Recovering From A Startup Failure
It is a well-known fact that most new startups fail. If you have started a business, for the first time, and built it into a profitable enterprise, then you are one of the incredibly skilled, saavy, and probably lucky, few. Most every other entrepreneur will need to go through a few failures before getting it right.
Experiencing the failure of your startup is not an easy thing to deal with. Even if you have arranged it so that people have not given up their livelihoods to come and work for you, seeing the ruin of a dream that you have nourished and dedicated your life to can be devastating. It can lead you into depression. It can cause you to think endlessly about the mistakes you made in staffing, strategy, marketing, and product development. It may even cause you to second-guess your abilities as an entrepreneur. You may begin to feel that you are not cut out for it, and that you would be better off remaining an employee for the rest of your life.
Inc. Magazine has a great article on what it feels like after a startup failure. It’s quite insightful in its exploration of living through such a failure.
The larger point made by the author—and I think it’s a good one—is that you must choose survival over despair. However, I would go much further than he does. I think it’s important to not only survive but to thrive. You should view the failure of your startup as a kind of education. You should document the lessons learned and carefully analyze all that occurred. You should then come up with suggestions of what you could have done differently—and better.
Recovering from a startup failure begins with your attitude. You are not the first or only person to have to cope with failure. Many other entrepreneurs launched first and second ventures that were unsuccessful and went on to become great businessman. It is important to keep this fact in mind as you continue your march towards achievement.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.