Day

By July 24, 2012February 1st, 2018True Stories
Small Business, Big Lessons: How To Learn The Hard Way And Live To Earn Another Day

If you’ve been here before, you’re probably familiar with the Sabotaging Success series where I explore some of the Fail Monsters that can derail us and keep us from reaching our potential. If you wonder how I know, it’s because I’ve been there. I’ve made the mistakes. I still make the mistakes. And when I do, I drag out the towels and bleach, clean up the blood, dispose of the bodies, and move on.

What I learn, I hope to share with you so that maybe you can avoid your own bloody mess, or just feel better knowing you’re not alone.

So why am I revisiting this? Well, two reasons, actually. One is that my blogging posse over at The Word Carnival chose the topic for this month’s theme. (If you haven’t already, you should check them out. They’re some of the smartest bloggers and business people I know.)

Two, is that a funny thing happened as I read through the comments I received on the Sabotaging Success series. You see, I discovered that I’m not the only one making mistakes.

Everyone else is, too.

And I mean everyone. Not a single comment came from someone who said, “Wow, thanks for bringing that up so I can avoid failure and get on with my day!”

Turns out most of the “preventative” ideas I’d had about the series were kind of delusional. It’s sort of like yelling “Watch out!” when you notice someone stepping over an open manhole.

You mean well, but are you really going to prevent that person from falling? Or are you just going to give them an extra split second to think, “Oh shit, things are about to go very badly”?

Right.

So the fact is, we’re all going to step into open manholes and nothing can prevent it. In a way, I think we have to, because experience truly is the best teacher.

Imagining yourself conquering a bad thing, and actually conquering a bad thing are two completely different things.

Which brings us to this post. Since we’re inevitably going to do something bad, wrong, ill-informed or head-smackingly stupid, we need to be equipped to deal with those things when they happen.

If we let our failures get the best of us, we won’t learn and we won’t move our businesses forward. So don’t cave. Cope.

Big Lessons: The Hard Way

I’ll share a little story with you from my war chest. It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened in the 13 years I’ve been in this business. Worse than running out of Oreos on a really, really stressful Monday afternoon. Yeah, that serious.

Several years ago I had the opportunity to work with a client on an exciting – and huge – marketing project. There were meetings, there was paperwork, there were long planning and brainstorming sessions. I’ll tell you, there were a lot of Oreos consumed.

For the next five years my company became more and more engrossed in working with this client. We designed. We built. We wrote. We marketed. We essentially became their marketing department.

I was invested in this client mentally and emotionally and we had some nice lunches, some great brainstorming meetings and exchanged some pretty cool Christmas gifts.

Enter 2009.

You might remember this little thing we now like to call “The Great Recession”. My client, the one I’d invested five years and countless hours a day working with, cut their marketing budget. To zero.

That’s right, zero.point.zero.

But that wasn’t the worst part.

After five years, the designing and writing and building and marketing – and perhaps most relevant, the revenue – came to a screeching halt.

I hadn’t seen it coming. There were no warning signs; there was no hand-wringing meeting where my client lamented the dire situation. No slowdown and eventual leveling off. One day, like many companies struck by the plague of that nasty recession, they simply cut.

But that wasn’t the worst part.

The worst part was that for five years I hadn’t bothered to cultivate new relationships and opportunities. If one came my way I opened the door but I’d stopped worrying about where the next job would come from because for five years I knew exactly where it would come from.

Until I didn’t.

Classic eggs-in-one-basket syndrome. If you had asked me during those five years if I was concerned about putting all my business eggs in one client’s basket, I would’ve nodded soberly and agreed that it was a bad idea.

And there was my open manhole, staring me in the face, and someone had yelled, “Watch out!” but I walked into it anyway.

Hard Lessons, Hard Questions: What Does Success Mean To You?

I learned something then, and it wasn’t “always wear clean underwear in case you’re in an accident” or even “keep an extra box of Oreos stashed under the bed at all times”.

It was that sometimes really, really bad shit happens and you have two choices: cave or cope.

Which one would you choose?

If you’ve met your manhole moment already, I would sincerely like to hear your story so when you’re done reading, please share it with me in the comments.

If you haven’t, you will. And then you’ll have to look down deep and ask yourself what you’re willing to do.

How bad do you want it?

How important is your business?

How invested are you in its success?

If your business tanked tomorrow, how would it affect you personally?

What does success really mean to you and what’s driving you toward it?

These aren’t questions to ask lightly or dismiss with a simple, “I love my business and would do anything to make it succeed.” There are no feel-good answers here, just the truth of what you’re willing to do, what kind of emotional and mental energy you have to invest in your business and what you stand to lose (or achieve).

When bad things happen it gives you the opportunity to do some of the hard soul-searching that we often miss in our hurry to work, build and grow. There’s a lot of talk about “knowing your why”. But even if you think you know your “why”, you may just find it challenged in the face of hardship.

As for me, I had to really sit down and think about that “why”. I’d given up a rewarding career as a teacher to open my own business, so I had to figure out what the business meant to me and whether it was worth my time when I could go back to teaching – something I knew I could do that would come with a paycheck, benefits and retirement plan. Why was I doing what I was doing with my business?

Why are you?

What does success really mean?

Only you can define it for yourself but it’s a good exercise to revisit during good times and bad. It can mean different things at different times. It’s what will keep you going and what will help you climb up out of the manhole when you need to.

Learning To Get Up Is Better Than Learning Not To Fall

I know you’ve been on edge-of-you-seat suspense, but I did not quit and go back to teaching.

My husband and I took an extended vacation on the living room sofa during which the phones never rang and asked ourselves the hard questions. We wondered out loud whether we should throw in the towel. After all, we’d lost our biggest client in the heart of a recession – a whole different animal than if times had been good and we could have picked up a few new clients over coffee and a handshake.

We hadn’t just hit a slowdown – we were dead in the water. The conversation went a little something like this…

Me: What are we going to do?

Ralph: You could go back to teaching. I could get a full time job with a paycheck.

Me: As if anyone’s hiring.

Ralph: I don’t want a job anyway.

……

……………

………………………

Ralph: Unless we get hired at the same company so you can still make me sandwiches and bring them to my desk for lunch.

So with a little inspiration from sandwiches, we got our heads back in the game. If you want to climb out of your manhole, you’ll have to do it, too, because sometimes really bad shit happens. Sometimes there’s no way to avoid it. Instead of stressing about what might go wrong or trying to plan every little detail into submission, just know that you can cope. It probably won’t be fun, but you can do it.

Don’t Cave, Cope: How To Get Out Of The Manhole

So it sucked around here for a while, but we both learned some important things about ourselves, about our business, about our customers and about how to survive. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, you can share these, too.

Understand Your Priorities

Sandwiches are big for us. But so is independence. We opted to trade salaries and security for the freedom to work and do business as we choose.

We also decided that we’d rather sink together than “succeed” separately.

Six cars, a villa in the tropics with a pool, three weeks of paid vacation and retirement at 65… sounds awesome but those are not our priorities. They may be yours, and that’s up to you to determine. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on getting to that villa – but I’ll do it my way.

It’s your job to figure out what’s really important to you. Money? Time? Freedom? Family? One or more or none or something else? It’s your life, they’re your priorities. Figure them out. They’re the things that will determine your path.

Recover Your Relationships

This was one of the lessons I had to learn the hard way. Having a great client was… well, great. But I know better now than to think I can ignore the relationships in my life and expect them to be there when I look up again.

None of us can get through life alone and none of us are as independent as we think. We are all in some way interconnected and contribute to the endless, intricate gears that keep the universe churning. When things go south, tap into the people you know and trust. Sometimes pride keeps us from doing that but try to differentiate between pride and just plain stubbornness.

Asking for help is not weakness.

Asking for help is sometimes the hardest thing we have to do! But none of us exist in a void. “Social” is more than just a platform. We’re social beings; we need each other to survive. Knowing that and using it are assets.

And if you’ve neglected those relationships, it’s time to breathe life into them again. Again, pride (or should I call it ego?) often gets in the way but a few mea culpas never killed anyone. If you’ve been a neglectful a$$#0l3 then admit as much. Offer help before you ask for help and I think you’ll find that most people are willing to forgive and extend a hand.

Be Willing To Live Through Some Unpleasant Crap

Even after we got our priorities in order and figured out what to do, things didn’t suddenly get all rainbow-y and profitable again. We had two crummy summers and a lot of really crummy stuff in between.

It was exhausting. We worked more hours than I thought were possible in a day. We missed parties. We ate a lot of takeout at our desks and wracked our brains for ideas. We networked like crazy.

You have to be willing to do your version of that. Even when you think you’re out of energy, you have to find some more. It won’t always suck, but it’ll definitely suck for a while. Maybe even a long while. Don’t complain. Or, complain, but do it anyway. Eye on the prize, baby.

Adapt To New Circumstances

They say the only permanent thing is change. The one thing that got us closest to seeing the light of day at the top of the hole again was the fact that we completely changed how we did business. We hadn’t planned to change anything. We weren’t particularly ready to change anything. But circumstances had changed and so we had to change, too.

Adapt or die, right?

When you find yourself facing long odds, you need to be willing to change the way you think and the way you work. Look long and hard at what’s in front of you and instead of trying to make the situation work for you, figure out how to work with the situation.

Don’t be afraid of or reluctant to change. Embrace it, go with it, use it. Change is the one thing you’re guaranteed to meet so make friends with it when you do! You get to complain about the sucky stuff but you don’t get to complain about change. Choose to love it.

Live Your Life

Yes, we missed parties. But we didn’t miss them all. When you’re recovering from a bad spell it’s easy to get caught up in work. You may be putting in long, grueling hours out of necessity but remember that work and business are not the only things in your life.

Oh, sometimes it feels like it, I know!

But there’s a fine line between dedication and destruction. If you expend all your energies on your business you’ll be doing it to the detriment of the rest of your life.

It may seem impossible or counterintuitive but you absolutely must must must take time off for yourself. Don’t take time off and use it for blogging or planning! Just take time off.

Engage in a hobby. Take up a new one. Do something physical. Watch a movie. Read, cook, bike, walk, garden, sit and watch the birds, take out your old Star Wars collection and play with it for a while. Whatever feeds your soul and revitalizes you, do it. It feels good to remember that there’s more to life.

If you’re dismissing me on this one, then take your cue from the numerous studies that have shown that we actually become less productive the more we work. There’s a point of diminishing return where you simply won’t be doing yourself or your business any good. You’ll be more creative, feel more energized and actually produce more if you work less.

Keep Your Eye On The Light At The Top Of The Hole

Whenever I have one of those “Oh my God I’m going to die at this desk” moments, I pull out my “why”, remember my priorities and take a deep breath. Remember, nothing is permanent, not even the crappy stuff!

This may sound corny but I find that it helps to have some token of “good things” to remind me that they’re really out there, no matter how I feel about my desk at the moment.

I keep a couple of things on my desk to do just that (and they’re in the photo at the top of this post so you know I’m not just making junk up). A seashell that I collected from the beach, a bead from one of my favorite childhood toys and a button that was once on a dress my mother wore. I don’t remember what the occasion was, I just remember how beautiful she looked to me and how the buttons on her dress sparkled. And I thought, “I want to grow up to be beautiful and go to fancy parties and wear sparkling dresses too.”

It’s true.

Maybe you have something that reminds you of your dreams. A little doodad, a photograph? It may be in the farthest corners of your attic but go dig it out and let it become your token of good things past, present and to come.

Sometimes bad things happen. And not if, but when they do, you can recover. Will things be “the same”? Probably not. Will you love and embrace every second of it? Doubt it. But none of that is bad or life-ending. It just is.

Know it, accept it, use it. Even if you think, “I can’t!” I bet you a whole box of Oreos that when the time comes, you will.

If you have a manhole story, I really do want to hear it. Tell me about your “good times” talisman. And while you’re at it, share your coping mechanisms, especially if they involve chocolate or cookies.

This post is part of the July 2012 Word Carnival — a monthly group blogging event specifically for small business owners. (It’s the most fun you’ll have all month!) Check out the rest of the fabulous carney work here.

Join the discussion 39 Comments

  • Christine Brady says:

    Hi Carol Lynn,

    I can’t say that I’ve had that oh-no moment, at least not in this business yet. My husband did back in 2009 as he was in real estate and the market here tanked. It was a scary time.

    But, as you said, you have to make a decision and push on. Our “why” made all the difference in the world. Without a “this is why we’re doing what we’re doing,” it would have been easier to just give up.

    But, I also think it’s the entrepreneurial spirit that pushes business owners in tough times. Not everyone has it, but business owners have the ability to see things differently. And persevere for a greater good.

    Oh, and my coping mechanism has always been a good Starbucks coffee – there, not at home. For some reason it’s better when you can just sit there without your usual distractions. 🙂

    And glad to see that things have turned around for you – 2009 was a tough time.

    ~Christine

    • Wow, the real estate business was not a good place to be in 2009. It’s barely a good place to be now! It takes a good “why” and a really strong entrepreneurial spirit to tough that out, so good for him – and you – not everyone is as supportive.

      But I think you’re right. Business owners think differently and it’s kind of a chicken-egg thing – do they think differently because they’re entrepreneurs or are they entrepreneurs because they think differently? I’ll ponder that in another blog post 🙂

      Thanks for sharing and if you ever walk into an open manhole, stop by and let me know about it. There’s a Starbucks right around the corner.

  • Holy smokes, Carol Lynn. I think your story is (unfortunately) one that too many small biz folks can relate to. The eggs in one basket thingy is almost always a disaster waiting to happen — even in a good economy. Thank you for writing this one. It’s a lesson we all need to hear (and learn).

    • But hey, it was fun while it lasted 🙂 It’s funny because this is SO not me…. well, until it was… but it’s not the kind of thing that should’ve surprised me. I guess it didn’t even really surprise me. I think I pretty much saw this gaping hole in the ground and just kept walking. You sort of close your eyes and just figure well, bad things are gonna happen one day but someone will stick a net out. And then they don’t. And then you eat cookies. Live and learn!

  • These are great life lessons, too, Carol Lynn, not just lessons for business. Getting up again when bad stuff happens is how you grow and learn. Sure, there are times when you feel discouraged, but it’s best not to let that become a way of life. Thanks for sharing this inspiring post.

    • Lots of falling, lots of getting up. It’s just part of life. Even after “the big fall” it’s not like suddenly everything is going to be perfect, is it? If we take it in stride and don’t turn every little scrape (or even the big ones) into gigantic life-altering calamities then we’ll be just fine!

  • clarestweets says:

    Well, Carol Lynn, you and I both learned the same eggs in a basket lesson at about the same time. Mine was the real estate industry. i really appreciate your take on learning to recover your relationships and asking for help and support. The help and support of this group of bloggers continues to cheer me. Also love the wise advice, But there’s a fine line between dedication and destruction. If you expend all your energies on your business you’ll be doing it to the detriment of the rest of your life.. . SO TRUE.

    • Clare, I think we lived an alternate version of each other’s lives 🙂 I think your story and recovery are AWESOME. But yeah, it’s not special… we are not unique snowflakes… lots of people do this junk and the least we can do is support each other. As for spending too much energy on business… that’s probably the biggest overarching lesson of my career. I tend to do a superman laser-focus on things but it’s really important to recharge OUTSIDE your business. One lesson learned, next up….

  • Adrienne says:

    Oh crap Carol, my manhole time is still ahead of me? Dang it and I thought I had escaped that.

    These are great lessons and you’re right, we see the manhole and we’ve been warned. We know what’s going to happen when we walk right into it but we never think it will happen to us. Oh no, everyone else but us.

    That’s why we have to be smart about this and like you said, keep those doors open and continue building those relationships. You never know when one thing will dry up and you wish you had been doing what you should have been all along.

    A hard lesson to learn but one we can’t ignore.

    Thanks for sharing this story with us and we can take what we’ve learned from you and move in the right direction. There is no harm in being prepared right!

    ~Adrienne

    • Well Adrienne, if you do fall into the hole at least you know that you’re a strong person and you can climb back out! i think the relationship part of it is the biggest takeaway because if you have good relationships you’ll be so much better off not only in business but in life. Bad things happen and we can recover… but it’s nice and even sometimes necessary to have support.

  • donna_tribe says:

    Hey Carol Lynn, I savored every word of this post. I just love the way you can capture an audience with your writing. I want to say so many things, but I will focus on one. “Keeping your eggs in one basket” is NEVER a good idea.

    My eggs are scattered in so many places I don’t know if they are hatched or not. My focus is on two major things right now. I give that 80 percent of my time. Those are my little eggs that are growing.

    My other eggs are in real estate, coins, antiques, oh darn…I loose track. When something goes down, I pull from another source to keep everything a float.

    What is the purpose of all this? Survival. Not a big mansion…I am a minimalist. Not a screen capture of the money I make…I laugh when people do that. It is like saying Hey IRS…Come on over to take my money!
    I don’t want to be a guru (I blogged about that once)

    I want to lead a purposeful life. I want to be self sufficient and have enough resources to live comfortably and be able to help those who need it and/or deserve it lol.

    But most of all, I want to keep my financial freedom, never stop working and die with my thigh high red boots on.

    Blessings,
    Donna

    • Thank you for the compliment, Donna, I appreciate that and it means a lot coming from you! It’s great that you’re doing so many things (and I’m a little jealous that you can keep track of them all, hahaha). But I’m with you on the “purposeful life”. Of course, one of these days, I wouldn’t mind leading a purposeful life in a tropical villa 🙂

      I’d love to read your post about being a guru. There are so darn many self-appointed ones it’s starting to become cliche. Financial freedom is important and of course the freedom to work as I choose – no “boss”, no rules except for the ones I make. It’s worth it!

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me.

  • Annie Sisk says:

    This is epic, Carol Lynn. I so agree on the whole “nodding your head and doing nothing about it” phenomenon, too. Why do we DO that?! (Probably because deep down, we do secretly believe it won’t happen to US.) Love your thoughts on how to deal with the open manhole days, too. Sharing this with everyone, everywhere.

    • I think you’re right, Annie, we really think, “no way, I have it under control, not me.” Heaven knows its not for lack of warning advice. There’s plenty of that everywhere. I guess that’s why it’s such a cliche! And speaking of epic, you had some pretty epic stories and lessons yourself. Kind of makes this story sound like I lost a thumbtack 🙂

      So it goes to prove that with determination we can recover, right? Go us!

      • Nicole Fende says:

        Perhaps it’s a symptom of being accountable to yourself vs. a boss? I’d like to think it *is* possible to learn from others experiences, but we have to be painfully honest with ourselves about our strengths and weaknesses.

        • I think we can learn from others’ experiences but those are usually the lessons like “look both ways before crossing the street”. We pick up on a lot of helpful and practical things, sure. But when it comes to the more abstract things and the bigger pitfalls I think a lot of it has to do with the voice in our head telling us we’re “different” – we won’t screw it up like all those other people. We’re sooooo in control. Ego? Well, if it is ego, it certainly gets bashed more often than not 🙂

  • Yes, that’s so true Carol, when things go bad or turn to shit as you said 🙂 they’re only two solutions, you go hang yourself or you cope with it. I’ve felt like a that a time or two in my life.

    Not putting all your eggs in one basket is so cliche but again proves to be so true in your story. I know the feeling, we are so happy about something it seems that all the goodies come from that source and almost from that source only so we neglect everything else. Than that source dries out somehow and we found ourselves naked dry in the desert.

    I think that we all have felt that at one point or another. That’s a lesson learned the hard way and I am sure that you don’t neglect any little bit of a client anymore.

    By the way lady, I’ve been trying to let you know since Monday that you’ve been nominated… have you seen it? Last time I checked seems that you haven’t 🙂

    • The good thing about these lessons is that fortunately we DO live and learn. So yes, there will be NO ignoring of clients from me. Ever!

      Funny I just noticed the award I think yesterday…. I never heard of it before so it was a surprise! I have to write my post, I know, I was wondering if there is a list of all the people who have been nominated or a master website or something? I see a lot of people on different blogs who are already nominated that I would have put on my list if I’d gotten to them first! So I was wondering who else was on it or if I could also put people on it that someone else already has?

  • Wow, Carol Lynn, I feel like I just got to know you so much better! This was a real eye-opener kind of blog here.

    I know I harp on it, but I just gotta say it again. I love how you express yourself in your blog posts. Your style is so much fun to read…you’re full of one-liners and tag phrases that I just get a hoot out of! lol

    I didn’t realize how long you’ve been at your “game” as an entrepreneur. Very impressive. We have some similar track records, you and me. I’ll be 15 in my “game” next month. It takes quite a bit of persistence and dedication to stay in the game as long as you have. I know this firsthand and want to acknowledge the strength of spirit you and Ralph have to go the distance like this. Congrats to you both!!

    And thank you to Oreos for giving you the extra fuel and an antidote to Fail Monster Mondays! lol I had no idea what a fine instrument Oreos could be to elicit positive changes but will keep that in mind!!

    Big takeaway for me from your post today is to never take any of it for granted. All though we get so comfy in our little cocoon of leisure in a routine, it could go away despite the most valiant efforts. We do well to have multiple ways to sustain ourselves and to keep us a bit on our toes so we’re always only moving forward and that we’re insulated in the event that life’s uncertainties rear their sneaky lil heads!

    You rock, Carol Lynn, much love for this post. So far it’s one of my faves from you!!

    Hope you and Ralph are having a SWELL week!

    Cat

    • Thanks Cat, your kind words mean a lot and I’m so glad I didn’t put you to sleep with a long post! Happy Anniversary, a little early! You should celebrate with some Oreos, for sure 🙂 You want to laugh, when I was in college I literally had a box of Oreos under my bed at all times. My dad used to buy them for me and I had this big plastic storage box under my bed for them, lol. Nowadays at least I keep them in the pantry 🙂

      I love your take on this which is that we can’t take anything for granted. Not only can’t we get “comfy” but we really need to have an attitude of mindfulness and gratitude. You never know what will happen , that’s the truth! But we can cope. We have to. Ready for the next 15 years??

  • Carol Lynn – Thanks for sharing your personal stories for each point – so much easier to relate to.

    i’ve been in business all of 6 months so i always appreciate these types of in depth posts I can really learn from.

    I have really enjoyed all of your posts. Very happy to have found you via Triberr!

    • Thanks Lisa, I appreciate your kind words! You’re probably still in the “honeymoon phase” with your business, huh? Well, the good news is that if/when things go wrong, there’s always something else out there if you look and you’re determined!

  • Thanks for sharing your story! When things are going well we often don’t think of how badly they can fall. That’s why you learned the best lesson possible — focus on what you want now and build a bigger vision that considers lots of possibilities instead of locking in on just one. And of course, making room for the lighter, fun things that remind you of why you are working so hard is always a must!

    • Yes! It’s so important to keep the door open to possibilities. Maybe even drag a few inside, too. Being so focused on one thing wasn’t the best idea but it was comfortable. Guess the lesson is also partly about making sure you’re always just a little bit outside your comfort zone!

  • Nicole Fende says:

    Awesome topic that provoked me to ask myself – What mistake are you making right now while nodding your head to all of this? There’s a few things I think I’ll be doing differently so perhaps I don’t repeat someone elses history.

    The ideas on how to get out once it happens (because it will) are priceless. Recovering from mistakes is what separates successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful ones.

    • Wow, Nicole, if you DO divert yourself onto a better path and avoid making some of these dumb mistakes then THAT is worthy of a blog post! It will certainly make everyone who keeps writing all this “don’t do what I did” advice feel a whole lot better!

  • Carol – I’m like, in love with this post. Especially the emphasis on learning to get up, not learning how to not fall. Huge.

    • Thank you Ryan, I appreciate your kind words! That’s definitely something I try to remind myself every day. It’s tough – who wants to fail?? But you gotta keep going!

  • Nirvash says:

    Carol, thank you for this great post. I am currently at a serious cross-roads – leave my business and go back to salaried employment or stay and make things work. The stress is driving me insane and making me terribly unproductive but I am trying hard to ‘keep my eye on the light’. Your article has given me hope and some much needed direction.

    • I’m really glad this post found you at the right time, Nirvash. I completely understand what you mean about the stress. I believe a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs go through the same thing at some point. It’s up to you to choose which direction you truly want to take – do you want a salaried job again or do you want to pursue your business? Once you decide, and know your reasons, you can begin to plan to move forward. Remember it’s important to have a strong motivation! Think about why you’re in business, what you hope to achieve, what your passions and goals are. If you have a strong emotional connection to your business, then you’ll figure out how to make it work. I know it’s tough – I had to completely change the way I did business. But for me it was worth it. And even if I never “get rich” I’m still happy with what I’m doing. best of luck and stick with it – tough times come and go, you just have to get to the other side.

  • Oh, I’ve so been in that “every egg in the same basket” situation. It was awful. Worse still, you know you’ve done yourself in, which introduces a whole new level of self-doubt and isolation.

    Luckily, I knew some very smart people who got me networked, got me rolling, and helped me land some new work.

    I had to bail on my own business for a while; it wasn’t a fun situation. But I came back with a renewed sense of vigor and a hell of a lot wiser!

    All of your suggestions are on point, my favorite being: deal with the bad, it’s going to come, and it’s going to go – but you have to put up with it in the meantime. It won’t all be sunshine and roses.

    • I guess we’ve all been there! Sounds like you had some tough times too, but you still managed to plow through them, so good for you. and you said the most important thing of all: come back wiser. Learn from our mistakes and get better or else we’re probably just going to keep doing the same stupid things. Glad you found your way back up again 🙂

  • JB says:

    Wanting it bad enough is one important aspect of being successful in anything. When it comes to owning a small – Internet orientated – business there are some pretty awkward external factors you have to deal with. Google. Ms Google and I have a love / hate relationship, I’m afraid.
    She got her quirks and changing the Google page rankings of a small business site can be devastating.
    Dealing with that is the parallel I’m trying to paint here. Adjust – regroup – refocus and continue. Key. If there’s a way IN, there’s a way OUT.

    Sorry, no cookies!

  • What a great article, this is exactly the kind of thing we like to share with our community and increase the knowledge as well.

  • Small business is great thought that every one should learned about it. I must say that It will have great opportunity for everyone who really starting to do something.

  • william james says:

    I wanna say business is the ways where different types of peoples meets and communicates. its really important to business owners to maintain relationship to their customers.