Setbacks and side quests: every cloud has a silver lining

Sandro, of Gen Z consultancy Imagen Insights, sees opportunities in setbacks but tells us to stay focused on our goals

We’ve all been there. You have a plan but something doesn’t go according to said plan. How should you react? The best thing about any situation is that it’s always possible to develop a new strategy and cope with whatever unpredictability life throws your way.

It’s bound to happen. You set out with a plan and things just don’t go the way you envisioned. Maybe you get sick, or a key client cancels, or you simply can’t find the right resources. Whatever the reason, when your plans go off course it can be hard to know what to do next.

It can be easy to get caught up in the negative when things don’t go according to plan. Whether it’s a personal goal that’s not being met (I’ve been there) or a business setback (also been there), it’s important to stay positive and look for the silver lining. Ultimately, it’s about the endgame, because our trajectory towards success isn’t as linear as the plan we have in our heads (and that’s good!).

I’ve learned not to take things too personally when my plans go wrong

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the ‘what ifs’ and second-guess yourself, but try to remember that not everything is under your control. I’ve felt this way before — joining Imagen Insights, where things would go wrong at work and I would think it was solely my fault. But the reality is, there are often many factors involved in any given situation. I’ve learned to separate myself from the problem and see it as just a challenge to be overcome and this helped me be in a much better position to deal with it moving forwards.

I see the side quests and setbacks (outside of the major goal) as an opportunity 

Every cloud has a silver lining — it may just take a little bit of effort (and positivity) to find it. As long as we keep our end goal in mind, regardless of how much it detours from our original plan it’s completely fine. We have to remind ourselves of what we’re working towards and why it’s worth it. This will help us stay motivated and keep moving forward.

When it comes to business, the age old saying “the only constant is change” rings true. In today’s business landscape, brands are faced with increasing competition, rapidly changing technologies, and constantly shifting customer preferences. To stay ahead of the curve, why not learn to embrace change? Often goals change. Look at Amazon for instance. They started off as an online bookstore and fast forward to 2022, they are who they are because they adapted. Surely there were dozens of detours in-between, but the ultimate goal of them becoming an “everything store” was reached, and even branched out to other business ventures (like streaming with Prime Video).

Whilst we can’t always predict when plans will go wrong, it’s important to have a plan for how to deal with those setbacks. 

Remember, it’s not about avoiding all obstacles, but rather having the ability to overcome them when they do arise. With a little preparation and effort, you’ll be able to set yourself up for success no matter what curveballs come your way.

Featured image: Guduru Ajay bhargav / Pexels

Sandro Rosario, Client Success Manager, Imagen Insights

Sandro comes from an investment banking background (managing trading, accounts and portfolios) in the commodities and futures market. He then moved in-house at Imagen Insights to work on client success. Sandro is passionate about helping young people outside and inside Imagen Insights, and volunteers with Amnesty International Portugal, as well as supporting Plan International.

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