Disappointment is never easy. You get your hopes up for something, only to have them crushed by the reality of life (no, that’s not me pictured above, though I did feel that way after the niners lost two weeks ago). It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional athlete, a professional marketer, or anything else — dealing with disappointment is tough. Having just witnessed my team’s bitter rival win the Super Bowl (something we couldn’t accomplish the previous year) certainly is disappointing. I’m happy for the city of Seattle, since this is their first title since the Sonics in 1979, but that doesn’t trump my overall bitterness with the situation.
Everyone is confronted with disappointment at some point in their life, so what’s the best way to deal with it? To me, it’s pretty simple — get back to work and learn from your mistakes. What mistakes were made that led to the undesirable result? How can you avoid mistakes like that in the future? What can you take away from the situation to improve your results in the future? We’ve all heard the old sports adage that “there is no off-season”. Super Bowl champions may tell you they’re going to Disneyland, but in reality the great ones go back to work and try to get better.
One of my favorite companies, Moz, had to deal with a big disappointment in 2013. They went through the difficult launch of a new product, Moz Analytics, which was a contributing factor in their $5.7M EBITDA loss during the year. No one at the company planned for this, nor were they very happy about it, but there’s no sense in them complaining. In fact, one of their key investors, Brad Feld, commended them for their efforts. All that’s left is to analyze what went wrong, learn from the mistakes made, and prevent them from ever happening again.
“Tough times build character”
“It’s not about how many times we get knocked down, but how many times we get back up”
There are a thousand clichés designed to make us feel better when we’re upset. All I can tell you is when you suffer a personal setback, don’t roll over and play dead. Dust yourself off and get back to work; it’s the only way to redeem yourself.