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How to Recover From an Investment Failure

By Brooks

Like a relationship breakup, divorce or any other substantial form of loss, investment failure is not easy to accept, and it is even more difficult to deal with. The memory of failed businesses could be a nightmare that goes on for days. Sometimes, such failure leads to the loss of hundreds or thousands of dollars. But no matter how small the money put in may be to another person who only hears the story, we must bear in mind that what may sound like fifty dollars to one person could feel like a hundred thousand dollars to another, especially when it is lost as a result of investment failure. Sometimes people put in their best, make all the necessary plans and preparations but things just don’t go as expected and before you know it, you are standing before a failed investment, not just hurt by the loss but very confused as to what needs to be done to get back on your feet and recover from the wreck.

Dealing with investment failure and gathering the pieces of failed businesses will feel a lot easier when people know exactly what should be done to recover from it. As a matter of fact, the thought of a solution to the problem is usually the strongest first aid therapy that helps in such situations. After all, you still have to invest in businesses if that is really what you are passionate about. So here are some steps you can and should take to recover from investment failure. Hopefully they are not only going to help you feel better about failed business ventures but will also show you how to get back up and actually succeed. As you invest in businesses in the future, you can do so with an assurance that it will succeed and even if you have to go through the pain of other failed startups, it will be easier.

Failing is not the same as failure

It think the first thing worthy of note when dealing with the issue of failed startups or failed businesses is the fact that there is a definite difference between failing and being a failure. This should make even more meaning and be of more help to those who have been through a good number of failed attempts. The tendency to feel like a failure especially after failing multiple times is high. There is a way successive failed attempts can break one’s self confidence, weaken your resolve try again or even bring about low self esteem. But failing like I already mentioned is not the same as being a failure. You may have heard that being said a thousand times in motivational speeches or read it on quotes severally but that is not the basis of making things work after meeting with failure.

The truth that failing does not make anyone a failure must be more than a nice or encouraging thought to you. It has to be a definite conviction that takes root in your heart. If it only sounds like an encouraging or motivational statement, then there is not going to be much in it to help you. While you are yet thinking of the possibility of failure and still have things together, the statement “failing is not the same as failure” may seem admirable to you. However, if you don’t understand or believe in the fact of that statement and take it personal, it can hardly help you when failure strikes.

You should have heard of many great men and women who are said to have failed several times before finally breaking through to success. Considering how many times some of these guys are said to have failed in their attempts to succeed and even the nature of some of their stories, it is hard to believe that such guys had the concept that being a failure is different from failing as just a “nice thought”. It must have been their deepest personal convictions. How else can we explain that after 12 rejected request to publish the now famous Harry Porter series, J.K Rowlings went on to become the most successful female writer in England’s History or that the very well known Stephen King had his first novel rejected 30 times before it was finally published. Bill Gates, which I doubt is a name anyone would be ignorant of, failed terribly at his first business start and between that failure and his very Successful Microsoft Company are other heart aches caused by failure which many know nothing about. Finally, just before you think your case is worse than all of these, you should remember that Thomas Edison failed ten thousand times in his attempts at inventing an electricity light bulb that could be commercialized. I an sure you can’t beat his record in your life time even if you wanted to.

These stories and more are not just life proves or motivational tales to brighten your mood. They point to the vital truth that in order to actually get over failure and succeed, one must have it as a conviction that failure is truly not the same as failing. It takes only giving up on one’s dreams and self declaration to be a failure. Only you can declare yourself a failure. But why pass over a thousand other opportunities to make it big because the first two or three did not work out well?

Take responsibility

irresponsibility to any degree is one of the causes of business failure. Taking responsibility therefore is one way to remedy the situation. As simple as it sounds, taking responsibility for one’s choices and actions is a very powerful step to recovering from investment failure. Failed businesses or failed startups are often the result of wrong choices and usually, someone has to take responsibility for those choices. You can also expect me to say taking responsibility for failure, though noble, it is not an easy thing to do. But how many truly noble actions are easy? It is far less painful and easier to throw off the blame for failure on every other person, situation or circumstances than on self. That is why many people who fail in an attempt to start and run businesses find it difficult to recover from the investment failure. There is power in taking responsibility even for actions and choices that go wrong. But when you choose to blame others, you consciously or unconsciously surrender that power to the people you blame for your failure. The saddest part of it all is that those who are blamed can hardly ever use that power to make things better for you.

One reason why you must take responsibility in order to recover from failed business ventures is that it helps you take charge of the hurt and deal with it. This is very important if you are going to move past the place of failure. So long as you blame other people for failure, you may never be able to recover from it because to do that you will need to first either demand justice on them or forgive them. Those two only make things more complicated for you. Most times the people one chooses to blame have really done nothing wrong, at least nothing that warrants them to take the weight of the responsibility of failure.

Secondly, it is a great relief when you can see exactly what your own faults were and know how to correct them. But you cannot do that if you do not take absolute responsibility for the situation. Inability to take responsibility is often manifest in an attitude of denial. Denial in itself is not an attribute of a successful business man or woman. Taking control of the situation makes you feel in charge. It gives you confidence that though the business or startup may be in pieces, you have control over those pieces and with time and knowledge, you can use those pieces to rebuild something that will actually work. Be the responsible boss and you will definitely be able to recover from failed business ventures faster.

Assess the situation

Many times, there are prospects and opportunities for success hidden in situations that seem like failed business attempts. Usually, it will take assessing the situation to know what possibilities lie hidden in the ruins of failure. Many people who tried to start a business and failed did not realize that the event was supposed to be a redirection to a better way that could have succeeded if discovered and taken advantage of. If you make up your mind to assess the situation, you may feel better about it after probably realizing that the situation is not as bad as it seems from first look. This will surely boost your moral and help you get over it to persist in the right direction. You can only rightly assess the situation when you decide to follow the previous point and take responsibility for what happened. On the other hand, it will help you with the next point.

Determine what went wrong

How is determining what went wrong going to help you recover from a failed startup or an investment failure? Well there is no feeling as good as knowing exactly what you toppled over in your previous attempt to succeed. It helps reduce the hurt you feel but more importantly, it comes with a warm assurance that your chances of succeeding have gone up by at least one percent since you are able to discover one wrong way to go about your business. More so, taking responsibility has two sides to it. The first is accepting the blame for what went wrong and the other is taking right action to make amends. The first may be possible if one does not know exactly what went wrong. Then second, though possible, will definitely be difficult if one is not able to determine exactly what went wrong. Correcting wrong actions and decisions starts from determining what they are in the first place.

A new pathway to success will invariably have to be mapped out in order to recover from failed businesses. But if one does not know where the former path went wrong, necessary fixes cannot be made. Those who make up their minds to take responsibility and access the situation have to go on to determining the decisions, actions and inactions that made the difference between success and failure. As you settle down to look back and determine what exactly went wrong, you can come to a place of rest, knowing that with the realization of your mistakes, you are now ready to make things right when next you invest.

Bring back the positive attitudes

By now you should have made up your mind that just because you’ve failed before doesn’t mean that you are a failure. That is an important part of getting over failed business ventures. However, recovering from failure will require more than dealing with the feeling of being a failure. An investment failure could do more than just make you feel bad about yourself. If you recall, there was a time, before you made the last investment that went wrong, when you were very positive about the investment, courageous enough to take the leap, damning the risks and enthusiastically putting in moments of brainstorming and action. It is very probable that all those attitudes are far gone away from you now. But you need them to get over failed business startups. Remember you may still have to work with people and that is the point where things could get complicated if you don’t make up your mind to bring back the positive attitudes.

In spite of all that has happened, you can’t afford to be so distraught over the pieces of the past that you can’t put up the right attitudes required to reach out for what the future holds. Positive attitudes are necessary for the perfect setup that translates into more successful ventures in the future. When you invest in businesses, you do so with the best attitudes because of a strong desire to succeed at it. You need to get those attitudes back to make things work again. You may repeat the causes of business failure if you fail to maintain a positive attitude.

Think of income alternatives

Sometimes, what hurts most about failed business ventures is the fact that one may not have the finances required to go on with life or worse still, the failure may have left you neck deep in debt. If you simply have to figure out how to get finances to take care of your immediate needs, you could consider selling a few valuable items to buy you some time out or better still seek help from friends or a bank. Getting over an investment failure could be a more daunting task for people who have to settle debts. Knowing where you can get immediate financial help would surely make things feel a lot easier. So take a while and ask yourself, what are my income alternatives? If you have another investment which may be doing well, it will be worth considering but be careful that you don’t try to make it carry the burden of an investment failure. That will be an unwise decision that could cause even more pain. When it comes to getting financial help from another investment of yours that may be doing better, you have to thread with caution.

When it comes to dealing with debt after investment failure you have to be even more cautious. I guess it’s now late to be advised about taking loans, especially large loans for investments. That would have saved you the trouble but now that you are already in it, all what matters is how to get out. So let’s get unto it.

Be well advised not to seek help from payday lenders. The temptation may be very high but I can promise you that the burden, should you seek help from such places, will be even more grievous. Come to think of it, you are already in debt, what’s the worse that could happen under such circumstances? No matter how bad your assessment of the situation is, one thing is certain, getting another loan to clear the first will be jumping from the heat of fire into the very flames. Your best chance out will be selling some property out if you have any. It is far better to sleep outside with a head clear of debts than to be in a great house receiving constant threats from your lenders. If by any chance you have friends or relatives who can bail you out, it will be an option worth considering. I think even taking loans from trusted family members or friends to settle pressing debts will do you better good than seeking help from financial institutions and or payday lenders.

Take a break before reinvesting

With opportunity and more resources on your side, you may just jump form one investment failure to another attempt. For some people, this may be a way to blow off steam from the previous attempt. A means by which you can distract yourself into doing something that has the prospects of succeeding and takes your mind off the pain of failure. No matter your reasons for wanting to jump right back into investing immediately after failure, it is quite possible that you are not ready for another investment. Lack of preparation is one of the causes of business failure and you definitely don’t want to repeat it. It takes time to count the cost, to consider the options and judge rightly about the next decisions you are about to take.

Get more information before trying again

Many times, failure is the result of misinformation or no information at all. In actuality, it is better to have no information about something than to be misinformed about it. Misinformation is amongst the causes of business failure and you should avoid it like the plague. However, these are problems that usually cause people to stay longer in the circle of reoccurring failure. If you failed because of something you did not know, it will be an absolute guarantee that you are going to fail again if you take the next move without getting the knowledge you did not have before. Get as much information about your next line of investment as you can. Be systematic about it. Don’t just get information in disorder. Gather information in such a way that when the time comes to use it, you know exactly what to do at the right moment. It is a surer way to recover from investment failure.

Take advantage of motivation from positive people

when things do not go as planned and you are suffering from the pain of untold losses, it is important to have and hang around the right people. You will feel a lot worse if you decide to hang around negative discouraging people. Look for friends and family members who believe in you. Those you are sure will stand by you through this tough period. These are people who can help you stay focused on the fact that you are more that one failed attempt.

You could also talk to a business counselor. He or she should be able to help you figure out where things went wrong and more importantly give you important advice on how to recover from your losses.

Make necessary changes that better assure you of success

After all has been said, it is the person that you are inside that really matters. For the most part, that personality is based on your choices and decisions. But choices and decisions on their part are nothing without actions and commitments to seeing them work. You will not have to deal with failed startups when you decide to be more dedicated or committed than you were before. Learning to take your time and opportunities more seriously, dealing with people, diligence and other such qualities are all things you must be conscious of and put to practice as you invest in businesses. Some of the causes of business failures can in one way or the other be traced back to one’s inability to put these qualities to practice as you invest in businesses.

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