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Failing your first business is, sadly, to be expected. It’s not the greatest feeling to know that your first try is going to end up crashing and burning, but it’s just how the world of business goes. Learning is dependent and how much you’re willing to invest. Be it time, effort or resources, you need to put in a lot to get anything out of a career in business. Because of this, it can be incredibly difficult to try and grow your career as an entrepreneur. Not everyone understands this fact, and they can even be discouraged by the idea of failure.
If you want to cope with the reality of failing, then here are a couple of ways to embrace your career as an entrepreneur, and how you can overcome failure in your first business venture.
Learning to Accept Failure as Part of the Learning Process
Failure is a natural part of learning how to overcome challenges. It’s known as trial and error to some people, but to others, it’s simply just failing in order to gather experience so that you can be successful in your next business venture. Trial and error have value in entrepreneurship, despite the investment required. This article by forbes.com shows that concept in more detail, and even describes it as “beneficial failure”.
Overcoming failure can be hard for many entrepreneurs, especially if they’ve invested a lot of time and money into their current project. It’s frustrating, but you need to try and cope with it in the best way possible: by learning from your mistakes. Now, a lot of people would push the blame onto their employees, the market or even their consumers. While it’s completely understandable to feel this way, it’s ultimately going to harm your business mentality more than anything.
For instance, if you’ve failed your business and you refuse to believe that you could have improved anything, you’ll find it far too tempting to defend your attempts on social media or with your friends. They’ll quickly point fingers at you and blame you for being unable to see the bigger picture. Perspectives are a powerful thing, and you need to look at your failure from multiple angles if you’re to learn from your mistakes.
Instead of blaming others, try and look at what you’ve done and how you could’ve approached your business differently. Perhaps you focused your resources on something that ended up being a waste of time, or perhaps you were too lenient on who you chose to employ in your business. It’s absolutely fine to fail as long as you take note of what you did wrong and how you could’ve done it differently. The business post-mortem is perhaps the most important part of growing any entrepreneur’s career, so don’t overlook it.
Put Your Health Before Your Business
There are times where your business will start to overtake your lifestyle. You’ll get a lack of sleep, you’ll be sick and you’ll be mentally fatigued, all while trying to cope with your business and its shortcomings.
If you feel like your business is causing you to have health issues, then take a look at this article from inc.com that goes into detail about overworking and even shows 9 different signs. It’s important to take care of your health as a budding entrepreneur because the fatigue and stress associated with failure can sometimes break your motivation to try again.
Your health could also be affected by working long hours, and this can ultimately lead to a failed business. If you don’t take care of your health, you can’t take care of your business. Make sure you put your health before your business and always try to seek a balance between your working life and everything else. Failing to balance this could cause huge issues with your mental stability, and you’ll quickly find yourself failing to make the right decisions for your company.
Embracing the Idea of Starting From Scratch
Starting fresh is an invigorating, yet bittersweet feeling. On one hand, you get to try again and start from scratch. Whether you follow this guide at growingforward.net to hire outsourcing companies to reduce employment costs, or if you want to adopt a more aggressive marketing strategy, there are plenty of ways to refresh your ideas and try again.
However, it can be hard starting over. You might have learned a lot, but you’ll also leave behind some important things such as employees you loved working with and also customers that trusted you and were loyal to your brand. A quick way to regain their trust is to consider advertising your new company or brand as “from the makers of” or “by the same company that made”. It’s a quick way to gain a bit of instant recognition, and there’s nothing stopping you from hiring the same employees if you gave up on your last business.
Embrace the idea of starting over by realising the opportunities it gives you. If a marketing campaign failed and embarrassed you, then you have a chance to start over and wipe that record from your brand. If your products started to lose appeal due to competition, then enjoy the idea of starting over without having to compete with another company that has far more resources and manpower. It’s all about getting a new chance, and that’s the beauty of starting from scratch.
Changing the Approach for Your Next Business
To help you embrace your failure, you need to try again with a different approach. Unless it was just the timing of your brand that was problematic or a bad reputation that you picked up from the beginning, you’ll need to take a different route when building up your company.
For example, perhaps you targeted the wrong audience last time and that leads to you getting less attention than you would’ve wanted. Maybe the problem just the audience, but the region you’re aiming for. Some products fare better when the region suits it, and you need to do plenty of research in order to learn these things. However, by failing your first few attempts, you will naturally learn what works and what will fail.
Alternatively, your failures could lead you to create new and improved ideas. A great example of this is when you listen to customer feedback, compile it into a new idea and then start over from scratch with a renewed reputation or a completely new start. This can help you get your foot in the door earlier, and everything you’ve learned will come together and assist you in creating a better business.
Use Your Downtime Wisely
If you’ve just lost your business, then take a few days off. Stop worrying so much about the failure and go on a holiday or just relax at home. Take some time off and spend it wisely. Now that you don’t have to worry about your company anymore, you can start building new and fresh ideas from home or even look around for inspiration.
Market research is never a bad thing, and the more seriously you research your competition, the better off you will be when you start your company. Another good way to use your downtime effectively is to search for inspiration through other entrepreneurs. If you’re interested in reading, then check out this list of 10 books that every entrepreneur should read at entrepreneur.com. They’re all fantastic reads that are well worth going through at least once. You’ll also want to read biographies from famous entrepreneurs to get some insight into how they think.
Don’t Take It Too Personally
The worst thing you can do is take your business failure personally. Detach yourself from your business as quickly as possible so you don’t dwell on it for too long. You’ll want to try and leave it in the past so you can focus on future ideas. A great way to separate yourself from your business is to consider selling it with the help of a business broker such as the people at cgkbusinesssales.com. It’s a fantastic way to get a bit of cash from your old business, and you can leave it behind with no regrets knowing that another entrepreneur or company has taken over to keep it running.
Taking your failures too personally is a quick way to become mentally unstable and unfit for entrepreneurship. You need to understand that not everyone is successful on their first business. Even some of the world’s most renowned entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have had failures in the past. If those industry giants and figureheads failed several times in the past, then what makes you think that you’re not going to fail a few times as well?
Entrepreneurship is difficult, and learning to accept failure is what defines a successful business owner with a disastrous one.