All our talk about positivity and seizing opportunities in businesses great. But even the best of us have setbacks.Things don’t always go to plan.

Sometimes we lose momentum, and we lose customers. It’s a simple truth. No matter how hard you work or how disciplined you are. Things don’t always go according to plan.

Let’s face it. Sh*t happens.


If you can’t cope with setbacks, you’ll be in no position to confront them, fix problems and move on. Companies that can’t adapt, and can’t cope when bad things happen, go out of business, EVERY day. If you dwell in despair of defeat, your never be able to leverage would be opportunities After all, you’re the owner. You’re the problem solver. You’re charged with the decisions that will make our break your business. You’re the last line of defence when things don’t go according to plan.

Shifts create opportunities
Flexibility will make or break a small business. You must recognise this as a decisive advantage! Plans are important, but they aren’t everything. Understand that shifts, even ones that represent major challenges, are often actually opportunities. They’re just masquerading as limitations.

So what do we do when we find our well-thought-out plans looking more like the last episode of Breaking Bad.

You Could Get Mad
Maybe you feel like throwing something or punching through a door. Mad works—it’s a visceral response that channels frustration. The best part about getting mad is that it gets all that anger out of your system so you can clear some space for cleaning up the mess left by the plans that went awry.

So, go ahead and get mad. But in the process, don’t be a jerk. Your partner, spouse, employees, even the barista at your local coffee shop—they might be handy, but they’re not deserving of your frustration-fuelled wrath. Instead, get the mad out of your system and on to a process that can get you moving in the right direction.

You Could Figure Out What’s Good
Life’s messy. So is business. The odds are, if either were easy, they wouldn’t be called “life” and “business.” They’d be called “beer.” So when things explode, fall flat or otherwise don’t meet your wildly conjured expectations (fellow England fans, I’m talking to you), it’s time for a little post-mortem.

Instead of dwelling on the downside, it’s time to figure out the good part of this whole messy scenario. If insanity means doing the same task repeatedly hoping to get a different result, then isn’t the path to sanity figuring out what worked and what you could do differently? Because something has to change if you want any shot at all at making your plan work. Here are four key questions I use with my FAST TRACK clients:

1. What was the best part of the overall outcome?
2. What surprised you?
3. What would you like to expand upon in the next iteration?
4. Who do you need on your team to make the most of the next attempt at success?

You’ll notice that all these questions have one thing in common: They are positive! A post-mortem isn’t the time or place to beat yourself up and dwell on what didn’t work. Guess what? We already know what didn’t work

Instead, this is the time to figure out what did work and then start building from those successes, even though they might not be the successes you’d envisioned. When you’re finished sifting through the rubble and picking up the pieces worth keeping, the odds are, you’re going to need some help to give your next effort a better set of legs.

You Could Ask for Help
What was missing from your last attempt, the one that left you feeling the way you’re feeling right now? Asking for help is hard, but it’s a critical skill for all of us to not just embrace but practice on a regular basis. We get so caught up in our own ideas and our own visions of success, and the way we feel things ought to be in business that it’s easy to unwittingly become trapped in a lack of perspective.

Asking for help, and an outside set of eyes, can help put the plan that didn’t go according to plan on a better path. The business superstars have people to support them when things go wrong. They have a support network. People who know them, whom they trust and who can get them, metaphorically at least, back on the horse when bad things happen.

Here are a couple of resources that smart business owners can tap into on a regular basis for that much-needed dose of perspective:

Mastermind groups. Do you have a trusted (and small) group of colleagues with whom you can share ideas and challenges on a regular basis? Grab a group of three to four across varying industries, and set a regular monthly meeting time to talk challenges and solutions.
Mentors. Some call them coaches. Others, advisors. Whatever label you want to put on them, mentors can offer perspective on a regular basis as well as hold you accountable for making the adjustments necessary to push you toward a more successful outcome.

So get mad. And when you’re done being mad that this incredibly messy yet remarkably beautiful thing called business didn’t turn out the way you planned, get to work. Better outcomes are on the horizon.

Download My Free Goals Planner

Why Having A Plan Is Essential

  • Setting goals is a great way to fuelling your ambition. By creating a plan and holding yourself accountable, you not only make progress but also fire your inspiration
  • ​So you’ll find you and your business making achievements you never thought possible
  • Without setting goals you’ll find that you will lack focus and direction. Sure, you’ll be busy with the day-to-day but you won’t necessarily be making progress
  • This free report will help you get super clear on your goals

Share This