You've certainly experienced this in your business before -- the excitement at the prospect of closing a new deal or landing a new partnership, only to have the deal fall through almost as swiftly as you had secured it in the first place.
How do you bounce back? As an entrepreneur, it's all about being scrappy, cutting your losses and not getting hung up on what could have been. These six entrepreneurs have been in your shoes before -- and have some strategies to turn a negative outlook into a positive one.
Find the humor.
Dwelling on the past can kill any motivation you may have to make proactive changes for the future. Brennan White, CEO of intelligent platform Cortex, knows this to be true, and combats these feelings by injecting a bit of humor into the situation at hand.
"Whether it's cracking jokes with co-workers, watching something humorous online, or most often making fun of myself internally, humor puts things in perspective and lets me move on," he says.
Remember that it's not the first time -- nor the last.
Why get bogged down in something that didn't work out when a better opportunity could be just ahead? Darrah Brustein, founder of networking event organization Network Under 40, has a strategy in place for keeping things in perspective:
"It's really tempting to get caught up in the whirlwind of a potentially 'game-changing' deal. So when it doesn't work out, it can be completely deflating," she says.
"One thing I've done to remedy this feeling is to reflect back on past times when similar outcomes presented themselves, and then remember how another opportunity that ultimately was a better fit later came along."
Stay positive and connected.
While you might not have achieved the outcome you had hoped for, this missed opportunity just might have given you something to be grateful for.
"Even though it may look like you've lost something, you've still established a connection that may come in handy down the road," says Brett Farmiloe, founder of digital marketing agency Markitors.
Farmiloe describes a recent meeting with a potentially major client that fizzled out when the prospect decided to take a different direction. "We decided to spin it in a positive light, knowing that our interactions had ended positively," he says.
Focus on the opportunities in hand.
If you're so focused on chasing the next big opportunity, you'll lose sight of the existing opportunities you do have.
"I've invested in lots of commercial real estate. It is frustrating that you cannot invest in every great deal, and you'll never pick the top of the market. You're going to leave money on the table," says Brian Smith, partner at coaching business S Brian Smith Group.
"There are always more deals, but you'll lose the bird in hand if you're focused on the two in the bush," he says.
Reframe your interpretation.
For every deal that doesn't quite pan out, you walk away with a better understanding of how to get it right next time.
"Change your mindset so that every missed opportunity is a learning opportunity," says Bryanne Lawless, owner of PR agency BLND Public Relations.
"When we first started, we had a potential new client that would have elevated our business to the next level, but after several rounds of meetings, they decided to go in a different direction. Instead of dwelling on the loss, we focused on where we could improve and implemented those lessons into future opportunities."
Know that the next big opportunity will come knocking soon.
You had something to offer that made the deal viable in the first place. Give yourself a little credit for the steps you took to get that far.
Peter Bonac, owner and president of design company Bonac Innovation Corp., recalls an opportunity his business secured to create a luxury mobile phone and watch set with a top designer.
"Even though we were close to a final agreement, the deal fell through when they discovered a possible conflict of interest within another collaboration. This deal was lost, but all the unique aspects of our brand that made this collaboration interesting still remain," he says.