How to Deal With Failure or Things Not Working Out
Welcome to The Determined Mom Show, and today we will be talking about how to deal with failure or things not working out with Stephanie McLarty. She is a business coach, and she is also the CEO and founder of Re Efficient.
I’m so excited to talk about this topic because we are all dealing with failure. 2020 as a year has been a year of complete failure for pretty much everyone. Like I don’t know anyone that has not failed in some area of their life in 2020.
It’s been a year of unexpected change and dealing with things not working out. When we first started planning in January, I think everyone was super excited in January, like 2020. I love the name of it like. It just sounds like such alike. Great year for everyone to like excel and meet their goals.
And if I could go back to the post from 20 January, we’d probably all be laughing because it turned out so differently than we expected. But with every challenge, there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow. And sometimes that means changing, but I’m sure we’ll talk about that today.
How You Get Started in Your Businesses and Working From Home and All of Those Things?
I wanted to travel and see the world when I finished my undergrad degree. So I ended up in Thailand for six months with an international organization. Then I went to India for a year and started my master’s in Europe. And because I was broke from having traveled so much and worked, but I just made enough to live, I decided to come home and work between semesters. And the job that I got was at a major telecommunications company on an asset recovery project.
I needed to find out what asset recovery was. But essentially, I drove around a company van wearing steel-toed boots, went out to the old network sites, physically pulled out the old equipment, and figured out what to do with it. And I could see that even though it wasn’t their priority as a company, other smaller companies wanted this equipment.
So I did go back to school and finish, but I started consulting and then launched Re Efficient as a technology-based solution to help companies match who has what and who needs what and keep this product in use. So I’ve done that for ten years, and everything changed as it always did when I became a mom.
As it always does. And if anything didn’t change, it was. I loved being an entrepreneur; being an entrepreneur gave me control of my time. I didn’t have a mat leave, but I had a more integrated approach where I sometimes took my daughter to work. I worked from home. I created a schedule that worked for my family and me.
And that still met the business needs. And I also saw that I had so many friends that dreaded returning to their old jobs once they had a family. And so they would turn to me and ask me questions about how to start a business. What do I do? And I realized over time that this is a common problem. So I put together Wealth of Family, which is a resource in a community for moms to start a business they love that fits with their life, and they don’t have to do it on their own.
That’s awesome. I love that you took your story and helped what you’ve learned and helped other moms. That’s amazing. Yeah. And for a long time, I was wondering; I knew I would do something else; I just wasn’t sure what. And then this became a common theme in my life.
And then the pandemic hit, and that has changed everything too. So, even more moms and families are looking for; what I do now? What’s thriving now? How do I get beyond this? I think in a couple of years, we’re going to see such a change in our ecosystem o of work and schooling and, I mean, just, it’s going to be so different than it is.
At the beginning of 2020, I agree. We are going forward to the way things were. As they say, there will be a new normal out of this. And we can take the principles that work for us and allow us to work better and have more work-life balance and use that going forward. That’s my hope.
Yeah, I hope so, too, for sure. So let’s go ahead and talk about failure. So, I know failure, things not working out. All of those things. What is your take on it, and how can we not be devastated? Well, I’ll tell you a story about me—my biggest failure- because that’s when I confronted failure the most in my life.
And that was about three years into my business. Re efficient. We had grown very fast. We had reached a million in sales by that point, and I lost control, and several factors happened. Our bookkeeper got sick, and I heard someone to replace her and. Bottom line was I lost control of the company, and I don’t think I knew enough too about financial management at the time.
And so I was facing, once we figured out where we were at a loss of a hundred thousand dollars that I was not expecting, our cash crunch eventually caught up with us. We ran out of money. I took myself off the payroll, and we were fighting for survival. And so it was those moments when things were not working out as I planned.
Where do I go from here? And there were a few things that I learned from it. One was to get help, to get support. So to use your community, to get a coach, get a friend you can share openly with, because. Emotionally, it was challenging, and I had my business coach and best friend. I had two people with whom I shared exactly what I was going through, and I needed that to process those emotions.
So, first of all, to anyone out there that’s struggling to take care of your mental health and get support. Get your community, coaches, and friends to help you and ask for help. Sometimes as moms, we think we can do it all.
And we are so good at doing so much. But we also need help too. A hundred percent. I rely heavily on my husband, best friend, and counselor for mental health and, like, getting through everything. I just had a counseling session this morning, and I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have those things. I started it a year ago, so my mental health has greatly improved.
And good for you. Good for you. Getting that help and talking about it because it’s things we don’t often share openly about. And when you’re going through a tough time, it is even more important that we access those supports. So that was the first thing.
The next thing that I did, and I didn’t want to do it, but I pushed myself to do it, was to get to the bottom of where we were. And specifically, this meant financial, so, How much money had we lost? How much money did we have coming in? What were my expenses over the next, you know, 15 days or 30 days?
And what was interesting is that I feared looking up my bank account, especially during that period, and once I just saw the facts, like, here’s what the reality is. It was a lightness to it that I was making. The numbers mean that I needed to be better. I needed to be more innovative, but they were just numbers.
And I could also see specific patterns too. Like, we should stop doing that because it doesn’t make us any money. Or there’s a bright spot over here; there’s something that’s working well. Let’s do more of that. And. Getting to the bottom of my numbers and the situation gave me space to create a plan forward.
I would recommend it to anyone. Even if it scares you, there could be a connection with a money block. Could you do it anyway and understand where you’re at? Because it will also be access to something new. And I know for myself when I come up against something like that, there’s a big problem, and I know that I have to, like really, and even not even a big problem, but I think about doing my taxes.
Having an accountability partner with whom you can check in and say, yes, I did this, helps to get over that hump. The other thing that I really reinforced to myself that I learned before this, but I really only fundamentally got it once this experience, was to fail at something does not mean that you are a failure.
So to fail does not equal failure and taking it personally and making it mean you’re not good enough, and all of that stuff that we take on that we don’t have to, to fail at something or to have something, not just work out essentially a verb. It’s something that is an action that occurs or that we do, but it doesn’t have to be the weight of it.
All that personal stuff that we take on. I would like literally write down affirmations in my notebook and refer back to them when I was getting to that place of, I don’t want to do this, but I know that I need to. And so, one that gets me is just failure does not equal failure.
There is a way out. And the exciting thing that happened was, When I confronted the worst thing that can happen, I realized it’s not that bad. And then, all of a sudden, a weight was lifted from my shoulders. It was a real turning point for me because then I could go forth and be okay that, yeah, it might, I might have to close the doors, but I will get through this, and there will be a new beginning on the other side.
It also gives you a sense of freedom instead of entrapment. Yes, for sure. Freedom to do new things. Freedom. To not have to feel all that stress I knew for me, I’d felt for weeks and some nights, and I was alone. I was single. I would.
You essentially cried me to sleep because I was distraught over the situation. And then the other thing that I recommend is that we make a plan based on their circumstances. And chances are, take your project from before and revise it. And some of these insights have come out through looking at your numbers and what’s working.
Make the adjustments, and if we take the parallel of 2020, go back to your January plan and look at it, see what works and doesn’t, and adjust it. There may be a little pivot in line. There may be a whole new space to go after, execute that plan, and stay open. Stay open to the fact that another door could open a new direction for you.
It could be within the existing business. It could be a whole new direction in life. That is what describes 2020 for so many people right now. We did not expect the pandemic to happen and for it to happen so quickly and so fundamentally change our businesses. But there could be new opportunities out of this, whether on a personal level or a business level.
I think we’ve all seen that. There have been nuggets of things we have liked that have come out of this. And for example, I would bake every day with my daughter when she was home and she was two. And I just loved that. And when would I give myself the time and the space to bake with her?
I was going through my experience. So we’d made our plan, and you know, revised our goal, and we’re executing on it. And seven months after the fateful day, I realized we had lost a hundred thousand dollars and won a substantial new contract.
And, from one day to the next, everything changed. Wow, that’s awesome. One day I was like, I wonder if the business is going to survive. And the next day, oh, everything’s going to be okay. Because this new contract put us on a new footing financially. Fast forward a couple of months, and we had paid off our debts, and it just gave us a whole new direction.
And also, you mentioned that you had your best friend and then your business coach. I highly recommend having a business coach, but I also highly recommend having one; if your best friend isn’t in business, you need to find someone. That is because there’s no way for a person who works for someone else to understand what it’s like to have your own business.
I highly recommend it if your best friend is your person. I’d like you to please find another person too. And ideally, another person that has either been through what you’re going through or, as you say, can totally relate. I sometimes think in the business coach base, there are people with a lot of experience more on the corporate side, but you’re right; they don’t necessarily know about the ins and outs of running a small business and when your livelihood is on the line, so make sure that person.
It can help you and can identify the challenges of a small business owner. So these are amazing tips. So we have to get support, get to the bottom of where you’re at, and ask what the most or the worst thing can happen, make a plan and potentially revise your old plan and ensure you’re staying open to whatever comes to you.
So even if you don’t get the next launch, there’ll be another one in 2021. And there’s also a free resource library there. So there’s. Guides, workbooks, and training for moms looking to start a business and figuring out what they want to do and how to get it off the ground. Could you make sure you use what’s out there?
Don’t reinvent the wheel—another piece of advice. Because everybody starts, and they’re like, I don’t know what to do. Well, follow someone that’s already done it. So the second question is, what is your favorite thing about being able? You said you like baking, but you must pick a different one.
What is your favorite thing about being home and being with your daughter while you’re? Another thing that I love is that we are working from home and having, having our daughter here; we go for a walk every day. She needs bikes. She has a little strider bike, and we live in the country.
It’s lovely to take that space daily to get some exercise and fresh air and spend that time with her. That’s something special to you that I look forward to, and it’s important to you when you are working from home to get out. And not just stay at your desk the whole time, but get out.
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