Launching a startup is not easy, that’s why establishing one can be considered an achievement by itself. Keeping it afloat however, is a different story altogether. Many things can go wrong in the course of running a startup. Even if your products and services are a hit, other factors can still cause your company to fail.
Issues in the management, employee selection (and retention), usage of funds/capital and stiff competition can cause your startup to fail. In some cases, disagreements and misunderstandings with co-founders or business partners is also a contributing factor.
Startup failure is actually a common occurrence. In the US alone, over 90% of startups close shop before hitting their 5th year. So one thing’s for sure, if you failed in your startup venture – you are not alone.
Despite that however, it is still disheartening to go through such a failure. Like any venture, you have put your efforts, determination, and all your resources into the company. And it hurts if it eventually failed to materialize or keep up with the times for that matter.
To help you recover from this setback, below are 5 ways to keep yourself motivated and move on to new opportunities and career paths:
- Take time to heal yourself.
The first step towards moving on is acceptance. That applies in times of heartbreak, dealing with a loved one’s death, and even when it comes to dealing with failures. Your startup business just failed. After years of working hard, things just did not go well as planned. Of course, you won’t get over that in just a day or two.
It is doubly worse for those who had disagreements with co-founders and team mates. Aside from dealing with the business’ failure, you also have to deal with a lot of negative emotions and might eventually indulge in a toxic blame game.
It is normal to feel down and unmotivated when your startup fails. And the thing is, you should allow yourself to grieve. Take time to heal yourself. Go on a short vacation, or binge watch a series that you have always wanted to watch. You may not feel great instantly, but a little entertainment and diversion can help lighten up the load.
You may have to stop playing the blame game though, because nothing good can ever come out of this – it will only replay the failure in your head and it will become harder for you to get out from the negative mindset.
Just clear your head and stop thinking about what could’ve been. Accept that your business was done, and that it’s not worth revisiting anymore. Grieve if you must, but don’t dwell on the circumstances.
- Look for support and mentors.
Remember that over 90% of startups also did not make it right? In a sense, you’re not alone. Although failing was a bad thing, it does not mean that you are not allowed to learn from it. If you can, look for people who also had to deal with the same failures as you. Reach out to them, ask for their advice.
Try to see how they moved on from such a failure, and how they settled into a new passion. You might be surprised how many people are actually willing to listen and impart their knowledge from their own experiences too.
You can also reach out to people who have ‘made it.’ Like the others, they also had to go through a lot of challenges and obstacles before reaching the height of their success. Surely, they have a handful of tips and advice for people who aspire to reach the same.
- Take a break and chill.
As said earlier, you have to give yourself a break. Don’t force yourself to move on and work on the next project if you’re not mentally and emotionally ready yet. If things still feel a little heavy, allow yourself to shake off the negative vibes first. Forcing yourself to work will only translate to substandard performance, because you have the tendency to carry over the negativities into your new project. So go on vacation, watch a movie, play sports or do any hobby you like. Slowly but surely, you will feel lighter and reenergized enough to move on to the next plan.
- Review past successes.
Some people will just tell you to get back up and stay positive – but how can you exactly do that? Aside from taking a break, you can motivate yourself back up by reviewing your achievements.
Try to remember and relive your past successes. What did you do right, how did others benefit from that? Even your failed startup had moments of success too! Write them down (if you like), and take note of the steps you employed that led to such a success.
- Start working on small tasks/projects.
If you think you’re ready, it’s time to move on to a new venture. However, you don’t have to go big right there and then. Take baby steps first. Focus on smaller and achievable goals before dealing with huge ones.
Don’t worry about setting up a new business again or creating a brand new product for now. Start with simple to-dos that can be easily achieved in a day. It could be blogging, concept planning and craft-making. The important thing here is, you get to practice efficiency and productivity – even at a small scale.
The road to recovery might be slow, but you do have to give yourself ample time to refresh and reflect on things. Rushing to the next venture will only burn you out, and might probably even prevent you from reviewing or realizing your past mistakes. So as much as possible, give yourself time, learn more from the experience, before finally moving on.
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.
Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace