Five practical ways to bounce back

awareness change is a process risk May 13, 2023
handful of rubber bands to help bounce back

Everyone gets in a jam once in a while, and like a rubber band, we bounce back.  But what if we can’t see a way out?  Here’s how one of my clients handed her wake up call.

Sallie was in a real pickle.  Her logo embroidery business had thrived for three years by focusing on one large customer giving them prompt and excellent customer service.  Then her contact at that company retired and the new buyer switched to a different supplier. 

Suddenly 80% of her revenue had vanished.


Her head was spinning when she showed up for her coaching appointment. She was in a pickle and had to bounce back ASAP. 

After giving her space to vent and express her frustration, I suggested that like being in a pickle jar, it’s hard to read the label from the inside.  To read the label from outside the jar, we need to to step outside the circumstances for a different perspective

Here’s how that looks: 

What have you learned? - Sallie’s obvious lesson was to not put all her eggs in one basket. She understood that now on a visceral level.  Her larger realization though, involved recognizing her feelings of security and worth.  She now realized she needed to understand the value of her work and to look past her fears in marketing.

Name core values and strengths - When we’re under pressure we tend to focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. Stress hormones stifle creativity. Sallie’s new perspective meant acknowledging that her loyalty value is a strength, seeking excellence is a strength, and her tenacity is a super-power.  Her natural artistic talent and skills in creating her products were a mighty differentiator in her market.

Remember past success - Sallie had started her business as a hobby and it gradually grew year by year.  After a few years of struggle, landing that big client was a huge win.  Recalling how that client came to her in the beginning reminded her how much fun it was to mingle at the Chamber mixers and to volunteer at the annual golf tournament.  She had met the buyer for that company at a Chamber event. She realized that what she had done before, she could do again.

Find a role model - Sallie began to look around for someone whose life resembles what she wants to create and hone in on what specifically they are doing to achieve it.  What matters in a role model is their similarity of circumstances, and it doesn’t have to be in the same profession. It might be their origin story is similar or they now live the life that you desire. Who do you admire? How are you like them? What did they do that you can replicate?

Set a new direction - Sallie now realized the upheaval in her circumstances was a gift. How does the song go… ? “When you ain’t got nothin’ you got nothin’ to lose.” Since the majority of her revenue was tied up in one specific product for one specific client, and that customer was gone, she could step back and explore other creative ways to expand her product line and generate new streams of income.

When our call ended, Sallie had shifted to a new perspective on her circumstances and her enthusiasm was rekindled.  She decided the label on her pickle jar read “Resilience.” This was a label that resonated.

Granted, nothing had changed yet, she still had to deal with rebuilding her business, but the energy of creativity had returned and she knew on a deeper level that it would all work out.

Sallie had bounced back. 

The big picture

We all seek security, but at the same time we desire novelty. 

These human needs are not mutually exclusive; they are partners in growing a life worth living.  However, when we sacrifice one for the other, life has a way of shaking us up to reestablish that harmony. 

That forced adversity allows us to learn the lessons we need in order to help us grow to the next level.  It’s during these times that we find the value in acting like a rubber band to bounce back.

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