In business, setbacks are a part of the game. Whether it’s small losses (losing a deal to a competitor), or big ones (the inability to break even); failure is normal. But, so is dusting yourself off and bouncing back when those setbacks come your way. In fact, your success as an entrepreneur is directly related to how well you bounce back from failure.
The great news is, there are ways to avoid certain pitfalls, and strategies entrepreneurs can implement to more easily bounce back from failures when they arise. With that being said, the best entrepreneurs aren’t defined by pitfalls, but rather by how they deal with them. So, if you are ever faced with a business failure or setback, here are 10 ways you can recover:
Best Ways to Bounce Back From Failure
1. Prepare Yourself for the Worst-Case Scenario
It’s important to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario right from the start. You don’t need a contingency plan for every type of failure.
You should simply be mentally prepared so that you make well-thought-out decisions rather than ones made under pressure.
2. Don’t Take on All the Blame, Some Things are Uncontrollable
A particularly nasty aspect of failure is blaming yourself for everything. It isn’t easy to disassociate from failure because as the business owner, you feel that everything is your responsibility.
If your company fails, it’s easy and quite natural to take all the blame on yourself. Everyone in the world deals with some form of failure at some point. The world would be a weird place if it were easy for everyone to get exactly what they wanted.
Letting yourself get carried away to the point of becoming strongly attached to the failure will make handling it even harder. Placing all the blame on yourself will only serve to aggravate things.
Instead, you should admit that you can’t always control everything. It’s the way of the universe! Accepting this will help you recover from the failure faster. In fact, you should redirect feelings of frustration to positive goals. Use that energy to push your business forward.
3. Take a Break, but Not for too Long
In some instances, the best way to analyze and overcome failure is to take a step back from everything. This time away from the business will give you a break from the stress of the job. It will also allow you to regain some of your composure. You should, however, not take too long. Losing happens to everyone, and fussing about it for long isn’t going to accomplish anything productive.
The break should be a way for you to get into an atmosphere that allows you to be forward-thinking so that you can work toward solving the problems your business may be experiencing. After a day or two, you should return to your business with a clear mind and a different perspective of the problem.
An example of an entrepreneur taking a break and coming back stronger was Steve Jobs. He left Apple during the darkest time of the enterprise. However, after he came back, Apple flourished, and it is currently one of the biggest corporations in the world.
4. Don’t Isolate Yourself
After a failure, you may feel like you’re radioactive and don’t want anyone to get too close. But, believe it or not, being alone with your thoughts will not help you get past this. Two common things that entrepreneurs do after a failure are to wallow and become reclusive.
Wallowing can be a great thing after you experience failure. Wallowing allows you to feel everything you need to feel; it helps you analyze the situation and identify what went wrong. However, the mistake most entrepreneurs make is to wallow too long.
If you experience failure in your business, it’s important to surround yourself with a strong support network. Having friends, family, and mentors around you during these hard times can prevent you from feeling isolated.
You may feel alone at work, but surrounding yourself with people that make you feel loved and important outside work can help keep your spirits high during hard times. These people can also be great sources of sound advice, and they can also help you process important decisions you should make in light of your business failure.
5. Seek Professional Advice
One reason businesses don’t recover from failure is that some entrepreneurs simply won’t admit that they don’t know everything. They often try to solve any problems that arise in their business by themselves.
They fail to realize that other professionals in their industry may have faced the same problems and overcome them. No person is an island, and no entrepreneur has all the answers.
So try to establish relationships with other professionals. You can use public records to identify other business owners you might relate to and who can become mentors. A fellow business mentor can be great for helping you get back on your feet.
6. Hobbies Can Provide Stress Relief
Finding emotional outlets that may help you to deal with difficulty is usually underrated. People who are aware of what they need to feel better and think more clearly are much better equipped to face hardship head-on.
During hard times when your business fails, you can find yourself in depressive tailspins. Negative emotions can hijack your recovery process, which can feed fear and stress and make it difficult to think creatively or find solutions.
So if you experience failure in your business, you should find an outlet that will help you think clearly. This can be anything from exercise, spending time with people you care about or visiting a spot that inspires you. If you have a hobby that brings you joy, embrace that.
7. Find Out Where You Went Wrong and Learn from Your Mistakes
Moving on is important, but what is more important is to ask yourself where you failed. Failure is only truly a failure if you don’t learn from it. Studying your mistakes and learning how you can do better next time are difficult steps to take after a business failure.
It’s difficult to ask yourself all these hard questions and deal with the answers that may come up. However, doing so will inevitably prevent you from making the same mistakes in the future.
You can access public records to learn what made other businesses like yours fail and what they did afterward to recover. This will guide you on figuring out ways to recover with confidence.
8. Don’t Hurry Back to Work
In some ways, returning to the business world can be like dealing with a breakup by rebounding into another relationship immediately afterward. Such relationships are usually unsuccessful because you haven’t had time to digest what happened before and to get your priorities back on track.
You shouldn’t hurry back into the same or even a new entrepreneurial venture. You might find it more effective to take a break and use the time to analyze what went wrong and get some inspiration. The choice is yours, but you shouldn’t feel compelled to rush into the next thing. This may actually be more detrimental to your business. So, take your time.
9. Set Small Targets and Take Each Win as a Major One
Understandably, it can be hard to get back up on your feet after experiencing a failure in your business. However, once you are ready to go back and you have regained your inspiration and enthusiasm, avoid setting big goals to make up for the lost time.
The last thing you want to happen is to get overwhelmed so soon after the last setback. Instead, set small, achievable goals. Achieving them will give you an extra bit of motivation to push on. Slow and steady wins the race.
10. Motivate Yourself and You Partners/Employees
Another mistake entrepreneurs make is to forget that a failure in the business not only demotivates them but the other stakeholders in the business too, such as the employees and partners.
After a pitfall in your business, it’s important to monitor your employees and partners so that you can motivate them to look beyond the current problems. They need to focus on rebuilding what was lost. This will ensure you have their backing to solve both the current problem and any future ones!
Here’s one last bonus tip entrepreneurs can and should use. It may not help you recover from any failures; however, it will help you avoid experiencing failure again in the future.
So what it is it? Basically, it comes down to doing one’s due diligence. That’s right, the next time around, you can save yourself a world of headaches by doing a little due diligence, especially if your failure had anything to do with a dodgy business partner, investor, or vendor.
So, whether you’re dusting yourself off from a recent failure due to a business deal gone bad, or you’re just embarking on a new endeavor, be sure to do your due diligence on potential business partners, investors and clients by checking their bankruptcy records, and any public records to find out things like criminal history and past dealings.
Let’s face it: no one becomes an entrepreneur with dreams of failing. Yet many end up doing so. If at some point in time you experience failure in your business, don’t quit.
If you feel like quitting, go back and read the ideas in this article. Use them to help you bounce back from failure and regain control of your business, so you can make your heroic comeback.
Till next time,
PS – If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these quotes for crushing the fear of failure.