If you’re faced with the challenge of how to start over in business, you’re not alone and the reality is, you are in good company. The world of professional sports erupted when it learned Tim Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner, who played for The Denver Broncos, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles is now practicing with two MLB teams as a hitter and outfielder. It’s a real-world lesson of how to start over in business, regardless of what industry you serve. No matter why you have to start over, be it because crazy infiltrated and wreaked havoc on your business or due to consumer trends, it’s not an easy process, but it’s definitely not impossible.
How to Start Over in Business
One place to begin is to identify and approach the situation as a new business opportunity. While that won’t be simple, it’s necessary to have a positive attitude because it will define how you move forward into the future. The good news is you’ve already done it once and are absolutely capable of doing it again. But this time, you’ll have the distinct advantage of experience — knowing where certain pitfalls lie in wait. Moreover, you’ll also be equipped with tougher skin and more healthy skepticism.
One third of all new businesses fail by the two-year mark, and almost 60% fold within four years, according to a 2005 Monthly Labor Review study. But resilience can be rewarded. So can keeping a positive perspective. Statistics on those entrepreneurs who try at a second and third business show greater success than their first venture. Investors, especially venture capitalists, will fund entrepreneurs who have failed before, but not those who burn bridges and lash out at others when they fail. —Bloomberg.com
Of course, there’s inevitable pain and second guessing that accompanies failure. It’s only natural to play Monday morning quarterback since hindsight is always 20/20. Kicking yourself, wishing you made different decisions, and mild depression are common thoughts and emotions. But these are only temporary and when you realize it is possible to begin anew, a whole different dynamic unfolds. This creates an uncomfortable phenomenon but with a positive attitude and a workable plan, it’s entirely possible to succeed. Here are some helpful suggestions for how to start over in business:
- Control your internal conversation. The whole experience will depend on how you approach the situation and that starts with controlling your internal conversation. Think about the many advantages you’ll have at your disposal. Be willing to use your previous experience in a positive manner and focus on the possibilities. With each achievement, give yourself a small reward and keep your ultimate goal in the spotlight.
- Reassess your personal and professional identities. You have two identities to reassess: your personal identity and your professional identity. Both will be affected by the failure you experienced so it’s important to reevaluate. Your new identities must be aligned and reshaped as the person who will take actionable steps and who will accomplish what you set out to do when you start over.
- Know what resources are available. It’s not only your personal and professional talents and attributes which are valuable resources, it’s also your assets, connections, and professional relationships. Think about how to best use these so you are going toward incremental goals and experience payoffs along the way. Be thoughtful because you do not want to waste precious resources when avoidable.
- Don’t let assumptions take over the process. We all know the old warning about assumptions and it’s stood the test of time because it’s proven right time and again. Do not make the mistake of believing certain people won’t talk to you or help you with this or that. Conversely, don’t overestimate another person’s zeal. Be mindful, courteous, and professional, always exercising good judgment.
Have you started over in business before? What steps did you take to turn the situation around? What tools and resources were most helpful? Please share your thoughts and experiences by commenting and joining the conversation.