Dealing with Disappointment in Your Business and Life
by Kristi Crosson
Can you believe it’s almost 2021? I feel like this has been the longest year in history and I know many of you feel the same. As we learned in 2020, it’s important to be flexible and to hold our plans loosely. It reminds me of the scripture that says that man makes plans, but God determines his steps (Proverbs 16:9).
As you look ahead to the coming new year, you may be wondering what on earth you should do. How can we possibly make plans when this year turned out the way it did? I know I feel that way. I also know the value of preparation. I know that without it, you are almost certain to fail.
One of the best things that happened to us this year was that we moved out onto a piece of land with 10.8 acres to start a farm. And nothing about this move looks how we imagined it would. We were picturing a cute farmhouse with a few outbuildings already on it. We imagined a fixer-upper, something that just needed some love and some paint.
Instead, the Lord blessed us with a raw piece of land, an RV, and faith that He was going to walk us through every step of the way. Imagine being so blessed, but then feeling disappointed. That was me. We took the step of faith. But I’ve struggled with feeling like “this is not how it was supposed to be”.
I can sum up 2020 in the same way. I imagined field trips to museums with the kids and swimming at the pool all summer long. As a homeschooling family, we LOVE to do things with other families. But when our area shut down, people stopped getting together. My writing business took a downturn too as many other businesses struggled to stay open. Hiring a writer was the last thing on their list of needs as they worried about how they would pay their staff.
The disappointment is real. I’ve wrestled with how to put my feelings into words and how to move ahead with the dreams in my heart. And the Lord showed me the following:
1. Deal with the disappointment.
Don’t ignore it. Don’t pretend it’s not there. Talk to someone about it so that you can move on from it. Once I could communicate what I was feeling, the sadness lifted.
2. Decide if you need to pivot.
Maybe the business you were building just needs some tweaks. Look at it objectively to decide if there is something you need to do differently going forward, then do it. It’s okay to start off going in one direction and realize part way through that you need to go in a new direction.
3. Lessons learned.
Evaluate your successes, failures, and disappointments to see what you can learn. Learning means you’re growing and growth is vital for success. Maybe nothing went as planned. We didn’t plan to live in an RV with a part-time generator for electricity for two months. But it happened and in the midst of it, we realized how much time we had been spending watching TV and wasting time on our phones.
4. Look for the bright spots.
We spend a lot of time together as a family. The kids have unlimited OUTDOOR space to play in. We live in a small space and pared down to the things we use everyday. Cleaning doesn’t take as long.
5. Make a new plan.
Plans are important, but 2020 has taught me that it’s best if we hold them loosely. If you’re feeling disappointed that your old plan didn’t work, throw it out
6. Adjust your expectations.
Part of my frustration when we moved onto the land was that I thought we’d get everything we needed more quickly. I expected a microwave meal, when God was preparing me a four course dinner that was going to take all day. He didn’t give us a homestead in a box, instead He gave us something we could make our own from day one.
If you find yourself disappointed in your business and with what happened in 2020, it’s okay. I completely understand. Even when good things happen, it may not be what you expected. Work through your disappointment and look for ways to move forward. Disappointments will come in business, pandemic or not.
About the Author
Kristi Crosson is a writer and photographer and homeschools her three children, ages 8, 4, and 2. She is in the process of writing her first book, a personal story about God’s goodness in the midst of heartache and impossible situations.
Her background includes work in communications for a large Christian non-profit and freelance writing for hundreds of businesses on social media and blogs.
She has more than 15 years of ministry experience serving in the church and learned valuable leadership skills that she applies to her life and businesses. Kristi has a huge heart to fight human trafficking and see women experience God’s love in powerful ways.
When she is not busy with her businesses or her family, she enjoys creating art, playing music, singing, and hiking. And somehow manages to "do it all". Don't be fooled. In getting real, she'll share about how she manages her day to day work in business and homeschool.
You can read Kristi’s column, Getting Real with Kristi on the 3rd Tuesday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.