How to Take Bad News and Still Thrive

The economic times we are in are touching people’s lives in a challenging fashion.  I recently ate dinner with a Harvard Law graduate who felt lucky have landed a less than ideal job.  In my personal circle of millionaire friends, six of them have already declared bankruptcy, and others I know are just hanging on by the skin of their teeth. I, myself, am having my own financial issues and am having to bust my butt to maintain cash flow.  It’s easy to get down when bad news comes your way, but to cry in your soup offers no solution or relief. We are in a time, as Family First Entrepreneurs, where we will be challenged at a level never seen before in our lifetimes.  All of the financial rules have changed and there are new trends that we must adapt to.  

My strategy has been to accept that my life, both personally and professionally, is in the hands of a God who loves me and often teaches me through a breakdown before breakthrough modality.  Some folks, during the breakdown stage, choose martyrdom and wallow in the mud puddle of self doubt, shame and blame.  This always results in a longer and more painful cycle of growth.  Some, in fact, never breakthrough at all.  For those of you reading this saying, “that ain’t me,”  you are the ones who will always keep the outfielders on the warning track when life throws you a curve.  I acknowledge you.  More often than not, your battle, like mine, is not moving through breakdown, but maintaining personal balance while you’re on the solution train.  I will address that shortly. 

For those of you who feel stuck in mud, I will ask you to emotionally and intellectually understand that the mire will only result in one thing, MORE PAIN.  Keep focused on the fact that the greatest things in life are often on the other end of slogging through the crud.  To choose not to venture forward and excel through the other side will guarantee mediocrity.  You have to believe, to your core, that you are destined for greatness, as you define it, in all things.  Excellence in marriage, parenting, and one’s professional life all require this same skill.  Knowing that you are mediocre in any of these categories will bring more pain.  Grab hold of that “can do” person inside yourself and cut him or her loose to operate in faith that you’re on the right path before you realize the rewards of that choice. Forward movement doesn’t guarantee that all the pain goes away, although it’s decrease will be instantly noticeable. Operating in solution mode feels a whole lot better than boxing yourself into the pain of defeat. 

Once you learn how to get on the solution train professionally, or if you already know how, the battle now is maintaining personal balance.  I will speak to this personally as this is where I find myself today.  Happy to be in solution, but flat out working my butt off with lots of stress.  My battle, as a Family First Entrepreneur, is maintaining quality relationships with my two boys, my wife and close friends as my work life can easily become all encompassing.  I choose to set aside sacred times every day to connect in a deep way with these people.  I work while they sleep.  I walk with my wife after I stuff my face at lunch, leaving time for us.  Every moment for right now is productive both professionally or personally.  The one who gets shortchanged is me.  Right now I’m willing to accept that.  I don’t have plans for this to last long term. Self care is critical, but right now, I’m choosing to put my personal needs on the back burner temporarily, and fill that cup intermittently when it empties.  It’s just what has to be done as I embrace my role as a husband, father and the provider in my family.  My hope for you is to find a sense of peace as you dive into your solution and that you learn as you earn.  Blessings to you and your family.