5 Proven Ways to Overcome a Startup Failure

Learn how to cope with a failure and find strengths to start everything from scratch
Wed Apr 19 2017
how-to-cope-with-a-startup-failure

According to the statistics published by the University of Tennessee, 50% of startups will fail till they reach the 5-year mark. That is why every entrepreneur should be ready for a failure.  

Of course, it’s hard to prepare yourself for the fact that the work you’ve put a lot of forces, pain, and sweat and has failed. Some people, once having failed, get depressed and return to their nine-to-five work, whereas the others pull themselves together and start everything all over again.

Here we’ll try to give you some advice on how to cope with the failure and find strengths to start everything from a scratch.

#1: Accept the failure

Yeah, that may sound like a line from some second-rate psychological literature but that’s true - you should understand and accept your failure. It means that you should realize inside of you that it’s over and you must move further.

Don’t bottle up your feelings. If you want to cry - cry, if you want to shout - shout. That much better than keeping everything inside and eventually blow up because of all those negative emotions. On the other hand, there is no need to blame everybody in your failure. The most vulnerable people are always our most important and cherished ones.

The best practice is just to take a break. Give yourself the time that you need to return to a normal life. Have a rest during that time, travel somewhere, read the books that you always wanted to read but didn’t have time to because of a heavy timetable, hang out with friends, take up a new hobby, enroll to any course you want, in other words, don’t sit back. You’ll see that there are lots of other interesting things and what has happened is not the end of the world.
 

#2: Learn from your mistakes

Once you’ve calmed down and returned to a stable psychological state, it’s time to do analyze your mistakes. Ask yourself: What did I do wrong? What did I do right? What would I change if I could start everything over again?

If it’s possible, meet with your colleagues and ask them what they think about the result, what points they can highlight as the critical ones.

Recently, it’s become popular to write startup post-mortems. These are stories written by entrepreneurs whose startups have failed and in which they try to analyze why it has happened. On the one hand, while writing yours, you’ll be able to go through all the stages again and, probably, see it from another perspective. And on the other hand, you will share it with others and get some feedback and advice from people who have gone through the same situation.

#3: Look for inspiration and support 

You are not the only person who has screwed it up. Just google a little and you’ll find that every great person failed at least once in his life.

Look what J. K. Rowling - one of the most successful women, who actually, had failed lots of times and whose manuscript had been rejected by many editors before it finally saw the world, said: “Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don't want to try for fear of failing.”

Not enough? Ok. Remember Bill Gates whose company Traf-O-Data failed. But this didn’t hold him back and later he became a man whose name and whose company are known all over the world.

One more famous example is Steve Jobs. Everybody remembers that he was fired from his own company. However, not only did he manage to return to his company but also he brought it to the heights that he had never dreamed about before.

There is an endless list of people who failed before becoming an idol for everyone. So, the next time you fail, remember, that you are in a good company!

#4: Find another occupation

When you fail, you start thinking that probably you weren’t just made for it. Well, perhaps, for some people that is really so, and you’d better find a job that you like and enjoy your living.

However, if you’ve been your own chef for some time, you may find it hard to work for someone else and obey him or her. Moreover, your new boss may think that since you’ve been an entrepreneur and you might want to go along this path again, you won’t take your job seriously and won’t be as dedicated to the company as other workers.

Well, if you are ready to have such kind of work and think that you’ll succeed then go ahead. If you feel, that it’s not what you want in your life, you can find another way out - become a startup consultant!

With your own experience, you can tell new entrepreneurs something that no one told you when you started your career. Having gone through this path, you can give a valuable advice and save somebody’s business. And, who knows, maybe you’ll even find an inspiration for your own next startup.

#5: Restart as fast as you can

If you feel that being an entrepreneur is what you want to do in your life and you can’t imagine yourself doing gruesome nine-to-five, think of another startup. Don’t be afraid that you’ll fail again. Now, after everything you’ve come through, you have experience that you didn’t have when you started.

Evaluate your past failures and analyze your mistakes. Plan everything properly. Remember about the old contacts that you made during your previous business. If these are well-tested professionals whom you can rely on, invite them to your new startup. It’s always easier to work with people whom you know than with new ones. In that case you might need some additional time to rub along.

One more important thing - think of your financial stability. Don’t jump into the new business too quickly. You might have already spent a significant amount of money on your previous startup. You should understand that even if your business is successful, it won’t give you much profit, at first. So, you should have some savings to ensure your family have enough money for living.

We won’t wish you that youк startup never failed, in most cases, it’s just a fairytale and you’ll inevitably face the hardships. What we wish you, is that you never give up or feel discouraged, and keep on trying until you turn your failure into success.

In order to avoid the most dreadful mistakes, that you can make while working on your startup, we advise you to read our article “How to build a startup that won’t fail”.

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