If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, the power of positivity has probably been ingrained into your mind. Without a positive mindset, success is not easy to come by.
But what do you do when things start going south, and you find yourself in a position where you have to start from scratch?
Sometimes, things go wrong. And sometimes, things means money.
As if accepting failure isn’t a hard enough pill to swallow, you’re now faced with a new challenge: Pick back up and start over again.
When you’re invested in a company that’s lost capital, or dusting rubble off a discarded project, restarting seems like a very daunting task.
On the bright side, you’re not the only person this has happened to. At one point or another, some successful entrepreneur has lost it all, and was forced to pick the pieces up again. With a determined attitude, you’ll find that starting back up again isn’t as hard as you originally believed.
Give yourself a pep talk
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror and have a discussion. What happened that you got to this point, and how can you fix it? What can you do to ensure your comeback?
What steps should you take first? Envision your game plan and set it into action. Manifest your thoughts into the reality you want- after all, where else are innovative ideas born, if not the brain?
A piece “Where to Start When You Have To Start Over” from Entrepreneur magazine talks about the importance of self-reevaluation.
“We all have a picture of ourselves. It’s how we self-identify in the world. You might self-identify as a geek, or an intellectual, or a smart aleck. Our self-identity is directly tied to where we’ve been and what we’ve done… But to go where we want to go and do what we want to do in this next phase of our lives, we need to self-identify as the kind of person who can and will go there, do that. You can never live or succeed at a higher level than your self-identity allows.”
The last line struck a personal chord with me. If you set limitations for yourself, you will live within those limitations.
A project goes awry, rather than sulking and reminiscing, begin start making up for your losses, Whether it be money, connections, or time, find the will to power through the “start-up” phase.
Eventually, you will get to where you want to be – and you’ll have a story to tell.
Reconnect with your connects
Your network is important. Moral, emotional and financial support comes from the people you choose to surround yourself with. A strong network is the gateway to success. Your network should have your back, even when you’re at your lowest.
Keep your network strong, and your connections stronger. Everyone will need help at some point. When it comes time to pick yourself back up, two hands are always better than one (for a lack of a better analogy.)
You should rely on your network to a certain extent, but the only component that you should be giving 100% is yourself.
It’s your network, after all.
Also- give your trusted friends a call. It’s okay to cry on a comforting shoulder once in a while.
Figure out your finances
For all future projects and finances, take some time to sort through all economic investments. Keep track of what went wrong last time, and revisit past mistakes with a critical eye.
Keep from making similar financial mistakes. Set money goals, both short and long term.
Huffington Post gives excellent economic advice in “How To Start a Business After Multiple Failed Attempts as an Entrepreneur”:
“Being able to accurately estimate business expenses and project income is key to success. Make sure to have a budget for the expenses, and set sales goals for the income. Although it is understandable that every business doesn’t profit immediately, the closer you are to your estimations, the better chance for success you will have. Learn how to keep your expectations high while remaining realistic.”
“Realistic” may seem counterintuitive, as limiting yourself is a disadvantageous trait. Realistic goals are great to kick off your projects, but they should never be your final target. Set smaller objectives, reach them, then aim for the next one.
Success is a never ending ladder-you might slip a couple times, but you better make damn sure you’re grabbing the nearest rail to hold yourself up.
Get back to work
So things went wrong. Maybe it wasn’t really that big of a deal. Maybe it was a huge deal. Either way, get your ass up and back to work.
Allow yourself some (keyword: some) time to reflect on what happened. When you feel you’ve analyzed the details of why you failed, make a list of those reasons and never do them again. Mistakes are part of human nature, and it’s alright to mess up.
Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice… Damn.
Entrepreneur magazine’s “6 Truths About Failure Every Entrepreneur Should Embrace“ bullet-points that “failure is an asset,” like everything else in the world of business.
“Because of their curiosity, one of the biggest regrets entrepreneurs will have is not trying and hence wondering “what if.” This longing for knowledge and answers provides us with the tools to not only understand how to run businesses better, but also what to avoid. As long as we are learning, entrepreneurs become more valuable with each and every failure.”
Embrace your mistakes- you made them! They may have not been the right course of action, but they were a decision that you put conscious (I hope) effort into.
Whether it was a miscalculation or magic, accept your current position and where it’s lead you in your life. Today’s blunder might lead to tomorrow’s success.
Wear your decisions proudly. You know what you’re capable of and where you want to be; don’t allow any setback to hold you back.