5 Survival Tactics for When Everything Goes Wrong

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You know the type of week.

* You’ve worked hard and are gearing up to launch a new product when a vendor calls and says that he can’t get the new website up on deadline which is “okay” because the graphic artist’s computer crashed and your product picture isn’t ready anyway.  They’ll get back to you.

* Taxes are due for those who got extensions and, in some previous insanity, you agreed to do them for friends and family.  But you still need information and the tax deadline looms.

* Your hubby needs reading classes but you can’t find the credit card which will give you the big discount. It’s gotta be around somewhere.

* Your sister wants to borrow your AAA card – it must be with the missing credit card.

* Your business phone line stops working and the telephone company insists the problem is in the home and they can't get to you for a week.

* It hasn’t rained for weeks and yet the dog is covered in mud and lying on the couch.

* Your largest client calls on a Friday afternoon and requests the impossible.  This was preceded by your smallest client calling and demanding that you drop everything as her every need is *urgent*.

* The bathroom toilet stops working and then starts leaking and your plumber is on vacation.

What do you do when it all goes wrong?

1. Laugh.

Laugh hard and laugh often.  Laugh like there’s no tomorrow – given the above, there may not be.

Seriously though. . .laughter will put you in a much better frame of mind to deal with life’s interruptions without losing your sanity.

2. Breathe.

If laughter isn’t possible, and sometimes it just isn’t, then focus on your breathing.  Breathe in and out, in and out as deeply as possible until your pulse stops racing or you let go of the throat that somehow found its way into your grasp.

3. Regroup.

When the walls are caving in around you, take five minutes and figure out what you can do to keep at least one thing moving forward.

Follow-up on the email that may land you a new client.  Submit your article to the various article submission sites.  Pay a couple of bills.  Do one thing, anything so that you can cross something off your *list*.  It’s probably best if this something doesn’t involve interaction with others!

4.  Give thanks.

“What?  Give thanks? Are you insane?”

I can hear the grumbling from here.  Do it anyway!  Grab a piece of paper and make a list of everything that you are thankful for – chances are, you have it better than millions of others.

Here’s a quick list of things that I know I’m grateful for: my health, family and friends, my pets, my business and my clients, sunrises and sunsets, flowers, chocolate ice cream, the sound of the ocean and a crisp New England fall day.

5. Get out.

Get out of the house and out of the office.  Whether you choose to go for a walk, have lunch with friends, go window shopping (leave credit cards at home) or browse the shelves at your local library, get out and enjoy yourself for a bit.  You’ll return in a much refreshed frame of mind and ready to tackle whatever life throws your way.

Let’s be real.  Sometimes problems are just problems and not “opportunities”.  Sometimes lemons make bad lemonade.  And not all clouds have a silver lining.  When everything goes wrong, try one (or all) of the above techniques, accept it and move on knowing that things will get better!


Sandra Martini (www.SandraMartini.com), founder of Escalator Marketing™, shows creative heart-based entrepreneurs how to build sustainable businesses without losing their integrity or their minds.