Failure is a business reality. It happens to everyone and it can happen anytime. It is also a part of life. We are all bound to face failure at some point in our lives. Failure is not the opposite of success, rather, it is what defines success.
What separates the winners from the losers is the ability to overcome failure.
Every successful entrepreneur has faced and overcame failure, at least once. They are successful because they were able to let go of the failure and moved on with their entrepreneurial journey. They are proud of their failures and much as they are of their victories. There will always be a section in their memoirs that will feature their business challenges and how they overcome them. The losers, on the other hand, have either stuck on the failure or have quit the business for good.
A failed business will not define you as an entrepreneur. How you treat it will. Closing down a business is one of the hardest tasks an entrepreneur will ever have to face. But it is a must if one must go on with one’s journey to success.
Step 1 – Accept the Failure
The first and hardest step is accepting the reality that your business is failing. It will be a bitter pill to swallow. Stop denying what the numbers or your business reports are saying. Stop painting the future with bright colors. Accept the fact that the best years or months of your enterprise is over and that now is the time to end it.
Step 2 – Make the most of what is left
If you act now, not all is lost. Take stock of your failing business and make a list of its salvageable assets. The sooner you liquidate, the better for you and your financial wellness. Sell what you can. Finally, take extra steps to ensure that you retain good relationships with the people – your customers or clients, the investors and financiers, suppliers, contractors, and your employees. You will be dealing with them again.
Step 3 – Take a Breather
Give yourself a break. You deserve it. Running a business is a tiring endeavor that comes with massive responsibilities and endless tasks. Take a breather and take this opportunity to enjoy some time with the people you love, do what you love, practice self-care, and just relish what life has to offer. You may never get this chance again for a long time.
Step 4 – Learn from the Experience
Before you make another attempt to starting a business, make sure you’ve dug deep into what happened to your last one. Every failure is a lesson. Grab the opportunity to learn and improve yourself as an entrepreneur. What were the missed opportunities? What worked for the business? What didn’t? Do you need to learn more skills? Do you have the right people in your business circle?
Step 5 – Start Again
After a good respite and business introspection, you are good to go at it again. Your body and mind are rested and refreshed. You’ve learned a valuable lesson in business and you’re a notch smarter and wiser. It is time to put the failure behind, take up courage, recoup your resources, and start again.
Letting go of a failed business is a step towards your success goals. It is not a failure, rather, it is your first step towards recovery. You are letting go of a weight that is pulling you down and holding you back from advancing. With the burden out of the way, you can now focus your attention, efforts, and resources to new and better endeavours.
If you are facing failure or business closure for the first time, take courage. This might not be your last, but you can make this one the hardest. Many successful entrepreneurs are hardened and polished through failures. They got better and wiser. They used the knowledge and experience from the failures to make better decisions.
If you’re failing right now, you’re in good company. You are about to join the sisterhood of successful businesswomen. You just need to pass the initiation rites.
I welcome your thoughts and comments. Send me a message here. I will read them all. I invite you to join me on my entrepreneurial and success journey, and for you to let me join yours. You can get the paperback copy of my business inspirational book, Pivotal Moments, here. It is also available in Kindle from this link.