No matter how much you plan in business (and in life), there are always going to be disappointments and setbacks. Just look at how the events in 2020 have had affected us all. Business in particular can be a gruelling and thankless task, especially when you’re first starting out. Your mindset becomes absolutely key in turning difficult problems into creative solutions.
In the podcast, I reference a point in my telecommunications business when our main supplier failed, and we were about to have our entire network (supporting over 200 customers) turned off. It was an incredibly stressful time, and we didn’t have long to act. Instead of allowing the inevitable to happen, we went to the wholesale source, pitched our solution, and then managed the mammoth task of moving over all our 200 customers onto a new network in 72 hours. Ultimately, it revolutionised our business and made our network a lot more robust as a result, but it was definitely a ‘do or die’ moment for the business.
Failure is a really important part of business success. It teaches you so many more things than success does. In America, entrepreneurial failure is almost a prerequisite in your business journey if you are looking to raise finance for a new venture. If someone fails, and they can come back and do something else, then it shows one of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur: grit.
Removing emotion from the situation when things are going wrong is critical. It will really cloud your judgement and lead you to make bad decisions. If you can look at the situation as objectively as possible, analyse what is going wrong and why, then you will be able to come up with better solutions that will have a more positive impact on your business (and mental health!). And remember, when you’ve identified a possible solution – act boldly!