Startup failure is knowing our friends aren't asking about our startup because they already know we've failed.
It's knowing we're the punchline of community gossip, sometimes from fellow Founders who might have a right to joke, but mostly from those who don't.
It's about trading that exciting victory we dreamed about for the nightmare that kept us from sleeping at all.
Anxiety, however, can be a powerful motivator.
It's often a terrible, awful kind of energy that rots us to the core while accomplishing nothing useful. That's unless we judo-move that energy into something that powers us toward something positive.
We can stay up all night with our anxiety or we can stay up all night working on our next great idea. Either way, we're going to be up all night! We can go out publicly with uncomfortable conversations about our last failure or we can talk people's ears off about our next great idea.
The choice is ours.
The best way to cope is to reload. Just start again. Get our focus on something other than failure and work even harder (yes, it's possible).
That may be surprising because on the way to failure, we've likely worked ourselves into panic attacks and clinical sleep depravity. We're probably worn to nothing.
That's expected. And yes, it sucks.
Reloading isn't about working ourselves into more debt or physical deprivation, it's about redirecting our high-alert energy into something positive. The energy is going to be there — it's in all of us.
How we channel that energy is what matters.
How I Harness My Startup Anxiety (podcast). There are two types of Founders: those who admit they’re wracked with anxiety, and those who are lying about it. Join Wil and Ryan as they break down how to tackle anxiety head-on.
Startups Don’t Go Bankrupt — Founders Do. Startups don’t truly go bankrupt until their Founders go bankrupt. The problem is that Founders are often so focused on their startup’s finances that they overlook their own ability to stay afloat in the process.
How to be Resilient After Failing. Startups fail 90% of the time, so determined entrepreneurs know that failure is something they’ll have to confront regularly. Learning how to be resilient in the face of failure may not come naturally for all. Here’s where to start.
Wil Schroter is the Founder + CEO @ Startups.com, a startup platform that includes Bizplan, Clarity, Fundable, Launchrock, and Zirtual. He started his first company at age 19 which grew to over $700 million in billings within 5 years (despite his involvement). After that he launched 8 more companies, the last 3 venture backed, to refine his learning of what not to do. He's a seasoned expert at starting companies and a total amateur at everything else.