When I started my first business, I set out to give other large dog owners the things I realized I had a tough time finding- large enough toys and beds, plus places I could stay with my pups- hotels and even finding urban rental properties. Great idea- right?! Slowly it sunk in that people only need to rent a new apartment once a year at the most, and most people aren’t traveling with their big dogs as much as I had expected. So, I did what any good entrepreneur would do, and I pivoted. I started focusing on what my customers were telling me they wanted more of- durable toys, and other items large enough for their dogs- and therefore difficult to find. I realized that subscription boxes were a new thing- and so I launched my own- it worked- until it didn’t and I ran out of my personal funding to support it. Turns out that around the same time I started my business Bark Box had entered the scene- and with all their financial support – they easily grabbed up all the market share and I just couldn’t compete.

My business failed. But I didn’t. I learned many valuable lessons about how to manage cash flow, how to listen better to my customers and how to adjust my offerings. All these things have led to making me a successful entrepreneur in another business.  But that’s not to say I still don’t fail all the time. That’s what being a successful business owner means: failure.

The trick is managing your relationship with Failure.

What happens when you Fail?

  1. | It makes your goals seem less attainable

  2. | It distorts your perception of your own ability

  3. | Your Self-doubt increases dramatically

  4. | You begin to fear the feeling of failure

I’d love to tell you that there is some magical way to trick your brain into not feeling those things when you fail- but there isn’t. You will feel those things every time. But you can focus on realizing you have these feelings, and start to work towards shifting your relationship with failure by understanding that failure is where the growth, adaptation and learning happens- and those are the things you need to be successful.

Will Smith recently spoke on this topic and how having a positive association with failure is what can lead you to your ultimate success. I can’t help but agree. Listening to this helps inspire me to shift my focus when I am feeling like I’m helpless in my attempts at moving forward. I recommend that all entrepreneurs listen to this every time they fail!

And, remember, everyone fails. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs have failed before getting to where they are now. Don’t believe me?

10 Entrepreneurs Who Failed Big before being successful