5 Tips for How to Handle Failure in Business

Failure is a given when it comes to business ownership.

According to the US Small Business Administration, over 30% of businesses fail within the first two years.

According to the US Small Business Administration, over 30% of businesses fail within the first two years.Click To Tweet

But what about the remaining 70% of businesses? While they may keep chugging along, they certainly aren’t immune to failure.

That’s why in this post, I’m going to talk about how to handle failure in business. The following are five tips you can use next time you experience a failure – big or small!

5 Tips for How to Handle Failure in Business

Being a solo entrepreneur can be hard, especially following a failure. These five tips will give you the best chance of bouncing back as quickly as possible.  Because why failure is inevitable, how you view that failure and handle it is in your control.

1. Look for the Lesson.

One of the biggest differentiators I see between successful and not-so-successful business owners is how they perceive failure.

Do they see failure as fatal? Do they get so discouraged that they think the only solution is giving up?

Or do they see failure as an inevitable part of being in business? Do they think about how they can prevent the same thing from happening again? Do they look for the lesson the failure is trying to teach them?

It all comes down to having a growth mindset and positive attitude: believing you can develop the skills or knowledge needed to do better next time.

Which mindset do you have?

2. Rely on Your Support Network.

Shame and embarrassment can keep us from reaching out for help and support. This is so sad because this is exactly when we need our support network the most.

Instead of hiding your feelings or isolating yourself, I’d encourage you to reach out to friends, family members, and fellow business owners.

And if you don’t already have a small business coach or accountability partner, this is the perfect time to find one!

3. Don’t Make Any Rash Decisions.

Decisions made in the heat of the moment are rarely good ones.

Following a failure, you’re likely to feel discouraged, anxious, or frustrated, and your ability to make rational decisions is likely impaired.

Take a bit of time to breathe before making any important decisions. Wait until your discouragement has passed, and you have the wherewithal to make a calm, logical decision.

Following a failure, you’re likely to feel discouraged, anxious or frustrated, and your ability to make rational decisions is likely impaired. Take a bit of time to breathe before making any important decisions. Wait until your discouragement has passed, and you have the wherewithal to make a calm, logical decision.Click To Tweet

It’s far preferable to put off a decision for a little while than to make the wrong one!

4. Make a New Plan.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in handling a failure in business is continuing on as if nothing happened.

When you do this, you’re just setting yourself to fail again in the exact same way!

After you fail, it’s time to come up with new goals and a plan for how to meet those goals. It may even mean coming up with a whole new business plan!

What steps do you need to take to avoid the same thing happening again?

What new goals do you need to set to get you back on track?

Take some time to look at the big picture and re-set your focus!

5. Take Responsibility…but Don’t Take it Personally.

Some failures are completely beyond our control. However, none of us are immune from making mistakes; so it’s important to think about how our actions – or inactions – could have contributed to what happened.

I’m not saying you should heap blame on yourself, or wallow in self-pity! In fact, doing so can make you less effective, less productive, and less able to make rational decisions.

I know how hard it can be not to cross that line between accepting responsibility and shaming ourselves.

But as much as you’re able, accept responsibility while avoiding the blame game!

Let’s be real: Dealing with failure is never easy. Even if you do all the right things following a failure, you’re likely going to feel discouraged…at least for a little while.

Let’s be real: Dealing with failure is never easy. Even if you do all the right things following a failure, you’re likely going to feel discouraged…at least for a little while.Click To Tweet

But part of having a business mindset is simply dealing with failures logically. It’s taking rational steps to deal with the problem, rather than becoming overwhelmed by our feelings. It takes determination not to fall into this trap, but it’s really the only way forward!

Are you dealing with failure in your business? Which tips above resonate with you? Share below!

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