Failure is always an option when building a startup business. It’s the risk every entrepreneur faces.
Entrepreneurship is full of bad experiences. If you want to go through the turbulent journey then you have to learn the process of taking positive actions in the bad situation. The important issue is what can you learn and how can you recover from a startup failure.
Only blessed people on this earth are earning money from the work they love, entrepreneurs are one of them. If you have taken a small step towards entrepreneurship but failed – then don’t go back to your frustrating corporate job.
Figure out a way to stay near the startups, be underpaid and try to make enough for your survival.
In short time, you will start seeing a better path of entrepreneurship. Don’t get panicked with your failure, especially with your first failure. It may be your first step towards the success.
Have you heard the story of gold beneath 4 feet?
A popular story of a person who started digging a mine with an expectation of finding gold beneath it. He invested a lot of money in purchasing the land and buying equipment.
He could not get any success even after digging for many days. He sold the machinery and land in a fraction of the purchase cost of the project.
The man who bought the land started digging and found the gold mine just 4 feet beneath. Persistence pays off whether you are digging for gold, diamonds or building a startup company.
My mentors and books taught me how to handle the failures and bounce back quickly. Here are my tips that really worked for me.
#1. Support Group (Friends, Family & Mentors)
If you have failed at anything, then you need a support from your family and friends. You should stay close to people who motivate you. Don’t spend much time with someone who criticizes you for your failure and try to make you feel guilty about your decision.
You must find a mentor who can prepare you for the next attempt. There is no successful entrepreneur who never failed in life. You should seek guidance and mental support from experienced entrepreneurs and mentors who have already walked the path.
#2. Source of Income
You lose money and time in your failed startup. I hope that you are not in the financial debt along with the burden of an unsuccessful startup.
You should check how long you can survive on your savings. It will be great if you already have a secondary source of income or you can spend some time to create a source of income by freelance or consulting work. I did the same to survive until I got clarity about my next startup move.
#3. Survival Plan
Make a rough survival plan. Startup founders are very much comfortable with planning and execution. I revisit my plans every month and change the execution strategy based on the current available resources & situation.
After failure of my second startup, I created one excel sheet, writing my skills in one column and potential income from those skills in the second column. By doing this simple exercise, I got a lot of clarity about making my livelihood for the next six months.
#4. Wait for the right time
Don’t make any important decision in a hurry. I waited for almost six months before I get the clarity of joining a startup job as content marketing head. In that waiting period of six months, I enhanced my content marketing skills and made connections with the right people.
Great opportunities don’t strike often. I would rather wait for several months to get the right work than joining the wrong work. You should take time to make a decision that can change the whole direction of your life.
#5. The right attitude & action
Just the verbal commitment is not enough for the revival from the failure. You should be able to take the right action with the right attitude. You might have to say ‘NO’ to poor opportunities even without having a great opportunity at your hand.
It may sound like a risky approach, but that worked for me most of the times. I took similar kind of risk when I joined my graduation college, during my campus placement and multiple times in my startup journey.
So what have I learnt through all this? Here are my 10 top tips:
- Income. Make sure you have cash coming in (or in the bank) when you start so you can make sensible decisions about your business, not irrational, desperate ones.
- Product is key. I can’t iterate this enough, make sure you (or your team) can build, make and deliver what you’re selling.
- Team. Work with people you can trust and respect.
- Size of the loan. Only take what you really need to make your product.
- Spending the loan. Invest in tangibles, equipment, tools etc. – items you can rent out or sell if all goes really wrong. Get intangibles and disposables such as websites and marketing material for free or make it yourself.
- Networking. Your network is everything, use it for advice, those vital first sales, referrals and to make sure you’re building products your customers want! Always offer help and intros where you can.
- Promises. Under promise and over deliver – this takes practice, it’s easy to say yes.
- Say no. Stick to your beliefs and principles – never undermine your brand.
- Patience. Keep calm, it’s going to be a long haul, so much longer than you think.
- Do what you love.
Trust yourself and the universe. Someone from somewhere will come to help you if you keep doing the hard work and wait patiently. Don’t misunderstand it with the advice you receive from many people who ask you to trust in the GOD and take no action to make things happen.
I am asking you to take the action and be responsible for your own actions (Karma). Great things will happen to those who take the charge of their own destiny.
Reference: Entrepreneur.com, Virgin.com