When Things Go Bad In Business

Recently, I was having coffee with a small business owner who had just experienced his first big failure and letdown in business.  His company had been growing significantly throughout the year, and things were going extremely well.  He was riding the entrepreneurial roller coaster, was on the highest of highs, and he was celebrating his success.

Then, he got kicked in the gut!

He lost his biggest, main account.  This account was one that had been responsible for a good part of his growth and upward trajectory.  He was devastated.  He was in shock.  He was angry. He was fearful. He was down and out.

The reality of being a small business owner is that you will ride the roller coaster.  You will experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  This week’s blog is to help you through the moments when things go bad, don’t go the way you expect, and when your roller coaster cart begins to speed down a steep hill towards negativity, loss, frustration and many other negative emotions.

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. When things go bad, first appreciate the good. So many times, I see entrepreneurs have a bad moment and all they do is focus on that moment.  They forget that they launched a business, experienced success, are supporting their family, and have accomplished so many great things.  This focus can help you through dealing with the negative moment at hand.
  2. Focus on solutions. Whatever the event or experience that transpires, don’t drown yourself in the problem, the should have, would have, could have.  Look at what the issues is at hand and how you can resolve or improve it.
  3. Seek advice. This may be the first time you have experienced this issue, and you may not know how to deal with it.  Reaching out to your peers, and others who have been in these shoes, is important during times like these.
  4. Take ownership and accountability. The issue at hand may very well be your fault.  If so, take accountability and ownership over what happened as you seek a solution.  Many times, taking this accountability is the first step in finding a solution to your issue.
  5. Go exercise. Anytime I have had a bad moment in business, I would find a way to exercise.  Getting the blood flowing has helped me focus on solutions and finding a positive mindset and reenergizing. It also releases endorphins, which will help you with the ability to look at the positive.
  6. Sometimes the bad happens to make room for more good. Many times, the loss or negative event you are experiencing is making room for more good to come your way in business.  Realizing this, and focusing on where to find that next positive opportunity, is key.


Whatever you are experiencing in life, leadership, and business right now, I hope this blog inspires you and gives you a couple of resources for the next time things don’t go as planned.

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