How To Make A Comeback After A Major Setback

When I first started my personal development journey, the ones that were doing well in the industry all seemed to have one thing in common — they all had books on their area of expertise.

I thought having my own book would benefit me too so when I transitioned out of my corporate career, I took a few months off to write my first book. While I did not find the writing part of the book difficult, the challenge I had was I did not know much about marketing or the book publishing industry. I self-published my first book, Hoops and Freedom however I wasn’t able to sell as many copies as I wanted to. I eventually learned that writing a book is only 10% of the process. The other 90% is in getting the book out to readers. In fact, in the first year after the book came out, I sold less than 500 copies. I didn’t feel very successful as an author.

Image courtesy of suphakit73 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In fact, it took over five years before I attempted to write another book. The good thing was in those five years, I decided to get serious about learning more about writing and publishing, marketing and running online promotions and campaigns. My level of understanding of creating and launching products improved tremendously.

I also learned how to shorten the book writing process. My first book five months to write. With what I had learned about writing, I was able to write three new books within a 12-month period. I have since launched two of those books, both of them becoming #1 best-sellers on Amazon plus with what I had learned about launching a book, I was able to take my first book, Hoops and Freedom to #1 in under 48 hours after I decided to promote it on Amazon.

It was extremely rewarding to be able to apply what I had learned after the release of my first book and to actually achieve the results I wanted to. The fact that I have three books in the marketplace and all of them have been #1 best-sellers on Amazon is very pleasing especially after all the hard work I had put in. The setback I had when I first became an author taught me many lessons I needed to learn. It has been said that a setback is really a set-up for a comeback.

When making a comeback after a setback, here are five things to be aware of that will not only help those who you are trying to reach again, but also help you to position yourself differently than you had previously.

  1. Be authentic. Admit the mistakes you may have made and share any lessons you have learned as a result of those mistakes. The mistakes you have made can help others avoid those mistakes and shorten their learning curve as well.
  2. Clarify your expectations. Oftentimes, we set ourselves lofty goals and when things do not go as well as planned, it is easy to come crashing back to the ground. Therefore, your expectations for what is possible based on the knowledge, skills, resources and experience really needs to be clarified. This is not about compromising on your goals or even being realistic — this is about really understanding that there is a process involved and to be patient with yourself.
  3. Recommit to your why. There is usually an intrinsic or an extrinsic motivator for why we do what we do, or why we want to achieve something. Knowing what that is and why things will be different time is very important. By sharing your why and why things will now be different will reinforce your authenticity and draw more people to you.
  4. Be willing to ask for support. People love comebacks and love supporting the underdog. We see this all the time in sports — isn’t there something special about seeing a weaker team or opponent beat a stronger team or opponent. Therefore, by sharing your story, what you’ve gone through and where you are now heading, you’ll be in a much better position to ask for support from others.
  5. Create a new plan. At the end of the day, unless you do things differently this time, it will not give those you are trying to reach any confidence that you have learned some valuable lessons. Therefore having a new plan for what you will now do and how you are going to do things differently is absolutely mandatory.

One thing to always remember is that nothing is ever disastrous. If you are still here on Earth, then you always have a choice of restarting again. All it takes is for you to make a decision that you will now take a different approach or make that change that you know is necessary.

Question: What is something else to consider when making a comeback after a setback?

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  • Jane Ransom

    Solid take-aways, as always, Neel! Excellent reminder to be undeterred by setbacks!

    • Neel Raman

      Thank you Jane! Setbacks ultimately makes us stronger and wiser. Appreciate your input. 🙂