How to bounce back after a failed business venture - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How to bounce back after a failed business venture

Failing at a business you created yourself can leave you feeling inadequate, depressed, and unmotivated. It can even make you feel like giving up on your dreams altogether. Unfortunately, failure is an inevitable part of growing and learning. And scientists say our brains develop faster from our wins. But that just means you have to make a little more effort to learn from your mistakes. The results, they say, could be well worth the work. Here are a few tips to help you bounce back.

Evaluate what didn’t work

It’s important to evaluate your failure as quickly as possible to avoid dwelling on it. If you can take your business apart on a scientific level, you can keep your emotions from interfering. Deconstruct what worked and what didn’t work and enlist help if you can. It’s helpful to make two columns on a sheet of paper for wins and losses. For example, suppose your business was an investment property. Did you seem to have plenty of renters, but some of them caused you problems? In this case, maybe you just need to make sure you include a rental application in your tenant screening process.

Many times, what we think are complete failures can actually be reworked to be successes. Using the same example of the real estate business, maybe you figured out that you weren’t charging enough for your properties to cover costs as one of your failures. But in your “wins” column, you might list that you had nice properties that attracted quality renters.

The point of this process is to help you decide whether your business model was a failure, or just a few of your methods were ill-advised. In other words, can you salvage the business and try again, or should you move onto a different venture?

Move on quickly

Focusing on failure only wires your brain for more of it. Studies show that individuals who persist with self-focusing after a failure are more likely to be depressed than those who don’t. Instead, the nondepressed people were shown to shift their focus to more beneficial patterns that could bring them wins. It’s not always easy, but it’s helpful to begin making new plans immediately, even if it means just revamping your old business to be more successful.

Seek career counseling

If you’re having trouble finding direction, seeking career counseling is wise. Most mental health professionals can help with this, and some specialize in it. Or you can schedule a meeting with a counselor at your local college and ask about taking assessment quizzes. These can help you figure out your strengths and careers you might be good at. Of course, if you’re still experiencing negative emotions because of a past failure, it’s probably best to see someone in the mental health field instead.

Plan your new business

After a failed venture, you might feel you need to move more cautiously into your next one. And that’s actually a great plan. And rather than sinking all your savings into another business, you might try bootstrapping one instead. A good example of a business many people do this with is party planning. It works with little startup capital because it’s more of a service business than one you’d have to buy products for. Some party planners do eventually buy inventory for decor, entertaining, or serving. But you can look into things such as arcade game rentals and discount party supplies to start.

In this type of business, you can also request non-refundable deposits upfront to pay for any supplies you’ll need. This will keep you from spending your own money and allow you to plan for one event at a time.





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