Dealing with setbacks, rejections and failures

Starting and running a business is tough. Not only do you have to deal with setbacks, rejections and failures, but you have to self-motivate when times get tough to keep on going. Everyone has different ways that they self-motivate, so this week we thought we’d share a few that our community of startup founders use:

  1. Connect back to your purpose – Simon Sinek said that to create a standout business, you should start with ‘Why’. What he means here is that you need to connect to why you started your business in the first plane – what was your purpose? When times get tough, connecting back to your purpose and remembering the people you’re trying to help can intrinsically motivate you to bounce back.
  2. Think lean – When you’re wanting to implement new ideas, try testing them quickly and cheaply first before investing in their implementation. Not only will this save you time, money and energy, but if it doesn’t work out, you won’t feel as let down because you’re less invested.
  3. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs – Not everyone understands why you’d want to go out on your own and start a business. When times get tough, try chatting to others who are starting up businesses and who get why you’re taking this risk. You’ll find that they’re more likely to encourage you to keep going and share openly about their tough times so you feel less alone.
  4. Desensitise yourself to failure – Now this one is a bit left of centre, but as Jia Jiang describes in his TedTalk ‘What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection’, you can desensitise yourself from feeling awful about failing by simply putting yourself in more situations where you’re likely to get ‘No’s’. For example, try asking a stranger for $50 or approaching your local barista for a free coffee. You’re likely to get a ‘No’ but you don’t lose anything by trying in this circumstance. The more you do activities like this, the more you’ll find rejection washes over you like water off a duck’s back.

If you have any other techniques that work for you when dealing with failure, setbacks and rejections, then please share these with us at hello[at] and we’ll share your tips in our next newsletter!

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Photo: Aldona Kmiec

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