Sometimes things break. Sometimes you get broken. Despite all your hard work and great intentions, you can end up bankrupt — physically, emotionally, and financially. Lying on the floor hung-over on the bitter headache of business failure and personal short-comings.
As you look around all you see are pieces. Pieces of grand ambition.
What you thought were good ideas.
Business ideas that should have worked. Ideas and plans that seemed like a good idea at the time.
And as you pick yourself up, shaking your head, and wondering what you could have done differently, remember that it’s not over yet.
You can put the pieces back together. It’s not easy stuff. But it’s possible. And when all you want is be whole again, the pieces matter.
Here is what to do:
1. Force yourself to not react immediately.
You’re in pain. That’s not a good emotional position for you to be acting from. You are probably more “needy” than usual. That can come off wrong and destroy valuable relationships you have spent years cultivating.
Don’t do anything. You might think you need to send that email or make that phone call. STOP. Don’t do it. Sleep on it. You’ll be better prepared to do the right thing
2. Assess the damage and the people damaged.
What are the pieces that you are looking at? And who does it impact? Before you start frantically doing things, you need to know what you have to work with. Do you have enough money or time to fix part of your problem? Take stock of your situation.
And look deeper beyond your own pain. Who else is getting hit with collateral damage? There are family members and colleagues (maybe church members) who are a part of your situation. Don’t just selfishly think of yourself. Plan to help everyone who is in pain.
3. Find something to be grateful for. Start there.
Love and gratitude are the keys to creativity and bold ideas. You need your brain working more smartly than ever. There is something about being thankful that stimulates all the best you have to offer.
Don’t shrug this off. There is real power in a positive attitude. Create a list of things that are “right with right now”. Write them down. Smile. You’ll feel better. You’ll think better. You’ll start rekindling your excitement for getting back in the game.
4. Gathering your friends around you. And start building.
You need to get started. You can’t mope around. You can cry and yell and scream, but eventually you need to pick yourself up and start making things work. That could take a day or a week or a month. There is no magic date or time to start putting the pieces back together, but you have start some time.
Do it in safety. Surround yourself with people you trust. Family, close friends — the people you lean on — those are the ones you need supporting you. Find them. Ask them for help. Don’t be a mooch. Do the hard work yourself.
5. Keep working until the job is done.
This is the secret sauce. Hard work. Continuous progress. Every day you do a little bit more to fix the mess that you are sitting in. Building momentum piece by piece by piece. And you don’t stop until you get the job done.
Frankly, most people stop too soon. They stop putting the pieces back together because it’s a deeply emotional process. It takes guts and there’s no glory. It’s just painful. But it’s what delivers you the success that you want for yourself.
This is your chance to rebuild it the way you want it.
Redemption is within reach.
You bring it closer each piece you put back together. You heal yourself and fix your situation each day you keep working.
Which is why today matters. The pieces can still be lying where they are. You can still be lying there beside them.
Move in the right direction. There is hope.
Piece by piece. Day by day.