This is the most difficult part of the process and is especially painful for women since we tend to let more emotions into our lives. Which has its bad and good sides. So how do you deal with a failure? What do you do if you have started your business, worked on it really hard and it is not picking up or you can not find funding so you can not continue working on your business?
I have failed many many times and several times big and every time small or big it has been very painful. So what are the best coping strategies and where can you go from there?
The problem with failing is that it is a process, it can last for a long time until you realise it has not been working. ( or until you admit it to yourself) And all this time you will not be filling satisfied or unhappy. What I found helpful is to try to minimise this phase in terms of time. To cut it and look at it more rational. Because the longer it takes you to admit that you have failed the more painful it will be – and the longer it will take the harder it will be for you to recover.
So, when you see the first signs that your business has not been working. You either radically change what you do (please do not hope for the miracle – investor saving you, magic partner, magic order) or you admit that you have failed and you move on.
I believe that for the second option you need to reduce the importance of failure. I do know that in some societies it is shameful to fail and there is a certain stigma to it. However what does it mean in reality – it only means you have tried and it did not work. You have to be proud of yourself, some people never even try in their lives and you did.
So make a list of positive points of you failing. What did you learn? What went well? Did you mean any great new people? Make a list of negative things – write down your feelings – how do you feel? what are the negative thoughts or feelings? Is it shame? Are you sad? What does your family and friends say? Are you sad to disappoint them? Be honest with yourself.
After you have it all out on paper, you will feel already better. It is very important to deal with your emotions and do not shift them away, seek support from your friends and family, go out, do sports.
After you feel a bit better, start the second part of the process the rational what to do next? Write down all the to dos: what you need to do to close your business: write an email to your customers? pay the bills? DO IT – you will feel better after you did it and have a sense of completion.
After you can move on to your next adventure.
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