Setbacks – Don’t Take Them Personally



Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of commitment, fear of change. These are just some of the things that keep people rooted in the past. These fears, among others, keep people from succeeding in the present and by extension – in the days, weeks and months (sometimes years) ahead. Failure is one thing. It happens to everyone to one degree or another. Babies fail multiple times before they develop the leg strength and coordination to walk.

Although you’ve forgotten the details… you’ve been there and done that.

Babies and young children, however, don’t take it personally. They keep trying until, all things being equal, they walk. Adult failures, however, are viewed entirely differently. If you fail as an adult, trying again may lead to another failure. And for whatever reason, your personal logic often dictates, you should have outgrown failure by now.

It sounds ridiculous, but let’s face it, adults usually don’t handle setbacks too well. For example, if you watch a video that teaches you how to play poker… and you fail at the poker table with your friends next Saturday night – you must be some kind of idiot, right? If you can’t get it right after having watched an entire video, there must be something wrong with you. Maybe you should be on some kind of medication or something?

That’s ridiculous of course. Even so, that’s how we respond to things. We overreact.

I can’t tell you how many areas I’ve “learned how to walk in” over the past decade (not to mention before that). More than just a few.

Everything is a learning experience. Even if someone is holding your hand, so to speak, you still have to learn to do it yourself. Whatever “it” happens to be. You still have to develop your muscles in that area.

That means, it’s going to take some time before you get it right. In plain English, you’re not perfect. You’re going to mess up. But so is everyone else who’s in the same position you’re in. Repetition or practice is the one bridge you must cross that stands between where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.


When it comes to choosing a niche, you may not make the best choice. Even after researching keywords, what people are supposedly buying, and whatnot. Sometimes you get it wrong. Following a passion sounds like a great idea until you discover that people aren’t interested in opening their wallets for that particular thing. They may have been at one time, but that was then and this is now.

So what happens when your “passion” doesn’t make money? What happens if it fails to make money time and time again? Most people give up. Some people, however, take what they’ve learned from the failures and setbacks, regroup, and roll out a new project when they can.

Some people are bound and determined to make it in their niche, no matter how long it takes. That’s fine, too. No one but you can make that decision. Others determine it’s time to take what they’ve learned through their past failures and try something new. That, too, is fine. And again, no one can make that decision but you.

There was an old Kenny Rogers song called, “The Gambler.” Although the word gambling has a negative connotation to it with most people, gambling is risk taking to one degree or another. As a business owner or entrepreneur, you take risks all the time. Hopefully your risks are more calculated than a roll of the dice or the dealing of a hand – but even an outright gambler knows there’s a time to “hold’ em” and a time to “fold’ em.” Oftentimes, that too takes trial and error before you can tell the difference between quitting prematurely and when it’s time to move on to something better.


There are two basic ways to get traffic to your website and whatever you’re selling. Free traffic is one. Paid traffic is the other. Getting free traffic means you’ll have to invest time participating in forums, social media sites and other places where your potential customers frequent. If you can’t afford to test an ad here or there, this may be your only option. It’s free traffic or bust.

At the end of the day, there isn’t an instant fix you can count on every time because it takes some time for things to grow. That includes your traffic. You can’t gamble on being an exception to the rule.

Here’s one thing, however, you should know when it comes to the various methods of generating traffic.

You really have to pick a method, whether it falls under the free or paid category, and master it. I chose organic SEO when I first started. It took me a few years to really understand all the in’s and out’s of it and master it. Because SEO tactics change so often, I decided to stick with the “evergreen methods.” That means, I don’t try to game the system.

A good friend of mine decided to master Facebook marketing as the primary method of generating traffic to her site. I learned about Facebook marketing from her. Her methods are a little time consuming but they work.

Now, here’s the thing… whatever method you choose – use it until you’ve squeezed every last drop of traffic out of it. Don’t leave anything on the table. Sometimes, certain methods dry up – just like that old saying about the well running dry. When a well dries up and all the water’s gone, you have to dig another well.


A friend of mine once said, “What if I do what you’re saying and I fail?” I said, “Well go ahead and hurry up and fail already so we can stop talking about the ‘what if’s’ and move on to something else!”

You can talk about, debate and discuss the what if’s until you pass out and still not get anywhere. Underneath all of it is some kind of fear you have and guess what? Until you face it and conquer it, it’ll haunt you to one degree or another for the rest of your life.

I know that’s not what you want. Nothing is worse than being frozen in place. What you do today are just new pages in an ongoing story of your life. Whether the current chapter deals with success or failure, it’s just the current chapter. Later, more chapters will be added. I think of every year as a new chapter in the drama of life.

I mean, if life isn’t a drama, what is?

We don’t know what the future will bring. We only see what’s in front of us today. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend today worrying about tomorrow. I want to do what I know to do while it’s still called today. I don’t mean to sound religious, but tomorrow is in God’s hands. Today has enough challenges without being worried about something that might happen tomorrow. Today is all you have right now. I choose to use it to build something that has lasting value. If I find myself getting burned out, for whatever reason, I take some time to recharge the battery and then get back to work again.


I hate the say this, but you may be your own worst enemy and not even realize it. It’s great to analyze things and review your options. If you’re looking for guarantees in your analysis, however, you won’t find any. People know that, but they keep looking anyway. If your options happen to be 50-shades of gray and you have it narrowed down to four, you’re not only going to have to pick one, you’re going to have to forget about the other options immediately afterward to maintain your sanity.

Recently, I examined a half dozen membership scripts for new products and courses I sell. The old script I used no longer worked because the script programmer didn’t keep pace with PayPal changes.

Some of the scripts were very expensive. Others, less so. When I finally decided on one, I bought it and proceeded to update both sites.

Then, a week later, a new product came out that does the same thing – only with additional bells and whistles. A week after that, another product was released doing the same thing for less money. Then, a week after that, I received an email from the company I purchased my script from saying they were taking the product off the market, but were still going to support their current customers and keep the product updated. Did I make the right choice?

I basically spent a month focusing on a single tool, sifting through information, worried that I wasn’t making the right decision. Sound familiar? Narrow down your possible choices or solutions. Pick one. Move on until the choice you made no longer works. Don’t fix something that may not work a year from now. There are better uses of your time. No matter what you’re doing, set a time limit for yourself and don’t over-think everything.

Picture of Jim Galiano

Jim Galiano

Jim Galiano is an Internet consultant, web developer, author and podcaster who started doing business online in 1998. His consulting, marketing and publicity services have been used worldwide since 2002. Jim has been interviewed by a variety of media sources including the Wall Street Journal and CBS News in New York.

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About Jim

Jim Galiano is an Internet consultant, web developer, author and podcaster who started doing business online in 1998. His consulting, marketing and publicity services have been used worldwide since 2002.

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