How You Respond to Loss Can Make All the Difference…

26 Mar

Quick, imagine that you just lost $17,000! What’s your response? Do you wallow in self-pity? Go for a drink with a friend? Or figure out how to make $34,000?

This afternoon I got the news that no self-employed person wants, a $17,000 contract was canceled due to budget constraints (technically, the contract hadn’t been signed yet, but it was in their hands). My first reaction was, “crap!” My second reaction was to figure out my next move to make that $17,000 and then some. I could have gone for a drink with my friend Holly and complained about the loss, but that isn’t going to help me in the long-run.

Yesterday, I heard Warren Buffett talking about the day he lost $1,000,000,000.00 (that’s BILLION with a B). His reaction, “well let’s figure out a way to make it back.”

Three years ago I was struggling with depression and complaining to my friend Chris about everything under the sun. His advice, “you have a choice, you can let things suck or you can do something about it.” I did something about it.

Whining, complaining, and criticizing are easy things to do when things don’t go well. Do the hard work and that will make all the difference.


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  • Doug Johnson

    Hi Richard,

    Sorry to hear about your plan falling through. I had a two-week trip to the Far East get cancelled this spring so I know how disappointing such things can be.

    You may wish to read Robert Reich’s (Clinton’s former secretary of labor) 2000 book The Future of Success. He does a very good job describing the challenges of the self-employed, the entrepreneur. After reading it, it made me feel a little better about always thinking my last job would be my last job – seems everyone has that worry.

    Anyway, keep up the good work and keep writing in Worms…


  • Bob

    When people ask me “How’s it going?” one of my standard responses is “I can’t complain.. never does any good anyway.”

  • Janie Fahey

    I’m sorry about your lost contract! I love your attitude though. I’m a person who by nature is a fixer, so I understand the need to complain about things that go wrong, but really I always want to find a way to solve the problem. I know something great will come your way – I’m an avid reader of your Free Technology for Teachers – it’s a great resource for me and my classroom – so with all your knowledge that you’re willingness to share, something even better will come your way!

    Good luck!

    Are We There Yet?