Yes, the job of an entrepreneur is to make mistakes, but when your business fails, the last thing you want to do is get up and try again. Interestingly, only 20 percent of businesses survive the first year so you may be in good company.
Many other entrepreneurs have experienced some failure on the road to success. The worst thing you can do after a failure is to give up. It’s how you react to the failure that will determine whether you rise above it.
Change How You Think About Failure
You may be in the cold clutch of fear as you see everything you’ve worked so hard to build falling apart. You may need a little time to feel all the emotions as deeply as you can and then put them behind you and look forward to the next challenge.
It’s easy to fall into depression if you dwell on your mistakes and become obsessed with them. You have to banish thoughts that whatever you try next won’t work, so there is no point in trying.
This may start a downward spiral, so you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on. You can grow personally and professionally if you learn how to deal with failure and not become discouraged by it.
Failure can be valuable if you treat it as a learning experience. If you stop lamenting that this happened to you, you can start thinking about how to prevent making the same mistakes again.
Dealing with a huge failure may just bring out self reliance abilities you need to move forward. You can start again with the knowledge you didn’t have before.
You are likely to make smarter choices that give you more control of your business and your life.
Take Stock, Learn and Adapt
You can learn a lot if you accept responsibility for your mistakes rather than blaming others and feeling sorry for yourself.
You will probably be emotionally drained by your failure, and the last thing you will feel like is thinking about why your business failed.
You have two options; you can wallow in your failure and start an endless cycle of negativity and depression. The other option is to wake up daily, commit yourself to being grateful for what you have and optimistic about your future.
Learn, explore, believe in yourself and move forward. Take action in the right ways and become better and stronger. Don’t ever give up, even if you have to switch direction completely along the way.
The biggest mistake you can make is to sit around feeling miserable and take it so personally that you think of yourself as a failure.
[Tweet “Failure is not exactly the opposite of success, it is part of success @Oasdom”]
You just haven’t found a successful way to do something, but it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. If you can see it this way, you can look at the situation more analytically and figure out what went wrong.
If you’re analytical, you will be able to see what you did right as well as what you did wrong. You can build on what you did right and learn from what you did wrong.
Get Help From a Mentor
If you’re struggling to see how things went so wrong and have no idea what to do next, reach out to a mentor. A mentor can help you to connect the dots and assist in developing a roadmap on how to move forward.
A mentor will probably have the objectivity to tell you bluntly what you were doing wrong and what needs to change. Perhaps a friend who happens to run a successful business may be able to act as a mentor.
[Tweet “Experience is the present tutor that keeps you from repeating the past in the present”]
You know what, as a young entrepreneur, you need self-confidence and independence. These are the very qualities that can become an impediment.
They can prevent you from accepting the advice of someone else that could make the difference between success and failure. The success rate for small business entrepreneurs with mentors is far higher than those without mentors.
It helps to have someone knowledgeable person you can turn to for advice. It’s easy to develop tunnel vision as an entrepreneur, and a mentor can help you to see possible weaknesses in your approach.
Focus on the Present
Once you experience failure, it’s hard not to dwell on the past, and you may feel fearful about the future. What can help is to focus on the present. Take each day as it comes. Your failure is in the past, not the present.
Take the First Step
Taking the first step forward after a big failure can be intimidating, but if you keep taking one step after another, you will be able to look back and see what progress you have made.
The faster you take that positive step forward, the sooner you will leave behind debilitating, negative thoughts.
Also Read: 6 important things to do when you fail
In a society where instant gratification is so prevalent, it can be hard to focus on the little steps, but it’s necessary because big changes can take months or even years. You have to be patient, put in the time and focus on the small goals.
When you’re taking small steps, at least you know you’re moving forward and that the changes are sticking. You can get a great deal of satisfaction out of even small actions.
Reflect on Your Accomplishments
After each step you take, reflect on the progress you have made. Perhaps you and your mentor could celebrate together.
Setting small achievable goals and accomplishing them will help you to regain your confidence and keep going.
Too often we rely on others to make us feel confident. We are too easily influenced by what others believe and say to us. Giving too much power to their opinions can undermine your confidence and ability to move forward.
If your confidence comes from within, rather than from others, you are less likely to be influenced when others doubt you.
Quick Video: How to be confident
Move Beyond Your Comfort Zones
If you are open to trying new experiences, this could open the door to new business opportunities. Try to change your mindset, so you are receptive to new ideas, instead of clinging to old ones for comfort.
[Tweet “One thing about your comfort zone is; nothing grows there @Oasdom”]
Think about new ways to solve problems you may have experienced in your business. The less confident you are and the more worried you are about failing again, the less likely you are to take risks.
Ironically, finding a ‘riskier’ solution may be the most important avenue for you to pursue. You should read this post on 10 soul searching questions to ask yourself when starting a business.
Experimentation can be chaotic and stressful, but it often brings exhilaration when you come out the other end of the process. You may find that it takes you places you would never have thought about going.
You may even find yourself pivoting in a completely different direction and find yourself on a new path. If you have been putting off a particular project, this may be exactly the right time to tackle it.
Connect With the Right People
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and connect with people who may be able to help you to find a new direction.
Networking online and offline can be game-changing. These people may have a direct or indirect influence on your personal and business life.
They can provide support and offer advice. People tend to do business with other people they know, like and trust.
[Tweet “The right conversation with the right person may be useful than 1,000 years of lecture @Oasdom”]
It also helps a great deal to be relating to positive people at a time of failure in your life. You don’t need negative influences in your life at this point and listening to other people’s doubts can seriously affect your motivation to move forward.
You need people around you who will build you up and inspire you rather than making you doubt. It’s hard enough to reinvent yourself without having to deal with the negativity of others.
Take Action to Address Your Finances
If you are broke or going through a bankruptcy, it will play a role in how quickly you can make changes. It may be necessary to take on temporary work to keep finances coming in as you gear up for your next step.
Sell some of the clutter lying around your house and think about solutions such as offering your services as a consultant. People are often willing to pay for expertise. This can help you to pay the bills while you recover emotionally and financially.
Be Consistent in Your actions
There will be those days when you feel your previous failure so strongly that you don’t want to do anything. You need to force yourself to act consistently, even when you don’t feel like it.
You will find that as you take consistent action, you start to build momentum and see success. The more success you start seeing, the easier it becomes to take the next step.
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