It’s All About The Bounce Back

I didn’t have a post for you last week because I was busy working on launching The Portfolio Workshop. Thanks to everyone who helped me pull this together.

Now that I’m back in the saddle, this week I want to talk to you about bouncing back.

My Experience:

I’ve created many things in my career, but the last few years I’ve found myself stretched all over the place. Individual projects at Greenline Creative, strategic sessions with clients, launching my own startups, writing a book, launching workshops—it’s been a crazy time full of ups and downs. Overall though it’s been a real blast. I’ve had some successes and I’ve had some failures, and through these experiences what I learned is that the only thing that I can control is how I bounce back from the bad experiences. The good experiences I’m never worried about. That’s fuel to keep moving.

I think for anyone who has the entrepreneurial and creative bug we always want to push ourselves. It’s the ability to imagine success that I think keeps us on this crazy journey. At almost any given time we can literally imagine what a successful concept, web studio and startup might look like. We strive for what we can see. However, sometimes that imagination can get us into trouble. It can distort our reality. The reality is that things are always going to get in the way of what we envision, and it’s how we approach and work through those obstacles that makes the difference in where we end up and how fast we might get there.<

As creators, we have to be optimistic that our decisions will work for either us or our clients. We have to believe. When it does work, it’s great! When it fails, it hurts, but we have to bounce back. Some bounce back easier than others. I tend to bounce back fairly quickly and here’s what I do to ensure that I bounce back and move past those obstacles that are always trying to stand in my way.

Things I Do to Bounce Back after Things Don’t Go According to Plan:

  • Step back: This one is easy. The first thing that I do when something doesn’t go as I envisioned is to step away from it for a day or two then regroup with a clear mind.
  • Accept failure: Next, I try to accept the failure as soon as possible. There’s a number of reasons why something my not go as planned. The truth is, it’s really hard to make money on your own. Rather than sulk in the feeling of failure, it’s much healthier for me to accept that I may have been slightly off on hitting the mark and that I can’t control every scenario of a buyer or client. The quicker I accept this, the faster I can move forward.
  • Talk it out with those I trust: Just like life, business can throw blows. It’s important that I have people I trust in the wings for moments like this. I love to talk through my failures with trusted sources. I’ll ask them what they would have done differently and try to get their perspective on the whole situation. I generally leave these meetings feeling confident in my new plan.
  • Learn from it: When I miss a goal or something doesn’t go as I planned, I try to learn from it. I’ll ask myself questions to gather as much data as I can from the situation. Along with what may not have worked, I’ll also determine what did work. With all of this information, I’m now set up to learn something from this experience that I can utilize later on.
  • Get back to what I’m good at: Lastly and the most important thing I do when something fails or doesn’t go as planned is I simply get back to doing what I know does work. When I focus back on my strengths or my successful projects, I quickly regain confidence in myself. That shot of adrenaline really propels me to dust myself off and to try something crazy again.

My Takeaway:

Maybe you didn’t win that proposal or RFP you put weeks into preparing. Maybe you’re having a down day about your freelance business. Maybe you’ve missed the mark on a concept and your client doesn’t like it. Whatever your scenario is, don’t take it too personally. It’s tough being a designer. It’s not all glamor. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. You have to be able to bounce back fast so that you can keep moving forward. The easiest way to do this is to realize you may have let your imagination trick you into thinking it was going to be easier than it was. Then you get back to doing what you know you’re good at so you can regain some momentum and confidence.

What’s Next:

Generally freelancers tend to self evaluate and strategize on solutions and problems. We may think it’s embarrassing to admit our failures with clients and projects. With that said, if you find yourself sitting in a rut, set up a time to chat about your struggles with a fellow designer. Don’t be afraid to reach out, it may help them too. If you’d like some deeper advice, I’m available to help you too. All you have to do is reach out to me. I'm more than happy to chat with you!

So tell me, What are some of the things that you do to bounce back from a bad project or situation? Please share them with me.

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