When you start a business, you sign up for the highs and lows that accompany the CEO lifestyle. Experiencing setbacks is an inevitable part of the job—how you deal with them is what sets you apart as a leader.

If your company is currently sailing through some rough seas, don’t throw in the towel. Getting through these difficulties will make your company stronger in the end. Here are four tips and tricks for turning setbacks into stepping stones.

#1 Pinpoint What’s Wrong

When your company is struggling, it’s important to identify the source of the issue as soon as possible. Trying to combat foundational problems with surface-level solutions is like slapping a Band-Aid on a gunshot. It’ll only set you back further, so dig deep and figure out exactly what needs fixing.

Common problems that can plague a business at any stage may include:

  • No clear direction or leadership
  • Insurmountable debt
  • Competition (with no unique features to help you stand out)
  • Lack of or unclear branding

#2 Nurture What’s Going Right

Even at your company’s lowest point, there’s always something worth celebrating. It’s not all about money-saving and paychecks (though those are important, too). Perhaps your company has experienced success in other areas:

  • Onboarding a new client
  • Successful marketing strategies
  • Employee or customer satisfaction

When you have a solid team, a valuable product, and a promising business plan, don’t let minor setbacks stop you from pursuing your company’s goals. You may need to reevaluate and redirect some of your efforts, but the only way out of this hole is up—keep moving forward and you’ll be out the other side before you know it.

#3 Cut Yourself Some Slack

Being the CEO of a company is an incredibly demanding job. When you hit a rough patch, it can be tempting to blame yourself even when external factors are at play. 

Giving yourself room to make mistakes is crucial to staying motivated and passionate about your business. When you feel a wave of guilt crash over you, try some of the following techniques:

  • Remember the good – Look back on successful moments in your company’s history. This will provide a much-needed boost of confidence and potentially reveal some helpful ideas or solutions for your current problem.
  • Find the right stress reliever – Whether your go-to is meditation, therapy, or natural supplements, finding a stress reliever that works is key to doing your best work. If you haven’t quite found what works for you, CBDfx makes organic oil tinctures that can put a positive spin on even the most stressful days.
  • Focus on your own job – You’re the CEO of a whole company—that’s plenty of responsibility for a single person. As the boss, you may find yourself worrying about what everyone else is doing. It’s a hard habit to break, but it’s important to let your team do their thing so you have the energy to do yours. 

#4 Ask Your Team for Ideas

You never know which entry-level employees or part-time staff members might hold the solutions to your biggest problems. Fostering an environment where everyone is empowered to speak up will not only promote a healthier workplace, but may also help your business through this difficult time.

Call a meeting with the entire company for a productive brainstorming session. Slack is also a great tool for connecting teams and departments on a single subject.

Don’t sugarcoat the situation—instead, embrace honesty and transparency. Your employees will be more receptive if they understand the weight of the situation. Give everyone a chance to speak and refrain from dismissing even the most out-there suggestions (until later, anyway).

Setbacks Do Not Equal Failure

All businesses face setbacks, but the way you respond to them is what can make or break your success.

Remember that the best CEOs are flexible, passionate, and willing to do whatever it takes to get back on track. Don’t be afraid to get creative here—sometimes the most unlikely solutions can be the missing piece you were looking for!

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