For any new business owner, success and

disappointment often walk hand in hand!


Setbacks are an inevitable part of the journey. While disappointment can be disheartening, it’s important to remember that how you respond to these challenges can define whether your business endures or forces you to hang up your squeegee for good. Disappointments don’t have to be the huge boulder in the path to success that you think. Often, they can be stepping stones that take you to the next level. Here are several things you can do to make sure you stay on the path to success and keep your head in the game.

  1. Embrace the Growth Mindset:

A while back, I dedicated a “Gabe’s Corner” column to discussing the Growth Mindset and how to use it to help your business, so go back and read it if you are unfamiliar with the term. In a nutshell, a Growth Mindset is one in which you are open to many ideas and options instead of insisting on the one way of doing things that you are comfortable with. Disappointment can serve as a powerful teacher if you are open to learning from it, offering valuable lessons for personal and professional growth. Rather than dwelling on the negative, focus on what you can extract from the situation. Analyze what went wrong, identify areas for improvement, and translate these insights into actionable steps to enhance any new strategies or plans for your business.

  1. Reframe Failure as Feedback:

The perspective you adopt towards disappointment can significantly impact your response. Instead of perceiving failures as dead ends, view them as feedback on your approach. This shift in mindset can open doors to innovation and creativity. Use disappointment as a guide to refine how you approach your goals or what business model you use. Embrace failure as an integral part of the entrepreneurial process, and you’ll find yourself better equipped to bounce back.

  1. Resilience in the Face of Adversity:

Resilience is the cornerstone of success in the business world. Every single window cleaner you know has faced setbacks, but what sets the one who endured apart is their ability to weather the storm and emerge stronger. Develop resilience by practicing self-care, maintaining a strong support network, and honing your problem-solving skills. Talk to trusted fellow window cleaners when you’re struggling rather than hiding your anxieties under a mask of bravado. You will find out that you are not alone, and they may give sound advice on weathering the storm. Resilience isn’t about avoiding disappointments but navigating through them with determination and grace.

  1. Pivot with Purpose:

I first heard of this term during the whole Covid experience when people were trying to figure out how to stay afloat with all the uncertainty. A pivot, when executed with purpose, can be a game-changer. Use setbacks as an opportunity to reassess your goals, target audience, and market positioning. Sometimes finding a unique niche in the market allows you to focus your talent and become an expert in an area that you may not have given much thought to before. Leverage your disappointment to innovate and explore new avenues. Some of the most successful businesses emerged from a pivot born from adversity.

  1. Cultivate Patience and Perseverance:

It’s true, business owners are not the most patient people in the world. That’s because decisions and plans need to be made now, not after it’s too late to do anything with them. However, overcoming obstacles takes time. Sometimes, the solution presents itself clearly, but often, we need to give the situation time to marinate before we can adequately understand what we are up against. Or we might need to bide our time to allow an unfavorable environment to change before we make our move. Understand that success is a journey; it takes time to clear the thicket before we can see the next part of the path. Maintain your focus on your long-term vision, and those pauses won’t seem as long as when we are stuck in the moment.

  1. Seek Guidance and Mentorship:

If you’ve read my column for any length of time, you know that I’m a big proponent of seeking mentorship. It’s not uncommon to feel isolated during times of disappointment. However, seeking guidance from mentors can provide fresh perspectives and insights. Mentors have often faced similar challenges and can offer valuable advice on how to navigate through them. Their experiences can help you avoid common pitfalls and make informed decisions moving forward. So, whether it is an official mentorship arrangement or just someone who you bend their ear on occasion, take advantage of the years of experience available to you by virtue of a fellow business owner’s kindness.

  1. Celebrate Small Wins:

While we often feel the full impact of the disappointments we may have, we often dismiss the small victories as things that “should” happen and thus are not worthy of recognition. Make sure that you don’t let those times go by without taking time to appreciate what was accomplished, no matter how small. Acknowledging your progress, no matter how incremental, can boost morale and provide a sense of accomplishment. In fact, most of your business growth will be small jumps, so ignoring them can lead to a false sense of stagnation. Remind yourself that these small wins add up over time and contribute to the overall success of your business. Remember, every setback you overcome brings you closer to your goals.

Turning Setbacks into Stepping stones

Disappointment is an inevitable part of the business journey, but it doesn’t have to define your path. With the right mindset, resilience, and determination, you can transform setbacks into opportunities for growth. Embrace failure as a means of feedback, pivot with purpose, and seek guidance when needed. By reframing disappointment as a stepping stone towards success, you’ll overcome challenges and emerge stronger, wiser, and more prepared to keep on your entrepreneurial journey for the long haul.


Gabriel Gutierrez

Owner and President

Gabe’s Spotless Cleaning Services, Inc.

Gabe’s Spotless Window Cleaning

[email protected]

(520) 404-4106