You’ve come up against the insurmountable obstacle. Both the rock AND the hard place. What now?

First, take some time to decompress. Your anxiety is through the roof, so we have to let that calm down a bit.

Then, let’s look at the reality of the situation. Yes, everything appears black. Nowhere to go. But there’s also usually a few faint glimmers of hope that haven’t been snuffed out.

You lost your funding, but … there’s those other people you talked to who might become investors.

The competitor just announced the same product you’re building, but … you don’t actually know how good it is yet.

The regulators just showed up at your door with an injunction notice, but … you haven’t had a lawyer evaluate the impact.

There’s always room for hope.

Next, you have a big choice:  Who do you tell about this disaster? It really comes down to your values, particularly how important it is to be honest and forthcoming even when The Big One hits. And what other side-effects will be set off when you tell others.

I usually fall on the side of being transparent, but there are times for keeping secrets secret.  And taking the time to get your own head straightened out before unnecessarily scaring others.

But even after all this, we’re still stuck at the brick wall. We haven’t actually DONE anything yet, except start some conversations.

Now is the time to go back to your foundation, the mission and purpose of your business. That will help you to navigate through the tough decisions. Your values will help you decide how quickly to move, and how to treat people through the process.

I find it interesting that it’s exactly this “we’re out of options” time when the MOST options often arise. That’s because you’re focused and have to remove some of the constraints you’ve put on yourself over the years.

Your restaurant failed but you still own the property? Well, maybe you’ll become a farm supply store. That’s a truly weird transition that you never would have considered before, but now it’s a possibility. And if you could be a farm supply store, well, there’s a thousand other things you could do with the property too.

Now you have TOO many options.

So go back to your fundamentals. What was the ultimate goal of building a business? How do you want to improve the world through your presence?

And what resources do you have at hand to rebuild with?

This article was first published in InnovatioNews.

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