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  • Kristen Herring-Asleson

Heartbreak is All Around . . . Don't Turn it into Failure



Heartbreak is all around us. When the topic of heartbreak is broached, most people’s minds go to thoughts of a breakup, a death or a personal loss.


Heartbreak can pertain to business as well, no matter if you are an employee or the owner of a business.


Three years ago when I received my breast cancer diagnosis, the business I owned was thriving and gaining traction with each day, week and month that passed. The diagnosis came in October, and all of a sudden I had to make the decision to either hire an employee to keep it going while I recovered from surgeries or close down. As anyone who owns a fledgling business, it is not easy to turn it over to someone else even if it would be temporary.


Ultimately, when my only option for proper treatment was a double mastectomy, the decision needed to be closing permanently. On Dec. 10, 2018, the surgery took place, and on Dec. 20, 2018, the doors to the coffee and wine house were opened for 10 more days. To say it was less than a challenge and struggle would be a lie as my entire torso was wrapped and the pain was never-ending. On Dec. 31, following an amazing New Year’s Eve party with a live band, the doors closed forever.


Not only did I have more surgeries to look forward to,but there also was the heartbreak of never knowing what could have been for my coffee and wine house.


Did this feel like failure? It sure did.


How does a person deal with heartbreak, or failure, when it comes to the workplace or owning a business?


To be told to “snap out of it and move on” is not an appropriate response, and in reality, simply is not possible. Instead, it's time to validate the feelings women have in regard to this and acknowledge that it's OK to grieve.


Closing a business, failing at a business venture and losing a job are all losses.


Women who have been through heartbreak because of their business or job offer insightful thoughts here:


“Take time to take stock of the accomplishments you had. Look at what you brought to the table and learned. All of that you can take forward to your next venture.” -- Bianca


“Sit down and write. Write down everything you learned from the experience. Appreciate the lessons learned and do it differently the next time.” -- Serenity


“Learn and move on, but conscientiously plan better to avoid the same mistake next time. Put your best foot forward and learn; it is only a loss if you don’t learn from it.” – Trudi


“This hits home for me! Pre-COVID, I had a thriving business but lost 90% of my residential business and most contracts have not come back. My heart and bank account have been shattered. Right now, I am learning how to reprice my products, and get back out there to land new clients, but it is not easy. I feel this down to my soul.” -- Jane


“Go back to who YOU are. You are not your business, your endeavors or your successes. Dig deep down and don’t forget you are majestic, amazing and proud. Yes, you have to start over, but you can do what you love and make it. Failures lead to success.” -- Marilyn


Failure at work is inevitable, but realizing it will lead to success will help you win this battle. Take the time to pull yourself together, go through the grieving process and come back stronger than ever. You can do it!


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