Bouncing back from hard times : How to get into the groove again

groove again

It sucks to fail.

It shatters our dreams, our confidence, our ego, and sometimes relationships as well. We second guess each and every decision we have made and lose faith in our ability to trust ourselves. There are financial consequences and we endlessly wonder how we could have got it all so wrong.

The reasons for the failure could be many, and some may have been out of our control, but as the owner of our enterprise, as the captain of our ship, the ultimate blame lies with us. It’s always, “He failed,” or “She couldn’t make it work.”

But as they say, failure is inevitable and that you haven’t really failed until you refuse to get up and face life once again.

I know that positive talk sounds like empty words when you are in the throes of your dreams crashing, but hang in there. Once the dust is settled you will rise again. This post looks at some practical ways to bounce back from business failure and go from strength to strength.

Allow yourself to grieve

The loss of a business you poured your heart and soul into isn’t  much different than the loss of a loved one. It is natural to feel devastated, so allow yourself the time to grieve.

Dealing with grief is a multi-stage process. Don’t rush through it. Take your time with each stage, or you won’t be able to fully recover. But equally, don’t get stuck on any stage either.

Sort out your issues

Not all businesses fail because of poor policies or financial bungling. Sometimes the leader is not able to keep on top of things. Sometimes a lack of self-discipline or professionalism can prove to be our undoing. Some of us simply get too big for our boots.

If there were personal issues behind you losing grip on your business, you will have to deal with them first before you can move on.

It pays to be honest, it pays handsomely to be brutally honest.

Don’t let your ego or defense mechanisms stop you from accepting where you blundered. Don’t beat yourself up over it though. Be objective about the whole thing, it will serve you remarkably well.

Once you have figured out the root cause(s) of your failure the first time, address them. If you don’t, and paper over them temporarily, they will simply crop up again. The best way to move on is to learn your lessons and implement the knowledge going forward. You will save a lot of time and energy, and actually get the results you want.

Did you get the idea wrong?

If so, go back to the drawing board with your erstwhile partners, investors, or whoever is left in your circle now. What was lacking– research, adequate marketing, experience, good advice? If you misjudged the market or the potential of your product/service, you can always tweak it for something more practical. This could turn out to be the starting point of your comeback.

I’m repeating myself but this is again where an objective mind will prove instrumental in you returning to work. Grieve your heart out, but once the grieving period is over get back to business (no pun intended). Speculate all you want. Create detailed mind maps of how to proceed now. That will throw up interesting insights, which is what you need at the moment.

Even if you aren’t able to straightaway spot them, they will come to you if your frame of mind stays right.

Take up a job you like

So you are without a business and a source of income? Take something up to tide you through the days or months till you are able to put in place another executable idea. You may be forced to take something on if you are in debt, if not, we recommend sticking with that which you like.

Volunteer if you want, travel if you have the money for it, but keep yourself busy. Force yourself to meet new people and seek out new experiences. All of the impressions you gather will keep coalescing at the back of your mind and then one day it will all miraculously fall into place. You will get the breakthrough you want. But keeping on moving, and not stagnating, is the key to it. You might even be able to “refuel your enthusiasm and willingness to chase the possibility of starting a new business.”

Write a book about it

When you fail you learn more about life than when you succeed. Writing is a very insightful exercise. If nothing, writing a book will help you put your experiences in perspective. Others may learn from it or not, but the biggest beneficiary will be you.

Start a blog about your experiences. People love to learn from those who have succeeded as well as those who struggled (since the latter seem more credible to them), and those who bounce back are everybody’s favorite. An honest account will find like-minded people flocking to you and you in turn will learn from them. You might get your spark back as well as find a new direction in which to proceed.

Finally, build some good karma

Not to get too exotic or anything, but merely stating a fact. Karma has many definitions but the one that the modern practitioners of the Tibetan school of Buddhism lean toward is simply — do good now to reap good later.

Invest your time in thinking positive thoughts, cultivating good habits, and in general making a good use of your time and abilities – aka building good karma. If you do that, you will invariably receive positive results not too far into the future.

Author Bio

Tracy is a Community Manager at The Hartford, which offers sustainable multifaceted financial services, including the hartford contractors insurance. She’s @TracyVides on Twitter.

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