Failure isn’t just normal for entrepreneurs; it can be argued that it’s even essential. Failure, as I’ve written before, is a great learning experience, but that doesn’t mean it can’t a major setback. Sometimes, failure means losing everything, but just because you’ve hit rock bottom, doesn’t mean you can’t overcome it. I recently read an article on entrepreneur.com that interviewed various successful entrepreneurs on what they would do if they had to start up again from scratch. Here are some of my favorite bits of advice:
Read history: I love history. History is always filled with fascinating stories, but more than anything else, you notice patterns, and realize that no matter what it is you’re experiencing, countless people have gone through it before. And when you understand the great setbacks famous people through history went through, you can understand how to recover from them.
Surround yourself with friends: When you’re in a low point, don’t isolate yourself. Surround yourself with friends. Your network is a great support net, and will help you recover from any depression or anxiety.
Mount a comeback: Once you’ve taken a bit of time to wallow and mope (but make sure you limit that!!!), plan on building the capital and infrastructure to execute your comeback. Set reminders to stay on top of things, and use your failure as a learning opportunity.
Assess your sources: When you’ve lost everything, ask yourself what capital you have access to that will allow you to start over immediately. Then find a way to access that capital and move on.
Share your new vision: If you’ve got a new idea, don’t keep it to yourself. Bounce it off everybody that you can, which will allow you to test the market before you fully invest into it.
Change your attitude: If you face a setback, you need to reset your attitude so that you aren’t carrying a giant chip on your shoulder. Otherwise, that could end up hurting you. Then, figure out why you built your failed business in the first place. Once you’ve found that purpose, you can use it as your motivation to rebuild.
Network like crazy: Attend as many events as you c to meet a diverse group of people that can help you. Talk to everybody, you never know who will be able to help you out.