Starting up your own venture can put you through an emotional roller coaster. It is unlike anything you must have experienced so far in your career. The ups and downs and the level of stress can be beyond belief. The emotions involved in a startup can test your commitment in such a way that even the most stubborn of entrepreneurs can retreat. There will also be times when you would feel lost and out of place because by leaving your old life as a traditional employee, you would have likely displaced yourself from everything you used to know.
With all the struggles and hardships that you would already be going through, your friends and family may not understand your journey and would instead consider you a failure. After all this, if you are successful, you would be respected but just in case you failed, socially you would lose your eligibility for marriage, financially you would be in debt and a failed venture would not be considered as a real work experience.
So, why take such pain to be an entrepreneur?
Gautam Gandhi, head of New Business Development, Google India, once wrote in his column, “The price of becoming an entrepreneur in India is too high and the journey isn’t well-respected.” He explained that the major problem in becoming an entrepreneur is financial risks because of the unavailability of the proper resources. However, social acceptance also plays a key role.
Entrepreneurs often juggle many roles and face countless setbacks such as losing customers, partnership disputes, increasing competition and staffing problems and this happens all while struggling to make a payroll.
So what can one do to deal with such downturns? The following are some suggestions which may help on how entrepreneurs can keep their lives from spiraling out of control:
The end of your startup, isn’t the end of your career
- Treat your failure as a harsh course correction
- Stop the blame game. Figure out what went wrong and learn to make it right
- The sudden vacuum might help you gain new perspective and discover new synergies with people
- Make amendments with the failed approach, take pragmatic decisions on the next steps
- Remain in touch with your ecosystem – lawyers, accountants, bankers, IT, marketers and more
- Understand that you can’t do everything on your own, everyone needs support, be it mentally or financially
- A strong counsel goes a long way – continue seeking advice from peers, mentors, advisors, investors and more
- Seek more role models who are:
- The target – a visible example of where you want to be
- Inspirational – Increasing morale, giving hope and being a live example of certain goals being attainable
- Insightful – Role models can also make mistakes and you can learn from their mistakes
- Have similar goals – A constant encouragement is that they are actively achieving something that you want to achieve
- Respect the entire journey and celebrate failure
- Make your friends and family understand what you are going through as they can help you recover from the failure in a better way
- Life is a constant process of trial and error. In order to succeed one must be given a chance to fail
- Accept failure and move on, because in the larger scale of things, that failure will not mean much
Health is wealth
- A healthy diet and adequate sleep will also help
- Cultivate an identity apart from work, may it be, raising family, playing golf, dancing on weekends, it’s good to be successful in areas not related to work as well
- Be open about your feelings
- When you are willing to be emotionally honest, you can connect more deeply with people around you
- Willingness to be susceptible is very powerful for a leader
- No matter how much your loved ones want to support you or try to be there for you, it will not succeed unless you are more receptive
- Most importantly, if you deal with the situation with the right attitude, this temporary setback would have prepared you for many more challenges