Launch a Business, and Then Your Life Shatters? A Guide to Get You Through

Maggie Karshner
3 min readOct 29, 2023


When launching a business we know we need to expect the unexpected. I’ve supported over a hundred businesses while they launch, so I can tell you firsthand that life’s surprises don’t just stop! This includes major life events like pregnancies, divorces, or deaths. As well as less major events like illness or injury of yourself or family members. Sh!t Happens. The thing we have control over is how we respond to it. When you’re taking a risk, your world feels precarious. This can make it harder to navigate life events with an even keel. Here’s a guide for how to navigate the sh!t when you’re in the middle of manifesting your dreams.

Take Time

Having control over how we respond to things doesn’t mean we don’t feel the things we feel. In fact, we have to feel the things before we can respond strategically. The first step is to give yourself time to be with what is. If you’re unwell, be sick. If someone, something, or a relationship has died, grieve. If things are still unknown, be present with all the emotions that brings up.

You can’t feel your feelings, check it off a list, and be ready to move on. Maybe you can pull that off for smaller feelings, but a big shift takes time to reorient to. Give yourself that time! Rushing this part does no one any good. It’s not good for you, it’s not good for your clients, it’s not good for your nascent business.

Don’t Feed Your Negative Self-Talk

Between bouts of feelings, watch your mind. It doesn’t take much fuel for those mind-gremlins to get going! Any challenge is fuel, but challenges when you’ve made a step towards a big goal? Mind-goblin ambrosia! Check-in with yourself: are those tired stories popping up? “Never finishes things.” “Doesn’t work hard enough.” “Can never earn enough money.” …Whatever the story, this is not corroboration of it!

Make Adjustments

As you approach a more settled place, adjust your expectations for your business. This might mean that you prioritize the things you can do now even if they were less of a priority previously. For example, suppose you imagined going to a lot of networking events to build your business. Now you find you don’t have the social energy for that. Great, don’t do that. Work on less social things such as blog articles or social media posts. Reprioritizing allows you to make forward movement in the reality of now.

Beyond reprioritizing, consider reevaluating your timeline. For self-imposed deadlines, it’s an easy change. Other deadlines are less negotiable. For a product, you might have wanted to launch before the holiday buying season. For a service, you might have wanted to launch at an annual conference. In these situations, a significant setback could have you missing the whole event. This means that your timeline could be set back anywhere from 3 to 12 months. Adjust your plan to match your new circumstances. It’s the only logical choice!

But what if these changes are causing more and more follow-on problems? Consider if a stable job would be a welcome balance to personal-life chaos. Employment is a great solution to a protracted timeline. We’re inclined towards all-or-nothing thinking as if taking a job means your business has failed. Taking a job doesn’t mean you’re not working towards your goal of self-employment. Steady full- or part-time employment can be a strategic choice. Employment allows you to build your business while minimizing the anxiety of the peaks and valleys of a new business.

Kindness and Persistence

In short, it’s important to practice self-compassion and treat yourself with kindness. This is true with all of life’s challenges, but especially when starting a business! Remember that determination is key; where there’s a will there’s a way! Consistent effort and resilience are more valuable than the speed of progress. Stick to it and you’ll get where you’re trying to go!

Originally published at on October 29, 2023.



Maggie Karshner

Maggie is a business coach who helps launch and grow self-employed businesses. Learn how she could help you at