How to Handle Setbacks in Your Information Business

Q: “I’ve suffered a few setbacks and disappointments in the last year, and seem to be bogged down in them. A business that I began failed and my long-term girlfriend left me for someone else. I want to move past this, but just don’t seem able to bounce back. What I can I do?”

Let’s pretend for a few moments that we are in a seminar, and let me ask for a show of hands:

How many of you have ever been rejected by anyone, for anything, at any time in your life?

How many of you have ever suffered a defeat over something large or small, for any reason, at any time in your life?

How many of you would not raise your hand no matter what I asked? Sorry, just a little seminar humor there.

All of us have suffered rejection and defeat at some point in our lives. Loss of jobs, broken relationships, deaths, disappointments, or just the ups and downs of every day living.

Motivational speaker W. Mitchell has been quoted as saying “It’s not what happens to us that matters, it’s what we do about it that makes the difference.”

With that quote in mind, I’ve noticed that when presented with rejection and/or defeat, most people have one of two reactions. They either let it beat them or they rise above it.

I call these two responses “dropping dead” and “bouncing back.” Let’s take a closer look at each of these two choices.

How to “Drop Dead”

¨ Believe that this event defines you and your life now and forever. In other words, it’s a final judgment of who you are.

¨ Lose perspective. Focus only on what happened to you and nothing else.

¨ Organize your thoughts, feelings, what you talk about, in other words, your whole life, around what has happened. Talk about nothing else. Bore your friends.

¨ Take a “dead roach approach.” Flat on your back with your legs in the air, no power, giving up.

¨ Quit . Give up. Throw in the towel. Or whatever losing metaphor you can find.

¨ Believe in your heart that you have failed. Even worse, define yourself as a failure.

¨ Focus on the past, something you can do nothing about.

¨ Go it alone.

How to “Bounce Back”

¨ Decide to. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “People are about as happy as they decide to be.” I think it’s the same with bouncing back. I realize that sounds so simple, but that’s really where it starts.

¨ Implement the principle of NEXT!!! This one comes from the world of sales. The top sales people in any field have trained themselves to handle rejection by saying “next” to themselves. In this context “next” means to move on into the future and not get stuck in the past, even the recent past.

¨ Implement the principle of Open Doors. God never closes one door without opening several others. We have to look for them, however.

¨ Focus on the present and future, two things you can do something about. The best way to predict the future is to create it as close as you can to the way you would like it to be.

¨ Install a new belief that says I can only fail if I quit or if I don’t learn something from the experience. In this way you have to try really hard to fail, sort of like failing gym class.

¨ Get the support you need.

¨ Make this two crucial distinctions:

· Make a place for what has happened in your life. It may stink, not be fair, and you may hate it. But it did happen, and denying it will only come back to bite you later on.

· Put it in it’s place. Which is behind you, in the past. Think of the event like a chapter in a book that you do not have to read again and again.

¨ Become a bouncer!. A bouncer is someone who has taken a huge leap past just merely surviving. Some folks consider it a compliment to be called a survivor. Spare me. Let’s bounce back and live our best life!

About The Author

Jeff Herring

Discover 5 simple steps for 6 figure success online with content marketing.


  • Anita Bruton

    Reply Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for this great article! I too am going through some potential setbacks at the moment.

    My 8 week old grand daughter came to live with us two weeks ago, and yesterday her brother, 17 months old joined us. My husband works second shift and is gone from 3 PM to 4:30 AM seven days a week.

    It’s creating havoc on both my health and my business and I’m trying really hard right now to stay focused as much as I can.

    I suffered a LOT of setbacks over the past year, and only in November did things start to improve. The improvement was due to my change in attitude and belief in the Law of Attraction.

    Now this. I’m trying very hard to stay positive and Im definitely a bouncer! I’ll bounce back from this too, one way or another.

    I just have to figure out how!

    Anita Bruton

  • Eren

    Reply Reply

    Hey Jeff,
    It’s Eren- the mom to 3 boyz in Brazil- remember me?
    This article of your hit the right spot.
    the past 6 moths have been the worst months of my entire life.I have lost 7 aunts and uncles- they all died for one reason or another and i also lost my grandfather. All of this happened while having to remove cists in my uterus, moving with 3 kids, and being persecuted by my inlaws, everyone in my family getting chicken pox, and the list could go on and on.
    I have always been the bounce back kind of person but when an avalanche of stuff falls at once it’s so hard to bounce back.It’s like the avalnache killed the spark. But I know that the only way to be happy in life despite all the really bad stuff that happens is tryiong to bounce back in one way or another.
    Thanks for writing this and reminding me:-)

  • Judy H. Wright

    Reply Reply

    Hello from beautiful Montana:

    Oh Jeff, I do love your posts. Probably because our minds run along similar paths.

    I am writing a new eBook called “Raise an R Rated Child-Responsible, Respectful and Resiliant.” it should be out soon, so watch for it.

    Sometimes when life kicks us so hard, we need to just stay on the floor for a few minutes and regroup. I usually give myself a time limit to wallow in self pity and feel like the world is full of dirty rotten scoundrels and woe is me. Then, when the timer goes off it is over!

    People who are grieving may need to set aside a time every day to be really sad and down. In a few months, you won’t need that time or somedays you will forget it.

    Connie Ragan Green, who is one of your friends and mine, teaches so well not because of her successes but because of her failures. She is able to motivate because she hit the wall and bounced back.

    Keep up the good work and have fun at the Seminar in Atlanta. Come back and teach us lots.

    Judy H. Wright
    aka Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer

    and for a free eBook please go to:

  • As is life!

    Have gone from poor to poorest recently and many times in the past.

    mMy response is that “no one ever told me life would be easy.” If they had, thry’d be lying.

    Yes, we have seasons of change for unknown reasons. Storms, viruses, wars, loss of people & things…but what we do know is life is subject to change.

    So, that means it may get as much better as it does worse. Hum….

    So if the glass is 1/2 full expect the worst and if things turn out better; then great! If things get worse; then you expected that anyway. Right?

    I’ve asked and it hasn’t been given. Is that because I don’t beleive; I doubt it. Doesn’t have much to do with luck either. Life just happpens. Plan as you may, some things are just subject to change and there’s not a thing wrong with us for having the poorest of luck. We’re just not the chosen few.

    We live because we are here and do what we must to survive and live as well as possible without harming anyone in our path.

    But there are still accidents of goood or bad fortune.
    Dwelling on whatever gets in your way only deepens the furrow like the lines on your face when one frowns. Do this often enough and there are wrinkles; yet you get wrinkles from a smile as well.

    All I know is I receive great benefit from what you share with your world. So thank you for bringing the information you share to this part of my world.

    Lynda Nurenberg, [website coming soon]
    Virtual Assistant & Audio Editing Specialist
    Teleclass Recording- 1ShoppingCart System Specialist.

  • Felicia Slattery

    Reply Reply

    Hi Jeff-
    I JUST taught a class on this exact topic last night. I’ve seen so many home-based business owners try everything the experts tell them to do and still they’re not seeing the success they want so much. I’m going to forward a link to this post to the dozens of people who were in that class so they can see your thoughts, too.

    One of the lessons I learned to help me become successful is similar to the “Next” mentality. It’s perseverance. How many people do you know who wrote 1-2 articles and decided article marketing doesn’t work? Or gave one free teleseminar once where no one bought the “up sell” from the class and decided free telesmeinars don’t work? Or gave one speech, had no one sign up for their offer, and decided speeches are a waste of time?

    If there are multiple people who are successful using the same techniques, you know they work. It’s sticking with it and learning to use the skill properly that’s the key.

    Thanks for posting this one!

    Felicia Slattery
    Communication Consultant and Public Speaking Coach

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