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Change Your Relationship to “Failure” Comments

Amanda - side shot

A couple of years ago, I had the worst day of my entrepreneurial life. DailyWorth was two years old, I’d been trying to raise investment capital for nine months, and I had two toddlers and a marriage on thin ice. A group of investors had verbally committed to putting major money into the company, but the close was dragging out. So like any good salesperson, I threw out a date for finishing the deal.

The next day, they told me I’d been too pushy and pulled out. I spent the night on the sofa, crying.

Running your own company is thrilling and fulfilling. But there will be days so bad you can’t breathe—and want to quit. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to survive the emotional roller coaster.

Change your relationship to failure. In business, failure is not possible—it’s inevitable. Expect it. When I was running a web company back in 2001, a client called me and said, “Amanda, why did you make this horrible decision?” I snapped back with a smile: “I make 100 decisions a day, and while 80 of them are probably wrong, the 20 that are right are where our success comes from.” His reply: “You’re right.”

Besides, if something doesn’t go the way you expected it to, that doesn’t mean it’s a failure. J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series was famously rejected by 12 publishers.

Put a limit on your suffering. It’s completely reasonable to freak out when things go wrong. Give yourself two hours to feel as deeply as you need to about the problem. Then commit to releasing it and move on.

Shift your focus. When business hits a bump and I start getting that panicky feeling, I remind myself that revenue solves all problems and turn my attention to generating dollars. When you have income, you can face anything.

When you choose to run your own business, you’re signing up for unprecedented levels of streeessssss. Developing strategies to manage this anxiety are just as important as learning how to make a dollar on your own.

Chillax. How do you stay calm admidst inevitable failures?

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