We completely appreciate that pouring your heart and soul into a business makes everything feel personal -- the late nights and long hours can feel utterly soul destroying if the client falls through or you get bad feedback. When you’re working towards a goal, remember that things will go wrong. There are always highs and lows in owning your own business, so here is our advice on how not to take everything personally.

If you’ve hit a roadblock, the first and most important thing to remember is: take a step back. Take a big deep breath and really analyse the situation. What don’t they like here? Are they looking for something different? Maybe they want call handling instead of a virtual assistant and came through to the wrong site. Maybe they were on a tight budget and couldn’t afford you. All too often we jump to conclusions, filling in the gaps with our worst fears when we don’t have all the information. While we won’t bore you with a cliche about what happens when you assume, it is important to remember that you don’t have a window into your potential client’s mind. So don’t assume the worst and try and remain objective.

Very rarely does a client or customer take exception to your personal demeanour but even then, some personalities just aren’t meant to connect. Remember to protect yourself psychologically - don’t let mistakes and mishaps pierce you at your core. Even the hardiest of us would suffer if every problem led to a diminished sense of self worth. Protecting yourself is crucial and one very important link in that suit of armour is not seeing yourself in every problem. Your clients don’t think that way so neither should you!

The second thing to bear in mind is the issue of perspective. You will always care more about your concept and your business more than anyone else. Dont be upset when their reaction seems less than the fanfare you think it deserves - they haven’t been having dreams (and nightmares) about it for months on end.

Feedback will help gain some perspective for you. Learning what associates and clients think of your service or product will help you see it from their point of view.

Always ask questions at the end of every deal - even if it went swimmingly. You might have done something they loved but didn’t even realise. Likewise, if someone goes in another direction, ask them why, very politely. You might be able to make big changes off the back of a small amount of feedback - but take care not to pander to every opinion. Some people just can’t be pleased - so don’t take it personally!!