As long as you continue running your business, problems will inevitably arise – that’s just the nature of entrepreneurship. Recognizing this fact can bring peace of mind, as Vanessa Lau, a successful seven-figure business owner, discovered. In 2018, she left her job as a marketing manager to start her own brand.

Vanessa Lau, with permission
Vanessa Lau, with permission

According to Lau, failure is an unavoidable part of every entrepreneur’s journey and should not discourage us. Instead, we should view setbacks as opportunities for growth and improvement. In early 2022, she experienced one of the most challenging quarters of her career, which she described as feeling like “running through thick mud.” Although the experience was frustrating and demoralizing at times, Lau eventually came to see it as a valuable learning opportunity. Here are three key takeaways from her experience.

  1. Growth Comes from Embracing Losses, Not Just Celebrating Wins While failure is always difficult and painful, it is an essential step in growing as an entrepreneur. A business where everything works perfectly all the time is a utopia that does not exist in reality. Lau explains, “I learned way more in the last quarter and a half than I ever did during my most successful 7-figure BGA launch back in 2020.” Failures provide us with the chance to identify necessary changes and improve our marketing strategies for the future.
  2. Resist the Urge to “Burn Everything Down” When faced with significant setbacks, it’s common to feel the urge to start over completely. However, this impulse can be detrimental to your business. Lau admits she once felt the need to “rip everything to shreds and start over,” but instead, she chose to take a step back and reflect. By focusing on small, incremental improvements, she was able to turn her situation around and regain momentum.
  3. Trust the Process and Keep Perspective When going through a difficult period, it’s important to remember that tough times are a normal part of the business journey. Maintaining a long-term perspective is crucial for entrepreneurs. Lau advises, “We have to remember that building a business takes time, and inevitably there will always be hard seasons. However, how you react to those hard seasons ultimately dictates the longevity of your business.” Learning to see the bigger picture and not be swayed by short-term setbacks is essential for long-term success.
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