What to Do When Life Goes Up in Flames

Big news was made recently when the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris caught fire.   

What to do when life goes up in flames. Over 8 centuries of history was nearly destroyed in a few hours.

As the flames roared on, people from around the world were captivated watching it happen on live TV.

One question that came to mind immediately for most:

Is it possible to rebuild?

What do you do when something gets damaged or ruined—how do you start over?

I have a lot of experience with this.

What to Do When Life Goes Up in Flames

For example, I used to do a show on the National Geographic channel called Turnaround King.

It was a reality show where I went to real businesses and literally was tasked with turning them around.

They were going up in flames, so to speak, and I was the firefighter.

Having personally talked with thousands of business owners, executives, and managers over the past 35 years, I have seen a pattern develop time and time again during periods of loss or change.

I can assure you that the rate at which you go through these following stages will determine how soon you can get your life or business back on track.

This goes beyond just business by the way…

If ANY area of your life is going up in flames 🔥🔥🔥…

Whether it’s your business, a relationship, or something else in life, here are 7 common steps to rebuild the charred remains and bring back the former glory, and even have bigger success.

(Note that you don’t have to go through each step, these are just what I’ve often observed happening)

Step 1: Getting Past Denial

This is a refusal to believe and accept that things have changed. This is the point when you have your head in the sand.

  • This is Blockbuster thinking Netflix was a fad in 2003.
  • This is when you first heard that Notre Dame was burning in France, you said, “No way!”
  • This is when a man first discovers his wife wants a divorce but he thinks it may have just been an emotional argument.

This is the step where all your efforts and energy are put into resisting the change that has just happened.

Step 2: Getting Over Anger and Blame

The next step inevitably finds a target to blame for the change. All your energy and effort is spent on finding someone to assign blame as the reason for the current situation.

  • This is a South Florida business blaming a hurricane for the terrible month.
  • This is when people saw the flames at Notre Dame, they soon got angry about the situation and searched for who was responsible for the blaze.
  • This is the boyfriend who gets dumped, but rather than looking intrinsically, he looks to emphasize all the ways how his girlfriend failed to appreciate what he brought to the table.

This is the stage where you simply blame others for the problem rather than accepting responsibility for the change that has happened.

Step 3: Stop Bargaining and Hoping

This next stage involves bargaining and hoping for someone to save you. This is a low level of responsibility.

  • This is the entrepreneur who thinks he just needs a good designer to redesign his website for the products to actually start selling.
  • This is where people started saying that the cathedral in Paris “isn’t a complete loss”, with the sincere hope that someone will just be able to come in and make it like it used to be.
  • This is the mother who thinks her drug-addicted son is going to “change” without cutting him off.

Nothing is worse than waiting for the banks to free up capital or the government to come in and play Robin Hood to save you. Move past this stage quickly!

Step 4: Moving Beyond Apathy

Eventually, you come to realize that things have changed and no one can save you. This results in people moving into major contraction and worsening of their own condition by saving money, energy, resources, creativity and any efforts to find a way out.

  • This is the business owner who will no longer advertise.
  • This is where people finally were realizing the reality of the severe damage with the cathedral in Paris.
  • This is the husband, rather than trying 10X harder to save the marriage, retreats even more after the big argument with his wife.

This is a stage of quitting or withdrawing.

Step 5: Getting Past False Acceptance and False Action

The next thing that often happens is a spurt of effort to accept conditions and doing something about it resulting in inconsistent and disappointing actions.

  • This was Sears while knowing that sales were down, continuing to apply the same efforts and actions that got them down in the first place rather than revolutionize the way they did things.
  • Time will tell how this might work out in Paris, but in New York after 911 there were years of planning, negotiation, and false starts before construction on the new Freedom Tower actually began in 2006.
  • This is the boyfriend who convinces himself that flowers are all it will take to win back the lady he cheated on.

Most underestimate the degree of change (pain or loss) and then take actions based on their underestimation.

Step 6: Moving Through Disappointment (another level of apathy)

Because little actions never result in satisfactory levels of production, you will feel more disappointment, confusion and possible frustration with your situation.

  • This is an entrepreneur disappointed with his renewed effort of making 10 sales calls that made no new sales.
  • This is people in Paris realizing the rebuild of Notre Dame will take longer—and cost more—than initially thought.
  • This is the mom who thought her son was making progress, only to be disappointed that he relapsed into drugs once again.

This disappointment should prepare you for true acceptance of the situation and what is required to dig out.

Step 7: True Acceptance Stage

This last stage is where you become fully aware of the amount of change for the first time and are now prepared to let go of the past and move into the future. You realize you need new skills, new energy, and new commitment.

  • This is the small business owner ready to scale and completely change the way he does things.
  • People in Paris will finally come to a firm plan on what to do and how exactly to rebuild Notre Dame.
  • This is the husband ready to do whatever it takes to save his marriage—because he sincerely wants to.

In this final stage, you will experience a reinvigoration and excitement about your future.

What to Do When Life Goes Up in Flames

If you’re ready to take your business back to prosperity, to take your life back to where it should be, when you can answer “yes” to the following:

  1. Are you no longer concerned with who is to blame but rather what you need to do?
  2. Do you believe that no one is going to come in and save the day?
  3. Are you disappointed in the results from the actions you’ve taken?
  4. Is it time to learn new actions, new skills, and new approaches for success in your life?

If yes to those questions…then it’s time you get on Cardone University today.

Be Great,


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