Another Entrepreneurship Project of the  Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University

Dealing with Business Failure

It is a well-known statistic that a decent percentage of start-up ventures end up failing. This failure rate is not due to one deciding factor or a founder’s lack of passion, but is standard to the natural ebb and flow of businesses throughout time. As a start-up founder, you do not want to fail—especially after pouring your heart, soul, timsmall-business-failuree, and money into your passion. However, business failure can actually be a good thing—an opportunity to look at the bigger picture and evaluate where you may have ‘gone wrong’. Rather than giving up, it can actually be valuable experienced that can help you pursue a future business endeavor.

Forbes and Entrepreneur writers explore the idea of business failure—how to deal with it and how it can sometimes lead to success in the future.

Turn your anxiety into something positive

Failure can be emotionally difficult to process. Explaining to friends, family and supporters that the business didn’t work out can be nerve-wracking. An entrepreneur can experience feelings of sadness, anger, disappointment and many other emotions.

Rather than lamenting about failure, you can start planning your next great idea. Take those emotions and anxious energy and turn it into motivation to do better the next time around. Laying around and feeling sorry for yourself can add up to many hours (which could be better spent planning your next big venture).

Having fun is key

If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you never stop working or thinking about your business. If you’re having fun with your venture, even if you fail you will realize that it was a success. You’re creating something that is all yours, and regardless of whether or not you have to fold, at least you had fun trying.

Try, try again

Most successful people in business have experienced some sort of failure—whether folding a start-up venture after a few months or being let go from a corporate job unexpectedly. Entrepreneurs have to be ready to pick themselves up and to continue forging ahead. Founder of the Virgin Group and seasoned entrepreneur Richard Branson notes that “Resilience is one of the hallmarks of an entrepreneur who stays in business in the long term.”

Think about what went wrong—was it the product? The business model? Evaluate the positives and negatives of the venture and starting working on your next big idea.

Have you started a business that has failed? What did you learn from it? Would the possibility of failure prevent you from launching a new venture?

To learn more about business failure (and why it’s not necessarily a bad thing), please visit the following:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/wilschroter/2013/06/21/how-to-deal-with-startup-failure-reload/

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226811

Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!

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