How to Bounce Back from Business Setbacks Fast: 5 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Immediately After a Setback

How to Bounce Back from Business Setbacks Fast: 5 Questions You Must Ask Yourself Immediately After a Setback

A sudden loss of a major customer, a delayed shipment, an unexpected departure of your superstar employee, an injury/accident, a failed launch, a deal falling apart in the last minute, family emergencies… Operating a business comes with many unexpected challenges. Worse yet, multiple setbacks can come at us all at once.

When setbacks like these happen to you, they can take you right out of your element. This is particularly true when you are laser-focused on achieving your goal, leaving no room for doubts.

 

So, how do we bounce back from setbacks fast?

 

On a personal note, while writing this post, I experienced a setback. 

Only a few days from my meetup live event in NYC, I had no choice but to put it on hold due to an unexpected complication with the venue, where the event was supposed to be held.

This has never happened during my 2 years of running live events.  

If you are experienced in running events big or small, you know the production process starts way before the actual event.  You may also know that securing a venue is the biggest hurdle for anyone who wants to host a live business event. 

Needless to say, it was a blow at first.  To make the matter worse, in just one-weeks’ time surrounding this setback, I have gone through a massive water leak in my apartment, resulting in a section of the ceiling falling down and a family member getting injured.  Luckily, none of these were life threatening. 

Nonetheless, they did not help me get through a setback any easier.

This experience prompted me to write this post on how you can handle business setbacks better and faster.

At this point in my career, I can safely say that I'm a pro at dealing with setbacks because I've had so many in my life - both business and personal.  As I faced numerous setbacks, I have perfected a way to handle them better without forcing myself to believe everything is OK.

This 1 Simple Exercise will Help You Stay in Alignment with Your Business Emotionally & Strategically

This 1 Simple Exercise will Help You Stay in Alignment with Your Business Emotionally & Strategically

Entrepreneurship comes with a full of surprises at all times.

If you are an aspiring business operator or an entrepreneur, you can probably relate to this statement. 

Right?

Just by looking at this year alone for my business, there were a few twists and turns I did not anticipate.  After all said and done, they were all good.  Yet these unexpected happenings can take you off the rail rather quickly ending up losing sight of what truly matters the most in your business.

When something good and unexpected happens, you do want to keep the momentum going to get the max out of what life throws at you.  Once that settles down, you might feel a little "off" about your business overall, and that's normal.  I have been there.  Many times.

In my previous post, I have covered the importance of simplifying your business in order to scale.  While you experience highs and lows through your business, being skillful at working continuously on simplifying your business depends on how much you feel aligned with your business emotionally and strategically.

In case you are wondering, emotional alignment and strategic alignment - both need to be met.  You can't just pick & choose if you want to achieve the best outcome possible for your business.

Here, I'm going to share a fun & simple exercise to achieve both at the same time.

 

Want to Scale Your Service Business Fast? Find Out Whether Your Business is “Scale-Ready” Right Now.

Want to Scale Your Service Business Fast?  Find Out Whether Your Business is “Scale-Ready” Right Now.

Do you know how to tell whether a Ramen joint is a good one? 

You test the place by ordering the simplest version with just broth, noodles and a few garnishes. No meat, no shellfish, no other exotic or expensive ingredients. 

The same goes for discovering the best Burger, Arepa, Dumplings, Pizza, Curry, etc.

Why?

The reason is: Simple dishes have nowhere to hide. They'd better be darn good with very limited ingredients.

With a fewer ingredients, it comes down to how a creator of that dish crafts ingredients by adding just enough skill to make it shine.

This is, by far, the hardest thing to do.

Instead of hiding behind bells and whistles, a creator must resist the urge to show off for the sake of his ego and let his dish do the magic.

 

Adding is easy. Subtracting is hard.

 

Not only is it hard to strip a dish down to bare minimum, but it's also hard NOT to feel inadequate.  Since it is so simple, the dish will be judged by the level of confidence, knowledge, and restraint that a creator possesses.

I know what you are about to ask.

“How is creating a simplest dish even relevant to scaling a business?”

The simple strategic concept below can help you create new milestones to scale your business. Also, you will find whether your business is “scale-ready” by answering 5 statements.

So, read on.  

 

How to Create Stunning Branded Content that Sparks Engagement Using Your Smartphone

How to Create Stunning Branded Content that Sparks Engagement Using Your Smartphone

Don’t let the term, “Branded Content,” intimidate you.  This just means content that reflects either your personal brand or what your business offers, whether that is service or product.  As you might have figured out, branded content, if done well, can be deployed as a highly effective tool for your lead generation.

For my August meetup event, I invited back branding & lifestyle photographer, John DeMato from DeMato Productions, to tackle two commonly known obstacles associated with the content creation process for businesses.

  1. How to stay consistent: While we all know consistency is key when it comes to content creation, it can be challenging for business owners whose main job is to run their businesses,

  2. How to keep your content interesting & engaging: Often, when we focus on generating interesting & engaging content, we face “performance anxiety.”  As a result, we ended up posting something sub-par or not posting at all.


John appeared at my November event last year entitled, Make Your Mark: A Winning Strategy that Translates Your Brand.  This fireside chat was well received among my members, so it was a no-brainer for me to bring him back on the subject of content creation for entrepreneurs.

Because I wanted this event to focus more on “how-tos,” John put together a value-packed masterclass. 

Recovering Workaholic’s Staycation Gone Wrong:  My Story & What You Can Learn from It.

Recovering Workaholic’s Staycation Gone Wrong:  My Story & What You Can Learn from It.

There were many things my father taught me back in a day.  One lesson that stuck with me was, “When (notice: not ‘if’) you fall, grab something, anything, on your way up.”

Recently, I attempted to take some time off in a lazy way by making it a ‘staycation.’

The description of “staycation gone wrong” may be a little exaggerated.  In hindsight, it was not as terrible as it seemed at the time, but the experience was not great.  This was one of those moments where my father’s advice seemed quite fitting.

In this post, you will see 3 simple sections: Before, during, and after.

If you consider yourself a “recovering workaholic entrepreneur,” this post can help you plan your time-off effectively, mainly by not doing the things I have done.  So, read on!

The Back Story

Despite my skillful mindset practice involving meditation, continuous education, and other energy preserving strategies, I was burned out.

The reason was obvious.  I had not taken a vacation since late 2015.

Unfortunately, this is pretty normal for entrepreneurs like myself.

Because we can't rely on paid vacations or time-off like regular employees, we end up burning out.  The most challenging part of this predicament is giving ourselves permission to take time off. Sounds simple, but it’s a hurdle that is extremely hard for some (myself included) to jump over.

This process could be made easier if we could just ask someone else to give us an OK.  In some cases, family intervention plays a role in this type of situation (if you are lucky).

Behind the Scenes 2: Create Your Signature Workshop from Scratch (Updates & 3 Tips for Digesting Feedback Effectively)

Behind the Scenes 2: Create Your Signature Workshop from Scratch (Updates & 3 Tips for Digesting Feedback Effectively)

It has been more than 6 months since I posted my first update on how I created my signature workshop in 3.5 weeks while I run my regular business.  In the post, I also shared what worked and what didn’t.

If you haven’t checked it out, you might want to do that first so that you get the backstory before diving into this one.

My original intention was to share my process of creating one then testing it so that you would be inspired to work on yours.  Since then, a lot has happened.  So, it is time to invite you back to this topic and see how it has evolved.

In this post, you are going to learn 2 things:

1.     Updates on how this effort of perfecting a workshop took an unexpected turn & what I took away from the experience.

2.     Tips on what to do once you collect feedback from participants.

By the way, you would appreciate knowing this fact, that I did not make this a priority for my business during the first half of this year.  What I am about to share did not come from actively promoting or developing the original workshop. 

Things just started to happen without me doing much to it.

Now, please don’t take this the wrong way.  I am not in anyway suggesting you to lock up your workshop and throw away the key and, expecting an offer or an invitation will magically appear without you lifting a finger.  Although I wasn’t actively working on it, it has always been on the back of my mind. 

This is key so that once you spot an opportunity, you can pull it out and look at it again from another perspective.  We will go deep into how to execute this in this post.

How to Niche Down Your Services When Your Business Has So Much to Offer Pt. 2: The Fine Art Painting Method

How to Niche Down Your Services When Your Business Has So Much to Offer Pt. 2: The Fine Art Painting Method

This is the part 2 of the 3-part series covering the topic of “How to Niche Down When You Have So Much to Offer.” 

Just to recap, part 1 covered the “what” and “why” of niching your services down like fine dining restaurant menus. (embed the link.)

I purposely used the fine dining model as an example to convey my point of how a refined, high ticket item will allow you to create a highly profitable service business without burning yourself out while executing.

In part 2, it is going to be all about “how” to explore your niche that works.  

With all the noise over on the internet, many are dismissing the fact that there are many, many highly profitable businesses that you would never hear or read about. 

Not only are they so profitable that they don’t need to conduct any sales, marketing and advertising campaigns, they are content with the kind of freedom they have with their lives without losing their love for their work.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, let me tell you about my acupuncture doctor as a real-life example.  He is a multi-millionaire that you will never hear about (unless I tell you, of course.)

No fancy office. 

No fancy sign outside.  You’ll walk right pass it.

Occasional ads on one local super niche newspaper. 

That is about it.

He’s been running his business all by himself (no staff) at the same location for nearly 20 years.

You must be wondering, “What does he do that is so different from any other acupuncturists that is so profitable?”

DIY PR: Proven Strategies to be Recognized as an Expert in Your Industry

DIY PR: Proven Strategies to be Recognized as an Expert in Your Industry

“Why Should We Hire You?”

You thought you would never have to hear this again once you left your 9 to 5 life. But, there you are as a business owner, you find yourself having to answer this question to your prospects. Déjà vu.  Somehow this never seems to go away.

There are a few ways to handle this age-old question.  One of them is to increase your visibility to be viewed as an expert in your field. 

It provides a sense of assurance to prospective customers to feel confident in your ability to solve a problem they have.  On the same token, it takes care of a large part of their due diligence process.  You have been properly vetted through a channel, in this case ‘media,’ which allows them to put the guard down.

Sounds like a daunting task.  It also sparks a lot of questions.

“Where do I even start?”
“How do I know I am qualified? I don’t have PhD or anything.”
“Would this take a long time?”
“What makes me different from anyone else?”
“What are the secrets to increase the chance of my ideas being picked?”

I was pleased when Tara Rae Bradford from The Potentialista agreed to be the guest speaker at my June event.

Bootstrap Trap: The Hidden Cost of Being Thrifty that will Keep You Away from the Place of Growth

Bootstrap Trap: The Hidden Cost of Being Thrifty that will Keep You Away from the Place of Growth

My parents happen to be a bunch of mad thrifty & handy people. They don't suck at anything. They sure know how to "get by" with a limited amount of resources.

Because of it, it's been engraved in my brain so much so that, if I left myself to my own device, I don't have a moment where I don't say to myself, "How do I get that with the best deal I can possibly find without wasting time? Ah heck, I'll just do it myself."

I had to 'unlearn' this mentality entirely when I left my corporate life. By the way, the process of 'unlearning' is an ongoing process; it never ends.

Here's the ultimate question for you that I had to ask myself:

“Do you want to just... ‘get by’?”

Likable vs. Relatable: Why Your Innate Desire to be Liked is Killing Your Business (and What to Do about It.)

Likable vs. Relatable: Why Your Innate Desire to be Liked is Killing Your Business (and What to Do about It.)

“The Courage to be Disliked” has been a Japanese’s bestselling self-help book for the past few years.

It is a big deal as this probably is the last group of people on earth voicing their desire to be "different" and to be totally OK about it. It is a long time coming.

Born and raised in Japan, I have the first-hand experience in failing miserably at being a “girl next door.”  I have been (and still am) more like Wednesday (Christina Ricci) from The Addams Family or Lydia (Winona Ryder) from Beatlejuice. Not the most approachable in the eyes of a well-behaved collective. 

Clients from Hell: 51 Ideas You Can Implement When Your Top Paying Clients are Ruining Your Life

Clients from Hell: 51 Ideas You Can Implement When Your Top Paying Clients are Ruining Your Life

You must have a horror story or two that involves "clients from hell." This may be a no-brainer, but I was surprised to find a website dedicated to sharing those horror stories. (https://clientsfromhell.net/) It seems they even have a podcast about it.

On the flip side, if you haven't had any experience dealing with clients from hell in your service business, you are leaving money on the table. 

“What?!,” you might ask.  You heard it right the first time. You are losing money.

Recap: Spring Clean Your Business – Master How to Declutter, Streamline & Protect Your Business Like A Pro

Recap:  Spring Clean Your Business – Master How to Declutter, Streamline & Protect Your Business Like A Pro

I get it. This is not the sexiest topic you want to consume as a business owner. 

It's not about making millions of dollars or getting 10,000 additional subscribers on your website in one month or running a successful launch and make 6 figures out of it.

On the contrary, the April live event was all about getting your (business) house in order.  

But if you are like me trying to live somewhat seasonally, I bet you will find this post helpful.  When you start spotting subtle signs of spring, overall – personally & professionally – you are in the mood to hit the “refresh” button.  So why not push the refresh button on your business, too?

How to Niche Down Your Services When Your Business Has So Much to Offer Pt. 1: The Fine Dining Menu Strategy

How to Niche Down Your Services When Your Business Has So Much to Offer Pt. 1: The Fine Dining Menu Strategy

Who says you can’t learn anything by just watching Netflix?  You can.  If you pay attention, that is.


The Netflix series, Chef's Table, is a secret obsession of mine.

The show is about the stories of highly regarded fine dining chefs who take you through their journey by candidly sharing their anguish, failures, creative process, adversity, breakthroughs, desire, resistance, recognition, and perfecting their craft as a chef as well as a business owner by finding their own voices through food.

No Budget? No Problem: The Magic Blueprint to Overcome "No Budget" Objections with Confidence

No Budget? No Problem: The Magic Blueprint to Overcome "No Budget" Objections with Confidence

This topic popped up when I was leading a strategy session with a video production duo the other day. 

They were feeling puzzled and slightly defeated.  I empathized as I knew these guys have been gun-ho about going after new leads to create more opportunities for their business.

Good news is, this is something you can fix. Here, I'm going to show you how to tackle “no budget” objections.  In a way, THIS IS THE GREATEST INDICATOR that you need to revisit your outreach strategy. You are lucky to face this problem (that you can totally fix.) So, read on.

The One Task These Leading Entrepreneurs Will Not Delegate or Automate: A Quick Guide to Deciding Which Tasks NOT to Delegate or Automate (and What You Can Do Instead to Leverage Your Time.)

The One Task These Leading Entrepreneurs Will Not Delegate or Automate: A Quick Guide to Deciding Which Tasks NOT to Delegate or Automate (and What You Can Do Instead to Leverage Your Time.)

"Delegation & automation" is a hot topic among business owners who are on the hunt to find ways to leverage their resources to grow their businesses without killing themselves in the process. 

The challenge is to do this process right.  Why do I know it's a challenge?  I know this because I get, frankly, underwhelming emails on daily basis as a result of doing this process all wrong.

Getting it wrong is one thing but losing opportunities by doing something else is another matter.  Might as well, don't do anything, right?

Recap: “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business” – The Secrets to Building a Million-Dollar, One-Person Business Revealed!

Recap: “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business” – The Secrets to Building a Million-Dollar, One-Person Business Revealed!

There's a new breed of entrepreneurs who are ruthlessly focused on delighting their customers while pursuing their ultimate goal of having freedom and generating 7 figure gross annual revenues without being tied down to managing full-time employees.

 

How do they do it? 

What are their secrets?

What's the catch?

 

How to Show Up Like a True Entrepreneur: Working ON (Not IN) Your Business Made Easy with 5 Growth Drivers

How to Show Up Like a True Entrepreneur: Working ON (Not IN) Your Business Made Easy with 5 Growth Drivers

You, as an entrepreneur, recognize the importance of working ON your business and not IN it.  But, how often do you end up pushing this vital task aside because of your day-to-day (a.k.a. putting-out-fires) hands-on tasks?

“Too often” would be the most common answer to this question.

Let’s face it: We all tend to blame on getting caught up on imminent but unimportant tasks (in the big scheme of things) for not keeping up with our big vision sessions that can act as a leverage to grow your business exponentially. The truth is, that is not the real hold-up. 

What’s standing in our way is not having a robust and sustainable system that we can stick with.

Days of No Wins: How to Defy Your Emotional Gravity and Stay Productive.

[Fact] Every entrepreneur experiences "Days of No Wins" on a regular basis. In this post, I will share my 3 tips for making those days meaningful and reveal the reason why I don't look for small wins.
 

Seeds have been planted.  This is the point of no return.   Leading up to that point, you have mapped out your strategy, your intention was clear, you poured yourself into it, and you went for it. All in.

Now what?

Behind the Scenes: From Transactional to Transformational Workshop Creation

Behind the Scenes:  From Transactional to Transformational Workshop Creation

Do you have a signature workshop that showcases your expertise? 

If not, I strongly encourage you to create one because what sets a live workshop apart from other marketing activities such as Facebook Live, and short videos that are embedded in your site talking about your offers is that people get to see you in action.  It serves as a good sample of what their experience might be to work with you.

I have met too many agency owners and service business owners who have never considered this as part of their biz dev effort or their sales funnel.  That is truly a shame.  

Think about this for a second by putting yourself in your prospects’ shoe:

How to avoid FOMO by Creating Bold Themes that Ground You

How to avoid FOMO by Creating Bold Themes that Ground You

My biggest take away this year was how effectively creating clear themes helped me to stay on the right path. 

It had a tremendous impact as I managed to avoid chaos and FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) often triggered by hot new trends and crazy sounding success stories from the online world.

In our head, we all know that we should not get side-tracked by the noise coming from social media posts and relentless ads full of ridiculous success stories. But, let's face it; it is so hard not to get sucked down the rabbit hole. It's because those are designed to tap into your emotions.