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Success and Discouragement

After losing an opportunity this week for a project with a prospective client, I was disheartened. I know that I cannot win every new business opportunity, but this one had all the signs of success. I pitched it as well as I possibly could (verbally, of course, we never create written pitches); the client acknowledged that our process and tools were well suited to the change they were seeking to make.

By all external indicators, my agency was the perfect fit. At the end of the process, the client acknowledged that they decided to go in a different direction, and that while they were saying no, I should consider it, “not right now.”

While that leaves me hopeful, “not right now,” doesn’t generate revenue.

Sometimes, a response like this leaves me doubting (my ability to develop new business, not in my God) and confused. Until I understand why they changed direction even though it appeared my agency was the right fit to help them create the change they were seeking to make, it will be an open loop in my brain.

It makes me feel like the community I’m trying to serve has turned its back on me. Of course, that’s not true at all. The view from when you’re in the valley is different than when you’re on top of the mountain.

To be honest, I was shaken and discouraged. Perhaps you have felt that after a business loss. Of course, you have.

In the eyes of this world and on paper, my name is in the legal documents as the owner of my business. In God’s plan, I will acknowledge that I am not the owner—I am the steward of the business— placed here by a loving heavenly Father who is the true owner (a truth learned from John Beckett).

A steward is responsible for taking care of something that somebody else owns. Following God’s direction, it’s my responsibility to lead the people with whom I have the privilege to work.

I was also reminded not to cling to what is not yet mine, not to put my hope in the promises of a business opportunity, or long for the illusion of success this world may offer.

Psalm 42 and 43 both contain the same passage three times:

Why am I discouraged?Why is my heart so sad?I will put my hope in God!I will praise him again —My Savior and my God!

Shaken? Yes. Without hope? Never.

“I will bless the LORD who guides me;Even at night my heart instructs me.I know the Lord is always with me.I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.” (Psalm 16, NLT)

“NO” means next opportunity. If you don’t mind, I have to get back to developing new business.

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