How To Deal With Setbacks as a Founder – Lessons From A Serial Entrepreneur

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One of the things you’ll quickly discover as a first-time founder is that the road to success is littered with obstacles and challenges that can keep you from attaining your goals.

It’s not the problems themselves that can stunt your business’ growth. Rather, it’s how you react to these problems that determines whether or not you’ll be able to stay on track.

In the very first episode of the Insane Growth podcast, I’ll be discussing nine things you can do to:

  • Prepare yourself for any business-related challenge or roadblock you may face in the future
  • Approach these challenges head on in a productive manner
  • Grow more competent and confident in both your professional and personal life

How do I know these strategies work?

Simple – I’ve used each of them many, many times myself, while growing eight different companies from the ground up (and bringing in over $200,000,000 in revenue along the way).

As I go through each piece of advice, I’ll talk about some of the major setbacks I’ve encountered as a business owner (including losing $1 million of my own money, missing out on a potential 9-figure deal, and unexpectedly losing an employee and friend to Cancer).

And, of course, I’ll explain how I’ve actually used each of these strategies to help weather the storm when things got rough.

9 Ways to Deal With Setbacks as a Founder

Here’s a quick list of all the strategies and tactics I’ll be discussing throughout this episode:

  • Determine the best-case and worst-case scenario for a specific problem. When you truly know what the worst possible outcome actually is, you’ll be better equipped to deal with an issue logistically, psychologically, and emotionally.
  • Take action immediately. No business-related problem will just go away without you doing something to actually fix the issue (in fact, even small problems can quickly snowball if left unchecked). When encountering even the slightest bump in the road, it’s essential that you quickly get to work to keep your company heading in the right direction.
  • Know when to step away. While you’re likely very passionate about your business, it’s essential to keep in mind that you’re a human being first and an entrepreneur second. Yes, growing a successful company will require a lot of your time and energy, but to be successful as a person, you need to make time for the other important people and things in your life, as well.
  • Don’t go it alone. There are many successful entrepreneurs out there (such as myself) who have experienced exactly what you’re experiencing at some point in their careers. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them for some insight or advice – but do so before you actually need it, not right when the problem arises.
  • Ignore your competition. You didn’t get into business to be a copycat. But it can be easy to fall into the trap of doing just that if you stay focused on what everyone is doing in your industry. To truly build a legacy with your business, you need to focus on doing what you know will help your clients get where they want to be – even if everyone around you is doing it differently.
  • Find inspirational and motivational content to devour. Like I just said, most successful entrepreneurs have been in your shoes before. They’ve created blog posts, videos and podcasts (ahem!) focused on helping others overcome these same challenges. When you’re feeling stuck, dig into some of this content to not only learn how to deal with a specific circumstance, but also to keep you motivated to continue pressing forward.
  • Compare your current situation to your past. Hopefully your decision to start a company has positively impacted your life in a variety of ways. Maybe you have more money, or more freedom. Maybe you’re finally doing what you actually want to be doing with your life. Maybe you and your family are just happier in general. When things aren’t going all that smoothly, it’s important to take a step back and look at how far you’ve come.
  • Accept that growth takes time. As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If your goal is to build a company, a brand and a legacy that positively impacts the world in a meaningful way, then you need to accept that it won’t happen overnight. Accepting this can actually be freeing, as it will allow you to operate with a realistic timeline for the years to come.
  • Adopt productive hobbies and habits. As I said earlier, it’s important that you step away from your business every once in a while to avoid burning yourself out. But it’s also important to understand that what you do during your time away will impact your performance as a business owner moving forward. By spending your downtime exercising, reading, or working on a fun little side project, it’ll be much easier to clear your head – making it simpler to hit the ground running when break time is over.

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

  • Medium: A publishing platform I use to share my experiences as an entrepreneur.
  • LinkedIn: A professional social media platform that also allows users to publish their own content (which I use along with Medium).
  • Slack: A communication and collaboration software that I use to talk to employees that work across my various companies.
  • Clarity.fm: A platform dedicated to helping entrepreneurs overcome obstacles in business and in life by connecting them to experienced business owners all over the world.
  • YouTube: The well-known video streaming platform is a treasure trove of content for struggling entrepreneurs looking for motivation and advice.

Subscribe & Review the Insane Growth Podcast

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Insane Growth podcast! If this episode has helped you in your business journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave me an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help me continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help me reach even more amazing entrepreneurs just like you!

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