Rebuilding After Loss

by Carrie Bobb

In 2018, I was blindsided. The business I spent 15 years building, that I absolutely loved, slipped through my fingers like water.

About this time last year, I began to pick up the pieces and rebuild. I learned, and am learning still, some valuable lessons about rebuilding a business after loss. No two stories are the same, nor do I feel like I have all the answers. My desire is to share what I am learning through the process, in order to spark hope and courage in someone else who might be rebuilding.

  • Adjust our compass. When the world is upside down and spinning, it’s hard to find our bearings. It can feel like we are twisting and turning and plummeting and we can’t tell which way is up. If we begin with finding the horizon, everything else will adjust. We must find our True North and get back to the fundamentals of why we built our businesses in the first place.
  • Define the waterline clearly. As the business owners or captains of our ship, we must delegate well. However, no one makes a decision below the waterline of our boat without talking with us first. We cannot afford to take on any more water. This lesson has cost me time, money and heartache. We must delegate with extreme clarity. People must understand what is within their authority and what is not. Not being clear what is within and outside their ability to make a call, will cost us.
  • Remember to float. Right now it is about how long we can tread water. In moments of panic, when we fear we are close to drowning, we need to remind ourselves to float. We need to take a deep breath and conserve energy. Our bodies and minds need to rest, so when it is time to swim, we haven’t worn ourselves out treading water. Part of being prepared is taking care of ourselves mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Our teams and our businesses need us to be the best version of ourselves when it’s time to go.
  • Build it different. Make it meaningful. The advantage of rebuilding is we can do it different. We can make it better. We can learn new ways to do things and add more meaning and value than we thought possible. We can create meaningful goods and services by being curious and relentlessly learning how to make something better. If you were going to build it over again, what would you do different?
  • Give purpose to the pain. Deep pain can be the catalyst to finding our purpose. And it usually begins with helping someone else. If we take what we learn through our struggle and use it to help someone, it doesn’t make the pain go away. But it does give a value to the disappointment and pain where there once was only loss. The events that took something precious, are now being used to give something precious to someone who needs it. And that is powerful.

Carrie is the founder and CEO of Carrie Bobb & Co. She is a consumer behavior analytics nerd and an expert at driving revenue for retail properties through digital and brick and mortar leasing strategies.

Carrie has closed over $2 billion in total consideration throughout her career. She has completed transactions with brands such as Sephora, SoulCycle, Drybar, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Restoration Hardware and many others. She has implemented leasing strategies through social media and online influencer programming on several projects. She was named one of San Diego’s Power Women in Real Estate and received her MBA from the University of San Diego. Carrie lives in San Diego with her husband, Matt, their three inquisitively adventurous kids and one joyful golden doodle.