Failure happens even to the best of us, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Your healing process starts with taking the time to mourn your losses and rediscovering yourself without your business as part of your identity. This is a simple lesson offered by many who have weathered closing a business, but one that is hard to grasp right after shutting down your operations.
“Accepting failure is, in and of itself, tough, and sometimes it’s easier to be in denial than accept that the venture you put your heart, soul, blood, and sweat into will not come to fruition,” said Nitin Seth, CEO of Incedo, who faced his own business failure early in his career when he had to shut down his health and lifestyle internet company.
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However, Seth recommends moving forward by finding comfort in your family and friends, refusing to define yourself solely by your work, and rediscovering the other aspects of your life you may have neglected. “There should be other interests in your life [that] anchor you,” said Seth. “It could be sports, your family or a cause that you believe in passionately.”
Though it’s hard to acknowledge it at the time, somewhat like ripping off a Band-Aid in one quick motion, there are benefits to failing fast. One way of looking at it is that it’s better to get it over with quickly so you can reduce potential losses and move on to your next venture.
“[We] want our founders to fail fast. This may sound counterintuitive, but our rationale is that entrepreneurs are innovators who will continue to create,” said Karen Ellis, who, as director of economic development for the St. Louis Regional Chamber, supports startup organizations and has walked side by side with founders whose companies have failed.