Ever had a really messy breakup? Gosh, it hurts, doesn’t it?
Running a business is like being in a long-term relationship. You commit your whole life to that business. Long days, long nights. You invest your time and money into it and it may not work out.
Messy breakups can happen in business too.
Whether it just hasn’t worked out, it has been an epic failure, or you’ve realised that it’s time to move on; that business was your baby. You grew it from the ground up, through the highs and the lows. You probably shared the ‘L’ word way too early because let’s be honest, we entrepreneurs are passionate beings – we fall hard, and we fall fast. You dedicated the last however many months and years to it so when it doesn’t work out, it hurts. It hurts like hell, and it can leave you feeling broken. Well, it did for me anyway…
You’re left alone, questioning yourself and questioning your abilities.
That nasty friend called fear comes creeping in. It has you doubting every decision in life, putting thoughts in your head like, ‘it was never going to work’ or ‘you’re a failure.’ It can knock you about. After my biggest business breakup, every morning was a constant battle in my mind to realise that I am not defined by my ‘failures’ which weren’t even failures anyway. I had to change my mindset and realise all that I had achieved in business. It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves and to look at all the negatives, but don’t forget to step back and look at the amazing things you have accomplished too.
Every time I’ve had a failure (and if I’m honest, there’s been a few), I’ve always been quick to jump back on the bandwagon to discover the ‘next big thing.’ Enter, the REBOUND business. While it seems like the best idea at the time, and it’s a great distraction from all the hurt, it’s often very rushed, and you miss out on that all-important time of reflection and learning from the last experience in business. This is the biggest mistake you can make. You need to allow time to reflect on things.
“It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves and to look at all the negatives, but don’t forget to step back and look at the amazing things you have accomplished too.”
So, while I’m already onto my next idea within 5 minutes of the last, I force myself to take things slow, to learn from what happened the last time. I ask myself, What mistakes did I make? How could I have done that better? And most importantly, what can I learn for next time? Because I am a firm believer that failure is just an all-important lesson on the journey to success.
“Failure is not the opposite of success, it is a stepping stone to success.” – Arianna Huffington
My husband and I recently launched a new business called Think BOLD; a mentoring program designed to help entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs take their career to the next level. We provide access to 1:1 advice from some of Australia’s leading experts. Our mentees can find answers to those deal-breaking questions, deepen their knowledge and further develop their business with the advice and wisdom from those who have already been there, done that and learned from those mistakes so that we don’t have to.
I have never been so passionate about a business in my life. I think that when you go through tough times, you begin to realise what you are most passionate about and what you want to do with your life. For us? That’s helping people to discover what their passions are and to help make their dreams, reality.
So while your ‘breakup’ might seem like the end of the world at the time, just remember, like any bad relationship, soon enough you’ll look back and think, ‘thank goodness that’s over.’ But don’t forget to take everything you can from that business (the good and the bad) to create the new, exciting, BIGGER and BETTER business that you’ve only ever dreamed of.
Emma Stewart is a Premium member and the co-founder of Think Bold,
CONNECT WITH EMMA HERE.