No matter how successful the entrepreneur, most can attest to feelings of disappointment and failure at some point along their journey. For me, I've experienced both (failure and disappointment) as an entrepreneur and let me tell you, disappointment stings. It's easy to get your hopes high, especially when you're dreaming up an innovation that is supposed to take the World by storm and solve everyone's problems. You've given your blood, sweat, tears, you've invested, called in the experts and even dipped into your savings to make that project a success. You calculated your revenue, profit margins, etc. You looked the haters in the eyes, and doubled down, betting on yourself. The stakes are high, you're all in, and you, quite literally can't afford to fail. Only to be let down, disappointed, missed the mark. It's a blow to the ego, to the gut and to the bank account. You're totally disappointed, now what?!
It's easy to get stuck in disappointment. Especially this day and age where the algorithms dictate everything and you're constantly seeing six figure this and that on your timeline. Every time you open your phone you're flooded with perfection. You can't for the life of you understand why you are the one experiencing the dreaded feeling of disappointment. Here's something that the internet won't tell you, disappointment is a very real emotion that every human on the planet earth has experienced to some degree. Whether it be missing a flight, train, getting dumped or business failure, everyone knows what it is like to have a basic (or grand) hope, thwarted.
The higher the stakes, the more devastating disappointment can be. When the stakes are high, disappointment can be catastrophic leading to closures, complete disruption, embarrassment, and the worse, cases of suicide. I know that took a dark turn but I think it is a really important topic. How many times have we heard of that person who took their own life because the market crashed or their business failed. Disappointment can lead us to feel trapped, depressed, hopeless, faithless and worthless.
I want to be fully transparent. I've dedicated my life to building this very business. I have lost count the amount of times I've experienced disappointment. From investing in new marketing strategies to hiring nightmare staff, to completely losing money I can never get back. I've experienced so much disappointment so many people in my shoes would have given up long ago. This last past year was one of the best years for Sip Shop Eat (revenue wise), yet there were some mountains we just didn't conquer, despite doing all the right things. The last quarter almost took me out and made me really consider whether I wanted to continue down this path of never ending disappointment.
There's no explanation why some ideas, projects, businesses, relationships, etc., don't grow into their full potential; while for others it seems like everything is a complete success. I've found that along my journey I am constantly faced with feelings of disappointment. As a result I've learned some ways to fight it so that I overcome those feelings that can really keep you feeling stuck.
Here are the ways I've worked through feelings of disappointment:
Practice the law of detachment. The success or failure of your projects are separate from you. Many entrepreneurs absorb their entrepreneurial ventures as their identity, this can be dangerous and is often the reason for feelings of worthlessness when faced with disappointment.
Accept that some things are beyond your control. Sometimes even when you do EVERYTHANG right, things still just don't work out- despite what your mental and literal timeline is telling you.
Control what you can control. Instead of overthinking, and getting down on yourself take a sober look at what is working and what is not. Let go of what's not working and bank on what is.
Remember your why. One of the most effective methods for not allowing disappointment to get you down is by just remembering that what you're working on is bigger than you. Even more, people are counting on you. Whether it's your soaps that help their dry skin, your curated clothing collection or your program that helps struggling mothers. Someone needs what you're offering and if you stop they won't have that resource anymore.
Manage expectations- I'm a big dreamer. I'm fueled by others' success- often thinking, if it happened for 'them,' it can happen for me. Sometimes I just have to catch myself and remember that actually, everyone's journey is unique. The picture or image that I "like," is not the full story.
Expectations are truly at the root of all disappointment. Managing expectations is a balance of hoping for the best and letting go of the final outcome while also trusting the process. As a huge believer of manifestation, I would never say expect the worse because if that's what you expect, that is certainly what you will experience. You can plan around your worse expectations but don't expect them to happen. Some of the things we spend the most time worrying about never actually happen. Yet sometimes they do, usually it's not that bad and mostly things work out, one way or another.
Disappointment can be humbling. We all need to eat some humble pie from time to time. But don't let humility make you start discounting your value, worth or what you bring to the table. It's okay to retreat, rethink, recover but don't shrink or reduce yourself just because you took an L. Take those Ls and turn them into invaluable lessons that carry you onward, forward and upward.
Take the time to evaluate the pain points and pitfalls and develop strategies for course correction and prevention of repeat failure. If you have to start over and over again one hundred times, by the hundredth you're not starting from scratch, you're starting from experience. You've already conquered the toughest days of your life. The best thing to do, is just keep going, opening your mind to all of the positive possibilities.
Remember that we all face varying levels of disappointment so you are not alone. Small daily actions compounding over time yield staggering results. Never, ever give up on yourself or your dreams.
Wishing you a phenomenal 2023, success, abundance, good news, opportunities and more than anything you could have hoped for.