We all have them, the Craptastic Day. You know the ones I’m talking about where you’re alarm clock doesn’t go off, you make yourself a coffee but you have no milk, you end up late for a meeting and pretty much everything that can go wrong does go wrong.
Those days suck, but what separates those of us who are winners from the people who are whiners is how we bounce back.
Today, a friend of mine sent me a message over Messenger and told me that she’d been dealt a pretty serious setback both personally and professionally. This is a seriously motivated lady who I respect and she’s been working very hard lately trying to achieve some lofty goals for herself.
In a situation like she faced, most normal humans would have just folded up like a cheap suitcase and shut down or they would have lashed out causing a more serious problem. When confronted with situations the fight or flight reflex naturally wants us to react as a means of protecting ourselves, but she didn’t do that.
What my friend did was she sat there, soaked in the crazy that was landing on her head and kept her wits about her. She didn’t overreact or do anything rash to make the situation worse.
She simply took it all in, steadied herself and made a plan to go about dealing with the crap that had just befallen her.
Most importantly, she doubled down on herself. When push comes to shove, the one thing in life that you can always rely on is you. I know that sounds cynical and jaded to say the only person you can count on is you, but if you have inner strength, commitment and conviction, then the reality is you’ll always have some level of control over your own destiny.
This not only applies to life but also in business.
I have had more than my fair share of bad things happen to me in my own businesses over the years. I’m not going to be a walking, talking cliche and say something stupid like, “Oh, but I always come back stronger” because that would not only be a lie but absolute, utter BS. There have been times where something’s gone wrong in my businesses where it’s not about recovering and being stronger, but it’s about not clawing your eyes out in total frustration.
Let me put it out there for you, things don’t always work out for the better, but you can’t just quit either when things go south.
Back in 2011, there was an info product that I’d been working on for six months. I’d gotten a bunch of “A” list affiliates lined up to promote it, the filming was going really well and pretty much everything was going to plan. Then about three weeks before my launch, a big, well-connected guru dropped his launch right into my launch window. He’d had something go wrong with his last attempt and pushed it back right into my slot.
Immediately, the ass fell out of my launch. My affiliates started sending apologies because they needed to mail for this heavy hitter, a person who was working with me behind the scenes on the launch vanished off the face of the earth and my credit card processing facility changed their service so they stopped taking US dollars.
It was like the universe decided to punch me in the face and give me a wedgie.
After a few minutes of cursing and self-pity, I rescheduled my launch for a few weeks later, sorted out a Paypal Pro account to take credit cards and started managing the affiliates directly trying to get them back on board. Things got back under control and were starting to get back on track.
Then the launch started and it was pretty dismal. Most of the affiliates who said they’d mail didn’t (that happens a lot, to be honest), my video sales letter inexplicably didn’t convert well with affiliate traffic and I was using Kajabi to host and run everything and for like the only time in their history as a business, they had a horror week staying online.
The launch did about 20% of what I was expecting. It was pretty much a stinker from top to bottom. I’m normally good at owning my own situation, but this was really a case of the universe just sticking it to me.
I licked my wounds, delivered on the training for the customers that bought, paid out my affiliates on time and did what I was supposed to do. Then rather than quitting or feeling dejected, I tried something else. We’d been running our SEO business for a year or so by this point and I decided to do a webinar training series for our customers and as low-cost lead generation tool. This was actually a reasonably different approach in 2011, most people were still doing high ticket stuff and not many people were using lower-priced training as a front end to their services business.
That really worked out well – the webinar series delivered a bunch of new leads who wanted to learn about SEO into our business and as I’d suspected, several of them decided that it was easier to simply buy our services rather than do it themselves. In fact, two of the clients from that course in 2011 have just celebrated FIVE YEARS as recurring SEO clients with us.
I won’t say something trite like, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” because I hate those kinds of sayings. The reality is that when life kicks you in the gonads, it hurts a fair bit, but you can’t lay on the ground and cry like a baby. You need to collect yourself and figure out how to best move forward given the new situation.
As a casual marketer who might be building their business as a side hustle from their kitchen table, these kinds of Craptastic Days hurt so much more. You’re working with limited time and limited resources, so when the rogue wave hits, you’re going to have to struggle harder to stop your boat from capsizing.
But deal with it you must because that’s what you signed up for – nobody said it was going to be easy. You’ve committed yourself to a more difficult path, so suck it up and figure out what your next move is and run with it!