Most entrepreneurs have experienced it – we tried a new venue that fell short of fulfilling our vision. If it doesn’t involve another, the situation is only half-bad. But when other companies are depending upon our business savvy that proves to be anything but, it becomes quite embarrassing on top of the very disappointing results.

A colleague and I were discussing the value of our hard learned lessons. “Charles” and I both tend to replay as many conversations as possible, in our heads, of every step leading up to the no fly zone. We then analyze all possibilities of where we might have taken a different turn for better results. Plugging those changes into the unhappy situation, we are then able to see where the next time around our projects will be able to take off and land in a much brighter space.

Charles then proceeded to sadly confide that he was expecting a large check for delivery of services. However his delivery fell very short on expectations. Consequently there was no exchange of money for his services after a lengthy trial. Disappointment doesn’t describe how he felt for a brief moment. His voice perked up as he began to describe a bright spot upon coming to terms with what transpired.

The past few days, Charles spent replaying what he could have done differently. He quickly recognized that should a similar opportunity arise again, he would proceed as a high level consultant versus just a contributor. The title change alone requires he take a leadership role thereby enabling him to attract a better qualified audience.

Charles didn’t stop there. Replaying the conversations again, only this time as the consultant, he began to play out new strategies for better outcomes. Doing so brought a stream of new ideas. Suddenly, the picture was bigger and brighter than ever before with improved opportunity ahead.

Likewise, as an entrepreneur, I learned my first hard lesson at the very first networking event ever attended. Upon announcing I was a sales trainer (having had a fruitful sales career), the men laughed believing a woman couldn’t possibly know enough about sales to be a trainer, and the women ran away believing I must be unethical.

From that day forward I began reading marketing materials. The first point noted was that to build credibility I must write a book. I also recognized the need to communicate more effectively and build my brand demonstrating integrity. Writing and public speaking became requirements. I spent my time learning how to write, speak and build my personal brand to attract the right attention.

What transpires when we are willing to face our shortcomings is the dawning of new possibilities and opportunities. As my conversation developed with Charles, an added benefit became recognition that the two of us will very likely collaborate on future projects. As for me, I became a published author of two best-selling books.

My parting words to Charles were, “Be proud you recognized what you may do better in the future. You are now positioned for a far better outcome.”

When we are willing to face what went wrong to move forward, we are then headed for a Smooth Sale!


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and the best selling career book, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press. She provides team sales training, private coaching and highly acclaimed inspirational keynotes for conferences. Elinor is available upon request for consultation.