Failing sure isn’t fun, but it’s pretty standard - especially in the entrepreneurial realm. According to Bloomberg.com, one third of new ventures close within two years, and half within five years. On top of that, only one in four ventures is still around 15 years after opening day.
One day, you’re on top of the world, reeling from your awesome new idea. But, things change, and circumstances can’t always be controlled. As entrepreneurs, we tend to overcomplicate the simplest solutions. Sometimes, all we need to do is recharge. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that things really aren't that bad. Be proud of what you've done up to this point, and remember, you'll keep doing more.
If you find yourself down and out suffering from your first entrepreneurial failure, give these 7 people a ring.
1. A Mentor
Your mentor is someone who inspires you. He or she usually has a bit more life experience. Talking with a mentor will show you how common your situation really is.
Your mentor will give you great advice, and help you see the glass half full, not half empty. My mentor is an old boss of mine. She's always been so supportive of my entrepreneurial growth. She helps me capitalize on my peaks, and coaches me through my valleys. That's the type of mentor we all would be so lucky to have.
2. A Close Relative
We might be big bad entrepreneurs, but sometimes even the strongest people need a little reassurance. Call your mother, father, grandmother, sister - someone who will gladly tell you how awesome you are.
This person helps you see the big picture. He or she will make you realize that there’s more to life than money, success, and professional accomplishments. You’ll learn how to smell the roses, which will humble and inspire you.
Related Article: The Top 10 Qualities That Define An Entrepreneur
3. Someone Who Makes You Laugh
Even in the midst of failure, laughter truly is the best medicine. Call someone who can make you laugh so hard, your cheeks hurt. Go out for a drink, flip through photos, or reunite with old friends. Sometimes, we just need a break. Take your mind off work, and have a little fun. My greatest ideas usually came to me in a moment of good, old fashioned troublemaking.
Studies show that laughter promotes a healthier mind and body. Recent research suggests that the endorphins released during laughter not only make us feel good, but also stengthen our immune system and act as a temporary pain killer. Laugh until you cry. If you do, I can promise, shadows of past failures will quickly fade away.
4. An Established Entrepreneur
Once you’ve gotten all of the warm and fuzzy stuff out of the way, seek out a successful business owner, preferably in your industry. Meet up for a lunch date, and do some digging.
Ask for advice, best practices, tips, tricks - most successful entrepreneurs are more than willing to share their secrets. Chances are, they’ve experienced the same situation, and understand your struggle.
5. A Student
It sounds crazy, but my best ideas are usually born in moments of instruction. Someone calls to ask for advice. Usually this encourages me to think out loud, and also find the answers to my own internal questions. When you teach, it forces you to cut the fluff, and prove to an interested third party how much you really know. If nothing else, teaching can also show you how much more you have to learn.
Related Article: The Day Our Business (Almost) Died
6. A Fur Baby
I don’t know where I’d be without my puppy. Grant it, I can’t necessarily call him, but some much needed snuggle time always relieves my stress. It makes me realize how lucky I am to be an entrepreneur.
It reminds me to be thankful for the things I have, and proud of the things I’ve done. A recent study released by Azabu University suggests that snuggling with a dog triggers the release of oxytocin, which strengthens your bond and encourages lowered stress levels. Needless to say, your doggie snuggle time will not be in vain.
I’m not encouraging you to have a weird mental moment, don’t actually have a conversation with yourself. I’m not responsible for the crazy looks you’ll get if you do. But, make a special effort to unplug. Get away from it all. Go for a hike, go lay on the beach, or take a much needed solo vacation. Being alone with your own thoughts has a way of simplifying the problem, and helping you find an easy solution.
Good entrepreneurs know how to pick themselves up after a fall, but great entrepreneurs appreciate the healing power of a supportive network. You can’t always go it alone, that was the biggest lesson I learned after my first failure. I was a control freak, who insisted on doing everything by myself. Because of that, I was left broke, alone, and completely discouraged. Don’t be like me, take this advice. Build a professional support system, and your failures will seem minimal in comparison to your conquests.
Don't waste time moping around, when you could be planning your next big idea.