Entrepreneur Failure

There are many aspects of entrepreneurship that are very fulfilling, however many of those benefits start to erode as an entrepreneur begins to experience their first major failure in their journey. This makes or breaks moment for many, and its why many people, actually, the vast majority, fail to be entrepreneurs. However, by analyzing our thoughts, using pattern recognition, and sharing our struggles, we can overcome many of the obstacles in our path.

space stress coping

Effects of Stress

Stress can cause actual harm to our bodies. It's been already documented that PTSD "might link violence and self-harm" (Kessler, 2000; Weierich & Nock, 2008). It also affects their relationships with others as many participants in one study researching entrepreneurial stress noted that most participants began to talk about their relationships with family or significant others when discussing their failure (Heinze). Now that we know how critical it is to work on coping with our stress let's get into the process of how to actually fixing this:

 Stress Coping Methods

Here is one journal article that focuses on a group of entrepreneurs that experienced failure, I will share the study's info. on their profiles, methods of coping, and results from the participants:


Participant Profiles

Coping With Stress Methods

coping with stress

Participant Results

participant results

What we see is that many participants felt similar stress and I think we can all relate to many of these feelings and emotions. What we have to realize is that there is a way out, and that is talking about it. By discussing your problems, and not letting yourself become isolated, we can live healthier lives. These will help in the long term.

Anxiety Coping Methods

Here are some anxiety coping methods that will help at the moment:

1. Breathing Exercises

By engaging in breathing exercises we can trick our mind into thinking that we are okay. When we are anxious our bodies tense up and constrict breathing as a fight or flight response. We have to physically tell our bodies that everything is okay and there is no danger.

2. Visualize a Successful Outcome

Stop what you're doing and sit and close your eyes. Visualize what it would be like to come out on top. Try to use positive motivation to propel you to your next task and take things one step at a time. If you see the end goal, you'll be more motivated to get there.

3. Be Prepared

When you're in a stressful situation sometimes the best thing is to start doing research and letting others' advice steer you in the right direction. Either by reading what others did in your situation or if you already know what you have to do, just starting with the absolute smallest thing first and just simply starting.

4. Plan to Reward Yourself After

A slight boost in morale is if you hold out on giving yourself that rewarding activity until after you are done with your work. Try practicing this once or twice to see how this works for you and to see if it's effective.

5. Flip Negative into Positive

Sometimes we have to use a last-ditch strategy to manage our stress and not let it overcome us. If we remember all the people in our lives that told us we couldn't do something, we can build up a strong anger and resentment. This carries a lot of energy with it, and if we can focus that energy on proving them wrong, sometimes this is the best motivation in desperate times where there aren't any positives.


Stress is a difficult thing, especially when your life depends on the success of your business, however, we can get through it if we continue to think differently.


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  1. Heinze, I. (2013). Entrepreneur sense-making of business failure. Small Enterprise Research, 20(1), 21-39.
  2. Nada-Raja, Shyamala, & Skegg, Keren. (2011). Victimization, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology, and Later Nonsuicidal Self-Harm in a Birth Cohort. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(18), 3667-3681.

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