The best thing to do when a plan fails is to recognize it. Fail fast. Fail well. Make adjustments and move on with a newly adapted plan for what the environment is showing you.
You can't know what you know until you know it. That is the most frustrating part about the success journey. You can't know if something is right for you if you don't know anything about it and never try it. So there is inherent risk in the process. You can put a lot into something and it doesn't pay off. Sometimes it's because the task at hand is not compatible with your personality or previous obligations like being a caregiver to someone at home. Sometimes it's because of market environments that present themselves at the time that are out of your control. And sometimes it is because your lack of information about a project caused you to not fully understand what was needed to complete it. Perhaps it was something that put success in that project out of reach for you. These are all very real things that happen in life while trying to find a path to success.
Financial disaster can be a hard thing to get up from. It's overwhelming. Everything costs money and not many are in the mood to hear about why you don't have it no matter how noble the cause. It is a tough place to find yourself in. Where to go now? How to trust yourself to be able to do what is necessary? How to mentally not crumble under the pressure? How to not drown in stories to tell yourself about luck and other ways to put the ability to make things better outside of your ability or control? It can be very challenging. Especially in a world where so many are struggling or overwhelmed in their own ways and don't seem to have the capacity to take on someone else's struggle as well.
The best way to fail is to fail fast. Learn what didn't work and what you became better at during that particular time or project. Find an expert if you can to offer smart, fact and experience based advice. Stay away from those who would enable you too much or punish you too much for the mistake. You don't want someone telling you it's not your fault and that everything is great because that is not true and it will keep you from doing the work that you need to do to correct course and not find yourself in the same situation in the future. On the other hand, you don't need someone making you feel more horrible than you already do with nowhere to place that energy. I got some great wisdom from a member of my investor group, Luke, who said "The market has already punished you, you don't need to punish yourself. Learn the difference between discipline and punishment." Discipline is focusing your behavior in a direction of success. It may mean picking yourself up and rewarding yourself after a mistake to give you the positive outlook and energy to make corrections instead of berating yourself, denying yourself, and weakening yourself further. Find strength, make corrections, find the joy in the moment, and move forward.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. I think this may be one of the most difficult things. In order to ask for help, you have to admit you have gone as far as you can go by yourself. You have to admit that it did not work out. You have to admit to yourself in that moment that you can't do it, at least not with the current conditions in reality and you have to let others in to see your mess so that you can get help cleaning it up. That can take some courage. Facing fears of rejection and embarrassment that things got this far out of hand. I for one wanted to believe I could force success to happen, I could fix anything with time on my own. But that is not always the case. You need others with more knowledge, experience, and resources than one person has alone. And stepping out to ask for help can be very intimidating. But without further knowledge and resources, a person will be perpetually stuck. It's best to stay stuck for the shortest period of time. To go a new way it's likely help is needed.
Sure you may need some time to step back heal and recuperate from a long struggle. You may take some time to be gentle and care for yourself to build back up for another go at it. Rest, regroup, but don't stop taking action. You have to continue to go for it, to do something, even if it isn't perfect and even if it leads to a different way of failing. The sooner you move through the process the sooner you get to something that does work for you. It's the only way really. So many times we want to just pick the perfect way to do things the first time and that would be beautiful. But very few get to success that way. It's not important how you get there. Only that you keep trying things and working with focus towards the goal until you do.
Sophia is a #momtrepreneur in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Sophia Tesch is a graduate of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. Sophia is a community advocate. She lives in San Tan Valley, Arizona with her husband and children.