3 Draining Things We Do When Things Go Wrong. (And what we can do instead.)

There we are.

We launched a product.  But didn’t get the response we expected.
We reached out to someone to work together.  But they said no.
We thought we would attract clients by the millions.  But we didn’t.

And then we …

1)  Only see all the things that went wrong.

We are mad at ourselves.
For all the things we did wrong.
The marketing.
The sales page.
The email pitch.
The product.
The website.
The content.
All wrong.

And then we …

2)  Take it personally.

We feel miserable.
For all the ways in which we are wrong.
How are we ever gonna grow our business when we can’t even sell our product?
How are we ever gonna make this work if we can’t even pitch an idea to someone?
Maybe we just haven’t got what it takes.
Maybe this just isn’t meant to be.
Maybe we should just give up.
What a humiliation.
We are such pathetic failures.

And then we …

3)  Wanna ditch the dream.

We wanna throw in the towel.
We wanna hide.
We wish we never started in the first place.
What were we thinking?
We feel ashamed.

But the thing is …


1)  There’s so many things we gained.

The awesome people we met along the way.
The interaction with the clients that chose us.
The honing of our writing skills.
The experience of putting ourselves out there.
Our courage.
Our creativity and resourcefulness.
Our persistence.

And …

2)  It’s not personal.

What they do is completely out of our control.
They can say no.
They can choose to work with someone else.
Their actions are not a measure of our worth.
It’s just feed-back from the outside world to what we put out there.
Ever heard of the Apple Lisa?  Neither did I till I read about the Lisa in Steve Job’s biography.  This line of computers was launched, but failed.
J.K. Rowling got rejected time after time before finally someone wanted to publish her Harry Potter books.
Every entrepreneur started with 0 subscribers to their site.

So the question is …

3)  How can we look at it from a different angle and keep testing what works and what doesn’t?

What can we learn from the feed-back from the outside world?
Why did people not sign up or buy?
Is there a mismatch between what we’re offering and what they want?
Are we speaking their language, seeing their fears and dreams?
Who exactly do we wanna reach?  And are we looking for them in the right places?
What worked so far?  And what didn’t?
And what else can we try?

I just love Thomas Edison’s quote that says it all:

I have not failed.

I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.


What do you do when things go wrong?  Tell us in the comments below and share with your fellow entrepreneurs and life-changers!  We love to hear from you!

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10 thoughts on “3 Draining Things We Do When Things Go Wrong. (And what we can do instead.)

  1. For me, it is important to get away from the situation for a little break and change my perspective. At the time, it always feels like the biggest thing to happen. I find dancing or bouncing on my trampoline to a motivational song really helps. Great article and thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. That’s an awesome idea, EndoAngel! I also love dancing in my living room – such a great way to give your mind a breather! And that trampoline sounds so exciting!

  2. I love this perspective An. Often, we approach a big project or goal with a fixed outcome in mind, plus a set of expectations that go along with that outcome. While the visualised outcome can be helpful, it’s important not to overlook all the side benefits you can get from putting yourself out there, even if your vision doesn’t quite materialise in the way you thought it would.

    Thanks for sharing, definitely going to read this next time I’m taking a step into the unknown 🙂

    1. That’s such a great point, Hannah. Often we get so tangled up in our expectations, that – if things don’t unfold the way we want them to – we tend to be harsh on ourselves and give up altogether instead of trying another path. Or we miss out on a bunch of opportunities that we didn’t notice because we were too busy holding on to those expectations.

  3. Yes, yes, and yes. Trial and error, but if you are passionate enough about your product, you will get on with it and keep going until you get to the results. It’s not only about the results, because you’ve learned a hell of a lot with the whole process, but the sweetness of earning your own money from your own idea is never to be equalled by anything. Well, maybe only by hot chocolate pot pudding…

  4. I almost always start with the wrong response. But what moves me to the “what I should do” phase is how passionate I am for the business I’m in. I want to throw in the towel, but then I remember having the idea in the first place. I remember the inspiration I felt at times when I wasn’t sure. I often do take a mini-break (couple of minutes to a couple of days), and then the ideas come again. The new strategies, the perspective, and the desire to give it another shot.

    Thanks for the article…I’ll try to move to the “better response” phase quicker next time!

    1. Reconnecting with the inspiration we felt and what we are passionate about – why we are building our businesses in the first place – is a great way to shift from that place of failure to that place of inspiration and high energy. Thanks for sharing your experience and your powerful suggestion! Love it!

  5. I really, really, really needed to read this today. After being laid-off recently it was especially resonant, almost as if it was crafted for me. Thank you, An. You really are a gift to women. Many blessings.

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