When Things Don’t Go As Planned

By: Dan Kennedy on: August 26th, 2009 11 Comments

The moral of Earl Nightingale’s greener pastures story is, nobody’s business or life is perfect, and the most perfect of another’s situations is rarely as good as it seems from afar.

It would be dangerous to trade, even with the person you might envy most, based only on observations from a distance. It’s usually better to work at making your own “house” better and more to your liking than to envy or swap for another.

Lately, most of my clients, coaching members and I have had most things going our way. We’re all pretty fat ‘n happy. Some of us are deluged with business, using shovel and wheelbarrow to handle the money.

For me, horseracing is the constant reminder that things don’t always go as planned. Actually, with horseracing, they rarely go as planned. Owning ‘em isn’t a business for anybody who can’t handle disappointment. Driving ‘em in races is at least as frustrating as golf, with the added virtues of rain, sleet, hail, mud, snow, ice and physical danger.

I’ve had about 70 drives so far this year, only 4 worth bragging about, another 10 or so satisfactory and satisfying. Oh, we own the fastest pacer at the track, who is racing well, and has made $30,000.00 so far. We own a solid 3-year old trotter. But we also have a 3-year-old we thought would burn up the track, and that we paid to stake to special races, who has stopped his improvement dead.

This morning, I took a call from my trainer in which we decided to sell two woefully under-performing, disappointing horses I drive personally for thousands of dollars less than we paid for them, putting fewer dollars into the kitty than had come out, and leaving me in need of two good horses to drive.

When you sell something you paid $8,000.00 for and had high hopes for, for $1,500.00, it’s not a good day. But by comparison to lots of people with serious troubles, it’s not much more than a mosquito bite, either. Of course, perspective’s never easy when you’re being bitten.

The ways most people react to disappointment, frustration, loss, to things not going as planned are (a) moping around, (b) poor-me’ing, (c) sympathy-seeking, or (d) being mad at other people, God, or the world. As far as I know, none of those responses will cure or treat whatever disease you’ve been diagnosed with, fix whatever business problem has presented itself, or replace those two horses.

Successful small business owners usually respond differently. They may indulge briefly in (a)+(b)+(c)+(d), but then they “re-calibrate” to either doing something constructive and productive to repair or improve the offending situation, or to working on something else they can affect positively. Really successful people “re-calibrate” quickly and automatically. Pigs wallow in mud and shit. Successful people do not permit themselves to wallow, no matter what.

Successful RENEGADE MILLIONAIRES respond even more differently. They too may ever-so-briefly indulge in (a)-(d), but then they start the diligent, determined hunt for the opportunity in the adversity.

We don’t just mouth the platitude of every cloud has a silver lining; we believe Hill’s “in EVERY adversity lies the seed of equal or greater achievement” as religion. And we understand the key word is ‘achievement.’ The silver lining may not already be woven, lying there to be found; it has to be made.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to www.GKIC.com

11 Responses

  1. Rob Anspach says:

    … Milton Hershey filed bankruptcy in his early years (making caramel candy) – but he learned from his mistakes and adapted them to the chocolate making biz – now one of the biggest companies around…

    … accept mistakes and learn from them… dont dwell on the failures but rise above them and turn them into successes

  2. Rob Anspach says:

    … or to use a Star Trek camparison… be a Borg! If you don’t adapt to your surroundings you will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  3. Joel Bauer told me he reads Dan Kennedy NO B.S. Books on the toilet. Joel Bauer lives across the street from Brittney Spears, so I trust his good judgement that Dan Kennedy is worthy of your time to listen and apply.

    Dan, you’re right: Adapt or Die! As a hypnotist, dealing in perception, I say, “See your life as perfect right now. It’s neither good, nor bad. It is, in fact, perfect. You simply deal with what emerges (and, may I say, in a renegade fashion).” Without accepting, even gravitating to change–even the kind that messes up your plans–you will be most unhappy and unproductive.

    Stage Hypnotist Simone
    Las Vegas

  4. Rob Anspach says:

    Adapt or Die! – thats great.

    I am astounded at the multitude of companies not utilizing or monetizing social media – they dont understand it, they are frustrated with it… they dont know how to adapt it to their current marketing.

    Will they die… probably not… well not right away! But they may be surprised when their competitors who are using Social Media start stealing away customers who have found them on facebook, twitter et al.

  5. I can go into any StreetFront Brick & Morter store and help them double or triple their bottom line–if they WANT it–with Social Media.

    In fact, I may just do that.

    Stage Hypnotist Simone
    Las Vegas.

  6. Rob Anspach says:

    …they may need it… but 99% will think its a complete waste of their time!
    …they haven’t adapted to the market place… or have become so frustrated with losing sales that they even will consider social media…

  7. Jim Rowe says:

    for sure I do a,b,c, and d but try to recover quickly with massive action that will more than solve the past problems and help the future.

  8. James Arthur Ray is being investigated for murder in the two deaths at his recent event in Sedona. He didn’t kill anybody, nor did his activities cause the death of anybody. He is a renegade millionaire. Interesting how the mediocre media has something to talk about because somebody more interesting than them has done something with his life. Risk Takers fail at a rapid pace, on purpose. It’s all good. James Arthur Ray will come out–again–on top because fear is not his motivator. His renegade approach is always on the path of excellence and not mediocrity.

  9. Rob Anspach says:

    not only did the news latch onto that story but it went viral on the social sites… the media can have a downright negative back fire approach on your marketing if you let it…

    …contingency marketing and defense marketing is always a good way to keep your neck out of trouble… if the press is on your case and you did nothing wrong… it’s good to be open and honest and allow full disclosure to happen…

  10. I just finished writing my personal entrepreneurial story for my upcoming book (co-authored with Dan himself!), and re-lived my biggest failures.

    Glad to read here that I did the right thing by immediately getting back in the saddle and looking for the next opportunity.

    “Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit!”

  11. Fran says:

    Does Dk have a book / product called ‘massive action’? If so where / how can I get it?

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