I have started multiple companies. I believed in every single one of them. Put my heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into each and every one of them. 90 percent of them have failed. Being around hundreds of entrepreneurs, I have learned something very important. It’s NORMAL. Accepting failure as a lesson is one of the most important things I have ever learned.
But what do we do when the rug is being pulled out from underneath us? What do we do when all hell breaks loose and you are standing alone, looking into the abyss? Well my friends, I am going to tell you what has helped me and hopefully it will help you.
1. Accept the situation: Understand right away that some things are NOT in your control. It is a marathon, not a sprint. The quicker you stop getting upset, the quicker you can use this as a lesson to move on.
2. You are not alone: Surround yourself with like-minded people. One of the biggest assets of being part of an entrepreneurial community like AlleyNYC is that you are surrounded by people who are going through pretty similar things. We support each other, during the high times and the low. Check out coworking in your area, and if you are in NYC feel free to drop by AlleyNYC.
3. Screw it: No matter how much you believe in what you are doing, something is not working. Take a step back. Breathe. Take some time off from the project. Visit your family and friends and love what is most important. You live one time, and this is just a passing phase. You will get through this, but you have to clear your head if you are going to win.
4. Prepare for battle: This is not for the faint of heart. You have to separate your feelings from this game. It’s a business: it’s cut throat; it's bloody; it's a war. You must get back on the horse and do it again. You were working on the wrong project… so what? You are passionate, you are driven and applying those qualities to the right project you WILL be successful.
5. Be realistic: I love the saying, “It took me 10 years to become an overnight success.” Successful businesses take years and years. True hustlers grind through it. If you surveyed 100 successful entrepreneurs and asked them if they were successful on their first product I would bet you that 99 percent would say “no way”. Note that 86.3 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot :).
6. Learn Lean: Lean methodology is proven to work. It’s common sense. Validating your assumptions before you go down the rabbit hole of building in a vacuum is essential. With the tools you have in this day and age, learning this methodology is easy. A great way is to find out the next Lean Startup Machine workshop in your area. This three day course will teach you valuable skillsets to help you save brain damage, time, and money.
Accept failure, people. Failure is awesome. Failing fast gets you that much closer to success. I hope this information is helpful and you win big. See you at the TOP.
Related: Finding a Voice for Your Brand