21 Dec How Do You Bounce Back From The Abyss After A Failed Product Launch?
It can sometimes feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders when you’re running a business. These are some of the emotional challenges you may face and how you can deal with them.
What do you do when it all starts to go wrong?
It’s a question that almost every business owner has to confront at some point. There will be plenty of challenges along the way.
I’ve found that many business owners underestimate the emotional impact that these challenges can have on them. That’s dangerous because you need to stay strong mentally in order to be creative and succeed.
It can be enough to make you want to wind up your business.
I’ve worked with clients who’ve almost crumbled under such emotional burdens.
Laura was one such client. At one point, she found herself staring into the abyss. Her business was struggling and it was taking its toll.
These are the emotional issues that she faced and how she dealt with them.
You can plough hours into improving yourself and your business. In Laura’s case, she’d worked hard to overcome her control freak tendencies so she could improve professionally.
She’d put the hours in but she didn’t see the results that she wanted.
That was heartbreaking for her and she felt disappointed and deflated. Her motivation levels dipped because she felt like she’d done everything right and gotten no reward.
Her business was losing tens of thousands of dollars every month. And she couldn’t help but start to doubt her own abilities.
Was she just throwing good money after bad?
She’d tried several different business models that didn’t work out. Laura couldn’t figure out if there was a process problem or if it was just an issue with seasonality.
Whatever it was, the business was on the edge.
Emotionally, she felt like she was just going around in circles. That pulled her focus even further away from the business.
She was on the verge of giving it all up. If she couldn’t make the impact that she wanted to make, what was the point?
The Emotional Issues
The crux of the issue lay at what Laura viewed as a failed launch. She and her team poured all of their efforts into creating an amazing webinar. Unfortunately, it didn’t reach the number of people that she’d hoped it would reach.
That led to her experiencing a whirlwind of different emotions.
Anger and resentment rose to the top of the list fairly quickly. Laura found herself blaming other people in her team for what she perceived as the launch’s failure.
But that was a short-lived thing. She soon realised that she was the creator of her own journey and that she couldn’t blame someone else for it. Ultimately, she’d made the decisions that led her down this path. She couldn’t put the burden for all of that on somebody else’s shoulders.
However, that realisation only gave rise to even more conflicting emotions.
Upon accepting that she is her own journey’s creator, she began developing feelings of inadequacy. Laura felt as though the failure to live up to your own potential is one of life’s greatest sins.
She felt that she’d failed to reach hers, which led to her feeling like a failure.
She described it as the feeling of being incomplete. Laura believes that, with her expertise, she could help hundreds of people at a time. When her webinars only attract 10 or 20 people, she struggles with feelings of inadequacy.
She’s not helping as many people as she’d like to, which makes her feel incomplete.
On the flipside, she feels at her most complete when she receives personal interactions from the people she helps. The gratitude that her clients give her often leads to her crying tears of joy.
It’s a classic story of the pendulum of emotions that you may experience while running a business.
On one hand, Laura enjoys massive highs whenever she discovers that she’s made a difference in someone’s life. On the other, she plunges into deep lows whenever her work leaves her feeling incomplete.
It’s this constant oscillation that lies at the heart of her problems. At no point does Laura ever feel like she’s in a flow state. There’s a tension, often of her own making, that surrounds her business. As that tension increases, her focus narrows and her energy goes into that focus. Once the tension disappears, that focus follows suit.
Ironically, it’s during the tensest moments that she feels most complete. The feelings of incompleteness often come once she resolves the tension and no longer has a solid project to work on.
Laura and I worked through a process to enable her to step outside the oscillating structure that she was working from and step into her creative genius. From this new perspective, Laura was able to design a new product, package it and market it to her audience which was more aligned with her purpose, had a greater ROI and was more substantially more rewarding and profitable.
Here are a few of the lessons that you may be able to take from this story.
Lesson #1 – You’re the Creator of Your Own Journey
At so many points in her story, Laura looks outside of herself.
When the launch didn’t go as she planned, she grew angry at someone else.
Her feelings of completeness, or otherwise, come from others too. She can only feel complete if she’s helping someone. When she’s not reaching the audience that she wants to reach, she feels incomplete.
What Laura struggles to realise is that she is the creator of her own journey. Seeking these external validations and escapes may mean that she loses sight of that fact.
Your journey is what you define it to be. In Laura’s case, her pendulum of emotions comes from defining her journey based on external influences.
You have to recognise that you’re the creator of every situation you find yourself in. Once you come to that realisation, you may be able to build a more fulfilling and successful business. It’s a powerful premise to work with and taking responsibility for everything that shows up is very empowering. How can you expect to have the power to create one thing if you don’t take responsibility for creating another thing?
The answer doesn’t lie outside of you.
Lesson #2 – Know Who You Are
This is one of those things that sounds so much easier than it really is.
But if you ask 1,000 people on the street to tell you who they are, you’re not going to get an insightful response.
Who you are has nothing to do with your name or what you do for a living. It’s nothing to do with your relationships, where you live, or your gender.
Who you are is what you want to achieve in life. It’s the higher purpose that you create for yourself.
That’s something that Laura struggled with. That’s why she defined who she is through external factors.
I want you to think about elite Olympic athletes.
Do they just end up on the podium holding a medal?
Of course not. They work hard and they train, but so does every other athlete. What separates the exceptional from the merely excellent is that the former understand that it’s all about intention.
Your intention is your belief and it’s that belief that defines who you are.
If you don’t have that intention or belief, you may never feel fulfilled. That was Laura’s issue. She focused so much on wanting to transform everyone that she felt incomplete when it didn’t happen.
She looked at the numbers instead of understanding her higher purpose. Whether she transformed one person or 500 doesn’t matter. As long as she shows up at her highest level, she’s in control of her journey and knows who she is.
The Final Word
Emotion is such a key aspect of running a business. It affects every decision you make, which means it’s almost impossible to feel fulfilled when you’re in emotional turmoil.
In Laura’s case, allowing external forces to define who she is and her journey created that emotional turmoil. The pendulum of emotions that came from this almost brought her to the abyss.
But she pulled herself back.
You can too, with a little bit of help.
I just need one hour of your time to help you to understand more about the journey that you’re on.
During the 1 Hour Business Review Session, my aim will be to help you see hidden opportunities in your business. During the session we can discuss any aspect of your business in which you would like support, such as:
- Growth Strategies
- Sales and Distribution
- Pricing and Packaging
- Merger/Sale, Capital Raising, IPO
After 35+ years working with small and large businesses, buying, selling and growing them across a range of sectors, I can work with you on any level or area.
And it all starts with a no-obligation 1 Hour Business Review Session.