How I Handle Disappointment In Business
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep.99
Disappointment in business is inevitable. We can’t avoid it! But, we can change they way we look at it.
How does disappointment resonate within you? How do you view disappointment in business?
Are you finding yourself going down a rabbit hole of disappointment when you don’t achieve a certain goal you set for yourself?
Or on the other hand, do you avoid disappointment at all costs?
Then today’s episode is for you! In today’s episode, we will be discussing:
The three concepts I use to move through disappointing launches, months, client engagements, etc.
My client-loved “domino of doubt” process to identify fears in your business
How to move through disappointment quicker so you can find more success sooner
I still feel disappointment in my business, but I have learned to reframe it and move through it quicker. I hope these tips help you, and encourages you to keep moving with your business!
If you want more inside business secrets, then head over to my Seven-Figure Secrets Podcast! There, we discuss what goes on behind the scenes of running a seven figure business, and I give you the scoop on how to make it happen for you.
Want to be coached by Leah directly? Head to her waitlist to be the first to know when spots open up. Leahgervais.com/waitlist
Hear the Episode
Leah Gervais: Hey everyone, happy May at the time of this recording. It is May 1st. I’m very excited for this month. It’s my birthday month in May, a week from today actually. So this is the last week, uh, in my 30th year around the sun. 30 was such a good year. Um, I don’t know, I’m sure all you other moms have had your own experience with your kids and kind of getting the, I guess flow, for lack of a better word, of motherhood.
But I really felt like I hit my stride this year. The first six months were just such a , so insane and so sleep deprived and new. And I just have had the time of my life with my son this past year. So very grateful for everything that 30 brought and, um, all the business things that happened. We had another seven figure sales year while I was 30.
Um, I got to go to Paris twice. Uh, got to spend a ton of time with family. So yeah, just feeling very grateful, very reflective, and very excited. For me, it’s a fun month. Um, I think that it really brings a spring energy to New York.
I honestly could never live anywhere where there’s not seasons. I am so filled up and motivated by the change of weather, and I always get nostalgic for, I don’t know, different times in my life where spring had x, y, and Z happen. Uh, my mom texted my sisters and I this morning and she was saying this spring always reminds her of having us because we were all born. My sisters and I were born in May and march.
In fact, Ellie, my littlest sister, was due on my birthday May 7th. Um, and my mom had her come out for it three days early cuz she didn’t want us to share a birthday, even though I think we would’ve liked it.
But, um, anyway, the point is, uh, I hope that you’re enjoying spring. I hope that you’re ready for it, and I hope that today’s episode gives you a little bit of bravery, a little bit of perspective, and a little bit of peace in your heart if you’re feeling any heaviness from disappointment in business, especially if you maybe were experiencing disappointment in business from the end of April.
I think that that’s a very common, uh, trigger of disappointment in business, especially in online business where we’re so flooded with the obsession of how much you can make in a month. Having a five-figure month, having a six-figure month, having whatever happened.
And if it doesn’t happen, then it feels like you utterly failed, especially because it looks like everywhere you turn, other people have had it happen and they’ve had it happen easier than you and faster than you, and with more joy than you, and with fewer followers than you or whatever the else , you end up wanting to tell yourself about why it was easier for everyone else except you.
Um, you know, even though we consciously know that we are designed to see those messages because people want us to see them because it’s a sense of marketing, our subconscious mind still is susceptible to the comparison and the disappointment in business that can come when it feels like it didn’t work the same way for us.
So let’s talk about disappointment in business and let’s talk about how I have re I don’t wanna say reshaped, but just become more comfortable with it over the years. I think this is the key here. I don’t want this episode to come across or, and I don’t want the message to be that the goal is to erase disappointment in business or never get disappointed, because in that case, that would mean either one of two things. One, you’re never disappointed because you’re constantly achieving your goals.
So you never feel let down, in theory, that might sound nice, but in practice what that would mean is just that you’re not pushing yourself far enough or you’re not trying hard enough. You don’t have your goals set high enough.
So we actually don’t wanna reach the point where we’re reaching our goals every single month or every single launch or every single quarter, every single year, because then are we really pushing ourselves to our fullest ability? I mean, you can think of the comparison of this with any other, uh, game, honestly, that’s kind of what business is.
But it’s the same thing with working out. If you’re constantly achieving your, uh, fitness goals or if you’re constantly achieving any other goal, then you’re probably not thinking big enough for yourself.
So we don’t wanna annihilate disappointment in business via, I never, I never fail on my goals or I never don’t achieve my goals. The other situation in which we would annihilate disappointment in business is that we would be basically bypassing it. We would be just sort of toxic positivity, thinking through it, pretending it doesn’t exist, pretending that there’s no such thing as disappointment in business. You should never be disappointed. You should only be grateful for what you have.
Everything’s a lesson. Nothing’s actually a letdown. And I don’t think that’s healthy either. I think that there’s a very real reason that we experience disappointment in business. It’s often trying to inform us of something that we can learn from and trying to deny it is basically trying to turn off part of us. So this episode and my message isn’t, how can we avoid disappointment in business or how can we get rid of it? How can I get to the place where I never have it in either way?
That could in theory happen. I don’t, I don’t believe in either of those paths. I think that I believe in, in continuing to push yourself and in continuing to dream big for yourself, therefore, continuing to fail from time to time. And I also believe in feeling disappointment in business, letting yourself experience those emotions and really trying to communicate with yourself and hear the part of you that’s feeling let down so that you know what you’re trying to gather from this experience.
So let me go into, I had outlined kind of four things. I don’t know if they’re always chronological, but we can go through I guess four steps or just four approaches to disappointment in business. And you can take whatever’s helpful and leave whatever’s not.
The first thing is exactly what I just said when I experience this appointment, and I do, I do, I will say I do less than I did in the beginning.
And there is some combination of the fact that I just achieve my goals more often. Now, that is true. I just do, because I know more about my business. I have a lot more experience in this. Uh, things aren’t so pipe dreamy as they were in the beginning when it felt so out of this world to make $10,000 in a month or to find people that would book out my one-on-one coaching. Those things aren’t that extraordinary to me anymore.
But like I had said, that still doesn’t mean that I’m achieving every single goal because I’m constantly trying to think bigger for myself, push myself, see what more I’m capable of. Um, the other thing is I will be honest that I just can move through it faster.
Now. I have done so much mindset work that I have such a firm, inner sense of certainty that things are always working out for me. Nothing is happening to me as a victim. There’s always things I can take from whatever experience I have. So I’m able to move through it much faster than I used to.
However, I still experience it and I experience it frequently. I know what it’s like and still have the times when a launch doesn’t go as planned and I feel disappointed or I had a relationship with someone and ended up being disappointed in the relationship. Not necessarily to blame someone, but just because things didn’t happen or things transpired in a certain way or a month goes by and I didn’t make as much as I had projected to the, these things happen frequently. They happen to everyone in business.
What I think makes the difference and why I can lean into it a bit more is that I, this was really well articulated by my friend Julia Wells.
So if you, um, wanna listen to her podcast on disappointment in business after this, she recently recorded one and it was actually hers. And, um, and a disappointing thing I tried in April that didn’t work out that inspired me to do this.
But she talks about being willing to be disappointed. Like I’m okay. I’m willing to feel this sense of disappointment in business because I understand it’s part of business because I understand that whenever you’re playing any game, if you can think of business as a game, it will feel a lot lighter that I’m not gonna win every time. I’m not, every turn is not gonna be for me. Not everything is going to work out the way that it would be flawlessly.
That’s okay. Disappointment in business is not something that I try to repel. So I truly do let myself feel it where I think it can be.
Where I think it’s more effective now than it used to be about just feeling disappointed is what I wanna talk about in, uh, in step two. And this I think is so powerful. This is something I frequently do with my clients. If you’re feeling disappointed, what typically happens is we go down this mental rabbit hole of what I call the domino of doubt, which is where a single surface level disappointment dominoes to the threat of something else, which then continues on a domino all the way to the core of what you’re truly afraid of.
So let me give you an example. Let’s say you did not make $10,000 in April and that was your goal. And you’re disappointed that you tried, you did everything you thought would work, you felt like it should have happened. You felt like you are ready for that. And it still didn’t.
That is totally understandable to feel a sense of disappointment in business and where the domino then comes in is to feel like, because I didn’t make $10,000 this month, I’m therefore not on track to make my revenue goals for this quarter, and therefore I’m not on track to make right my revenue goals for this year, and therefore I might not be able to pay for X, y, z big thing I want right now, like a house or paying off debt or starting a family or something like that.
And because I’m not going to be able to pay those things, then I’m feeling really insecure about my business and because I’m feeling insecure about my business, I don’t know if it will work out. And if it doesn’t work out, then other people might have been right about the fact that I should have kept my job and X, y, and z on and on and on.
That domino effect happens when we feel a sense of disappointment in business. But if you get to the bottom of the domino effect, the last kind of domino that tips over, so to speak, you can typically see a very strong reason.
That’s usually what’s at the core of a domino of doubt, which is the motivation for you to have started a business or the motivation for you to have had that launch or the motivation for you to have had that five figure month, which could be like I wanted to pay off something in particular, or I wanted to hire a new team member, or I wanted to take my family on vacation, or I wanted to pay for childcare or I wanted to prove that I could do it. And when you feel that sense of disappointment in business, it’s threatening something that very much matters to you.
On a primal level, whenever we feel a threat to something that we process as critical to our survival and our ability to thrive in this world, it’s going to feel very scary, very, very scary. You can sort of compare it to if there was a, if you were hunting for your family. Not that women I don’t think hunted back in primal days cuz they were busy doing literally everything else, caring for fa, caring for children, birthing them, um, breastfeeding them, all of that.
Anyway, my point is, if you then have this goal to go out and kill an animal, to feed your family or your tribe or whatever the case may be, and you fail at that goal, you feel a sense of disappointment in business beyond the fact that you didn’t kill the animal or that you didn’t provide for that meal, you’re feeling a threat to the wellbeing and survival of your family.
So that is a very understandably biological response, a very understandable biological response. What we experience when we have the domino of doubt is a glorified dramatized version of that, that quite frankly, we need to kind of get over ourselves and recognize that it’s not a threat to what we want. It’s not a threat to our core. Why is it not a threat to our mission? It’s not a threat to our true desire unless we let it be. So, because there are so many ways in which you still can achieve that desire.
Let’s go back to my domino of doubt. Example. Say this person wanted to make five figures in April and they didn’t, and that’s leading them down this rabbit hole internally of feeling like I don’t have what it takes to run this business. The clients that I have or the clients that are reaching me aren’t saying yes to me.
I must not be good at sales. I’m not gonna hit my income goal for the year, and this is gonna prevent me from achieving what I want from this business. All of that part, all of the domino effect is only true if you believe it to be, if you let it be because we know, and at this point in my business, probably one of the reasons I’m able to move through doubt so quickly is because I’ve proven that if I don’t get what I want or achieve my goal through a certain launch or through a certain month or through a certain strategy, I can do it in a different way.
I can make more money the next month or I can change strategies or I can look specifically at what didn’t work or I can adjust my timeline or I can get what I want in a different way.
I truly believe that there’s an abundance of ways that these things can happen, which is mindset work, right? Which is a choice to believe. And if you don’t, then that’s, this is why mindset work matters so much. When you have these moments of doubt, you wanna come back to that core of remembering that no one single failure is going to equate a failure to my whole life or to my why or to my true desire unless I let it.
So recognizing your own domino of doubt, this is a really good thing to journal on. Like, what am I connecting this single disappointment in business I didn’t make as much as I want this month? This launch didn’t go as planned. This, this contract fell through whatever you’re feeling disappointed on. What, where is that? What is the anchor underneath that’s keeping you feeling so heavy? What are you really feeling threatened by?
What are you letting that threaten that’s making that domino of doubt feel so evident? Is it threatening your whole business? Is it threatening your whole income? Is it threatening all of your dreams? What is it really getting to? And if you can kind of detangle that, then the whole thing feels a lot lighter. And I’ve alluded to this a few times during this episode, but you can shift back into that playfulness.
And I know some people get triggered when I talk about business being a game because they are so set in their ways of thinking that it’s so serious and it’s so heavy because of money, because life, because purpose, forgetting that life in general should really just be a little more playful.
Um, but when you can bring it back to that, it doesn’t mean that you take what you’re doing less seriously or that you don’t care about your results or that you don’t try as hard, but you can be more playful with it and less attached to it.
And that is a very powerful place to operate from because that’s how you open up abundance and recognize that things can come to you in all different ways. So separating your singular disappointment in business with your tethered y with your domino of doubt ending is a very powerful exercise.
Okay, the third thing that I wanna talk about when handling disappointment in business is to zoom out and get neutral. I talk to my clients a lot about this too. Get neutral about your relationship with disappointment in business. This has been very powerful for me because it helped me understand the difference between how I was programmed and automatically handle disappointment in business versus how I wanted to handle disappointment in business.
So what you’d wanna do in this situation, you can do this via journal. You can talk it out with your coach, you can, uh, talk it out with a partner, although I don’t always recommend that.
I don’t think your partner should be your coach, but you want to, what you’re trying to get at here is how you or your family process disappointment in business when you were growing up, how have you been used to experiencing disappointment in business? Were you allowed to feel disappointment in business? Were you overly indulgent in disappointment in business? Um, did you kind of let it keep you out of the game for a long time? Maybe your parents really let you, uh, you know, process it in a way that they thought was healthy.
But now you look back and you’re like, oh, I kind of felt sorry for myself a little more than I needed to. Or something I see a lot with kids who have grown up, uh, with some financial privilege is that they, uh, struggle to take full responsibility. Actually, I shouldn’t equate the two. I’ve seen plenty of kids grow up with financial privilege that, um, didn’t grow up this way.
But there is a genre of kids who just struggle to take full responsibility for their circumstances when they’re disappointed and can very much repel what they’ve done to get there and feel very blamey, uh, to others or to the situation about why they feel disappointed. And then there’s often the complete opposite.
And this is a little bit more how I grew up. My parents, especially my dad, very much, had a philosophy of disappointment in business being an opportunity for you to take full accountability and responsibility for your circumstances and change it. So if you were disappointed that you didn’t make the sports team, or you were disappointed in a grade, or you were disappointed in a, um, friendship that fell apart or something like that, uh, using it as an opportunity to say, I want a different outcome. I wanted a different outcome and I didn’t get it.
Where was this my fault? And what can I do? How can I take full responsibility for it so I can change it moving forward? And for the most part, I agree with this stance. I do think that disappointment in business, like anything in life, is an opportunity for you to take 100% responsibility for what you do with it.
But when I do this exercise, zooming out on my own relationship with disappointment in business, I often like to give myself a moment to recognize where things were out of my control. This helps me feel more empowered because if I get overly, uh, if I overly point the finger at myself, then sometimes I just can’t get very angry with myself and I can almost move forward out, of course correction or out of, I don’t wanna say desperation, but, or out of reaction instead of proactivity.
So helping myself get neutral and recognize, yes, I am full, I’m in full responsibility for where I want to move next. And now that I’ve been disappointed, like if a launch didn’t go as planned, I did what I, what I did and I tried what I tried and I believed it would work and it didn’t. And I get to operate differently now.
And I still believe that I’m closer to my goal than I was before I did this launch, even though my launch didn’t go as planned. That can be very empowering. But I also, um, I also really try to take time to pause and think, where was it not my fault in this situation?
Where was it out of my control? Where was it a holiday or where was the economy down or where was, you know, it not my control that people don’t read every email that I send or whatever else the case may be. And this helps me because this makes it lighter. This helps me feel less bad about myself. It helps me with a bit of confidence, and that helps me to move forward more.
So this is your opportunity to just take a pause, think where have I historically been with disappointment in business and where do I, um, where do I want to go and how do I wanna process it from here? So I know I want to be one, but I feel disappointed.
I want to recognize where I’m overly equating the disappointment in business to my future success. I want to three, recognize where things were somewhat out of my control and like to forgive myself for things that I couldn’t help. I can’t control other people. I can’t control the economy. I can’t control, uh, if my email goes into spam or not, there’s things I can’t control.
And four, what can I take full responsibility for so I can move forward? So that is a really helpful exercise for me. And then the final thing just to tie them all together is I always use disappointment. And the reason I can move through it so quickly is because every day, 365 days a year, I do mindset work on what I believe is true and what my core beliefs are. And I always can come back and rely on them when I’m feeling disappointed.
I’m disappointed, and I know that my success is inevitable. I’m disappointed, and I know that my clients see amazing results. And the more people I can help, the more they’re going to experience that I’m disappointed and I’m not gonna let this be a big deal.
And that is a very helpful thing to move through because I have these truths of knowing my success is inevitable, knowing that I’m an amazing coach, knowing that I was born to be an entrepreneur, it no longer goes through my mind that I will ever work for someone else again. So I don’t have these moments of, oh my God, this didn’t go as planned. I have to, uh, uh, maybe I’ll have to go get another job again.
Like my mind doesn’t even go there. So you are, you’re going to be more suited for, for and in a stronger situation to handle disappointment in business.
The more consistent you are with mindset, the other 364 days a year when either things are going well or when they’re not. But just as a final reminder as I wrap this up, you will feel you will have more things not work out than you will have to work out in business every time. Even last year, we had crazy, I think we had five, six figure months, which was amazing.
That means we had seven, not six figure months, right? And if my goal is six figure months and every time I don’t hit it, I’m disappointed. That means I was disappointed more times than I wasn’t. Even though I made five, six figure months, that wasn’t really what happened. I don’t really care about how much I make, uh, every month at this point. I, I’m gonna talk more about that in another episode.
But I just wanna continue to reiterate that disappointment in business is not a signifier, that you’re not on the right track typically.
It’s quite the opposite. It means that you’re trying, it means that you’re pushing yourself. It means that you’re dreaming bigger for yourself. And I hope that this can help you move through it in a more effective way, in a very gentle way, in a way that doesn’t deny your true feelings toward it, but also in a way that doesn’t fool you into believing that one day you’ll avoid this for good because you’ll never have any problems.
I don’t know any successful entrepreneur who isn’t failing repetitively and getting back up and trying again and again and again.
All right, everyone, I hope this was helpful for you. I hope you have a great rest of your day. And here is to your biggest vision.
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