Look for the Silver Linings When the Going Gets Tough


When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That’s how the saying goes at least. The bottom line is that it tough to get going when the going gets tough. That’s true in both our professional and personal lives. 2018 proved to be one of the toughest years for me personally. In February, my family experienced the loss of my mother. In April, our beloved Bassett Hound passed away. In May, our house was hit by lightning and was a complete loss. In September my wife was treated for a brain tumor.

A bad string of event can lead to a feeling of hopelessness, perhaps at times, but more importantly, a search for the silver lining most ensue to help us get back on track. Silver linings in 2018 for my family include a new, uncluttered home, a reminder of how fragile life is and to enjoy the good times and take the bad in stride.

In the world of SBIR/STTR companies experience tough times too. Days and weeks are spent preparing a proposal, calculating budgets, tracking down letters of support, identifying partners. It is a huge investment of time. Then, six months later, you may get the proverbial “Dear John Letter”. Funding denied. You may submit another proposal, and the same response comes. Funding denied. You may get the urge to give up on this funding mechanism and many companies simply die on the vine due to lack of funding. As a company, you must take a big bite of humble pie and look for the silver linings.

The beauty of unfunded proposals are the comments that the technical reviewers provide. These are the golden nuggets that will help you to bolster the next proposal submission that you make. Use the SBTDC Tech team members as your support group, your sounding board, your cheerleaders, your trusted advisors to help you get through those tough times. Call on us to help you delve into your unfunded proposals and review comments. Together, we can identify the points to strengthen and breath new life into your next submission and beyond.

May 2019 bring us all good fortune and the ability to strive for positivity in light of adversity. As a team we can make great things happen.

Contributed by: John Ujvari, SBTDC

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