Setbacks Versus Big Problems And Dealing With Them

Setbacks Versus Big Problems And Dealing With Them

We all go through trials and I'm marking this day as one of those frustrating points. My hope is that I will look back at this moment and hopefully laugh at this setback.

Setbacks can be frustrating but how do you know the difference between a setback and a big problem? I guess that depends on your definition on both. Some of the most focused and storied entrepreneurs consider everything a setback.

Entrepreneurs range from small business owners to Steve Jobs. You've probably read numerous coming-of-age tales of people coming from the dark ends of the earth to make it big. Those are always fun to read but that's not the reality for most.

According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of companies make it passed the first year and 10% make it passed five. Interestingly enough, survival rate appears similar across the board regardless of what year the company was established.


Ultimately, how do you deal with them?

Two Ways

1. Test Your Commitment With The Following Questions

If you have found yourself fading, you're likely in this camp. Once you begin questioning your commitment to your company, you've essentially reached a turning point - do you keep going or do you stop? Here are some questions that may help shape your decision:

  • Why are you doing this?
  • Why is this important to you?
  • Is this worth doing?
  • Do I see myself doing this one year from now or even five years from now?
  • What are the current issues?
  • Can I just kill this idea and move on to another one?
  • Do I need to put this on hold?

2. Believe there are no such things as big problems, just setbacks.

If you're in this camp, you have no question as to whether you're in over your head. Unless you are dealing with a life threatening issue, you're simply ready to go and moving forward with your company. It is likely that you're not even reading this post. You're working. You've simply fallen off the horse and getting back on the saddle.

The simplest form of determination is sheer willfulness. When you want something, you must have it, no matter what.
-Paul Graham of Y-Combinator

Graham is a venture capitalist who has seeded companies like Twitch, Quora, AirBNB and over a thousand others. "Talent is overrated compared to determination," writes Graham. "Partly because it makes a better story, partly because it gives onlookers an excuse for being lazy, and partly because after a while determination starts to look like talent."

He continues:

"A good deal of willfulness must be inborn, because it's common to see families where one sibling has much more of it than another. Circumstances can alter it, but at the high end of the scale, nature seems to be more important than nurture. Bad circumstances can break the spirit of a strong-willed person, but I don't think there's much you can do to make a weak-willed person stronger-willed."

So. Which way are you going to deal with setbacks and problems?

And if we're unsure maybe the question we should ask is:

What do you really want to do with this life?


About Radford Castro

I own this entire bad boy. I'm a husband, father, developer and entrepreneur. I like to make stuff.