We all have setbacks – the deal that falls through, the people who renege on an agreement. Sure, it’s frustrating, annoying, unexpected, and a bit of a bump in the road, but lurking behind the disappointment, is there opportunity?
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Often when things don’t go to plan, there’s a good reason. In fact, sometimes when things go wrong, it later becomes apparent they were the precursor to a far better outcome.
I like to call these “sliding door moments”. They are the setback that ultimately changes your situation for the better. But at that juncture, in the moment when the first door closes, you haven’t yet caught a glimpse of the better outcome the next door will reveal.
But what did you learn?
One of the biggest opportunities that any setback offers is the chance to learn and improve. It’s an occasion to ponder what you’d do differently in retrospect and what you might implement moving forward.
For example, that listing you lost halfway through the sales campaign … did it come down to a lack of communication? Was it that the experience wasn’t living up to the vendor’s expectations? Or were you a good fit for those vendors in the first place?
While each of the above reasons might be hard to face, they are questions worth asking. The answer might reveal an opportunity for you to improve and implement strategies moving forward.
And if you dissect the setback and find there’s room for improvement on your behalf, that could totally reshape your future career.
Is it the right fit?
I recently spoke with a business owner who was frustrated that someone had reneged on an agreement. And yes, we’ve all been there. It is disappointing when you’ve invested time and energy into something that doesn’t pan out because someone goes back on their promise.
But it’s better that happens early than a lot later down the track. Chances are this person isn’t the right fit for you or your business.
It’s the same with clients. Every agent has ideal clients to work with and some who just aren’t the right fit.
The setbacks you encounter over your career help you identify who it is and who it isn’t you should be working with, and that’s an important lesson to learn.
When you discover who you shouldn’t be working with, you better understand what to look for in those that you should, and that creates a real opportunity to build a highly rewarding business and career, based on working with the right people.
This is not blind optimism
When I suggest viewing setbacks as opportunities, I’m not prescribing blind optimism and a cavalier attitude when things go wrong.
Instead, I’m recommending embracing the resilience to analyse the situation and ask that all-important question, ”What can I learn?”
This question lies at the heart of a growth mindset that allows your business and you, as an individual, to innovate, evolve, grow and improve.
When you do that, you position yourself to create greater opportunities moving forward, and you set the foundations for a successful career.
Speaking from experience
Over a somewhat lengthy time in this industry, I’ve found almost without fail that setbacks are sliding door moments. One door closes and another one opens into a whole new world of opportunity.
Most are simply lessons to learn from. Others have been converted to incredible opportunities that I am most grateful for.
Manos Findikakis is the CEO of Agents’Agency.
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