Restarting a failed business
Has your business recently failed or closed? You’re not alone. Fifty percent of new businesses fail within the first year, and 80% fail in the first five years.
“Success is not a straight line,” as Tony says, and no one gets it exactly right on the first try – or second, or third. The difference between those who are successful in business and those who are not isn’t about how many times they fail or how bad their failures are. It’s about how quickly they get back up. It’s about hunger.
You’ve closed your business and maybe even filed for bankruptcy. What now? Business is for gladiators, and it’s time to get up, dust off and channel your inner Joan of Arc or Alexander the Great. Here are the best tips for restarting a failed business.
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1. Don’t let fear control you.
“The goal is to feel the fear, and if you do that then the sky is the limit.”
Restarting a closed business can be a scary time. But you can use fear as a motivator. It starts with recognizing that everyone feels fear. It can be a fear of losing control, a fear of rejection or in the case of a failed business, the fear of failing all over again. Once you recognize your fear, you can overcome it. “You have to fail to be successful,” says Tony – and this is a vital thing to tell yourself. Mantras, meditation and priming are habits successful people use to control their minds – and you can, too
2. Identify your limiting beliefs
“The only thing that’s keeping you from getting what you want is the story you keep telling yourself.”
If you’ve gotten this far in life without analyzing your limiting beliefs, now is the time. Success doesn’t just come to certain people – there is a psychology behind it. You must make a conscious decision to overcome limiting beliefs and change your state. Common limiting beliefs when a business has failed include “I don’t have what it takes” and “Successful people are just lucky.” Change these statements to empowering beliefs like “I deserve to be successful” and “Successful people work hard.” When you focus your energy, your mind will do the rest.
3. Cultivate a growth mindset
“Failure either destroys you or drives you.”
Identifying your limiting beliefs is the first step to cultivating a growth mindset – and a growth mindset is key to restarting a failed business. The belief that successful people are just lucky is an example of a fixed mindset, a belief that success depends on skills or gifts a person is born with, like intelligence or beauty. A growth mindset means believing that success depends on hard work and perseverance. Failure destroys people with fixed mindsets, because they believe their success is based on innate qualities. Failure drives people with growth mindsets, because they believe that with determination, success is just a matter of time. Just ask Serena Williams, who embodies the growth mindset.
4. Get in control of your emotions
“Real freedom comes when you stop allowing external events to shape your emotional experience.”
Fear may not be the only emotion holding you back. A failed business can bring feelings of anger, shame and sadness. Ask yourself, “Am I in control of my emotions?” You don’t want to make bad business decisions because you feel lingering anger or even guilt from your previous ventures. Learn to master your emotions so that you can make rational decisions and build the relationships you’ll need to restart your business. It isn’t about your emotions being wrong or bad. It’s about choosing to look at even negative experiences and emotions as being there to help you, not hurt you.
5. Turn your “shoulds” into “musts”
“We can change our minds. We can do, have and be exactly what we wish.”
If you want to take the island, burn your boats. That’s Tony’s way of saying that to achieve success, you must give yourself no other option. Everything becomes possible when you raise your standards and turn your shoulds into musts. Highly successful people are driven not only by the belief that they deserve success, but that they have to have it.
6. Ask yourself the right questions
“When people succeed, they tend to party. When people fail, they tend to ponder.”
Overcoming your limiting beliefs and changing your state are essential to restarting a failed business. But failure is also an opportunity to evaluate what happened by asking yourself the right questions. Author and executive director of the MIT Leadership Center Hal Gregersen says, “Questions are the answer.” Get together with a small group, whether it’s your business partner, life coach or a mentor. Spend four minutes writing down provocative questions about how and why your business failed. You’ll come away with meaningful questions that lead to new insights and help you focus your energy in the right direction.
7. Make a better plan
“There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.”
When you recognize failure as simply a set of results, you’re able to break it down into facts and look at it objectively. This is how successful people use failure as a learning experience. Once you’ve asked the right questions, you can make a new business map that incorporates everything you’ve learned. Whether you’ve made a huge realization about constant strategic innovation or failure resulted from a series of operational mistakes, take responsibility and use your experiences. Even small changes have big results when you put them all together.
The secret of success is that it isn’t a secret at all. It’s about developing the mindset of a champion, believing in yourself and cultivating inner strength. Join Tony at Business Mastery to learn more ways you can take control of your business’ destiny and fulfill your dreams.
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