I’ve often spoken about the highs of entrepreneurship on this podcast, but today I’m diving deep into the lows – particularly one significant failure that has been a monumental learning experience.

When we envision our entrepreneurial journey, we rarely see the mistakes or missteps. Instead, we hope for a straight path to success. However, as I’ve recently experienced, failures are unavoidable. And while they might be challenging to face, they offer invaluable lessons.

The Capital-F-Failure

While every business might experience minor setbacks, this was a failure of epic proportions. It involved a massive overhaul of my branding for Fiscal Fitness, the financial coaching company I’ve run successfully for nearly 15 years. With the intent to niche down, I changed everything – from the website to our SEO strategy to our colors and all our branded images. It required a significant investment of time, effort, and yes, money. In the end, the reality hit me: I regretted all these changes. My gut had been trying to warn me for months, but I hadn’t listened.

The Mental Whirlwind of Failure

Facing such a colossal mistake was emotionally overwhelming. At first, my mind struggled to even acknowledge it. Admitting to this error meant confronting the vast resources spent, from the money to the trust my team placed in my vision. I cycled through various emotional stages, from denial to blame, before finally taking responsibility. Thoughts like “I failed,” “I am a failure,” and “I messed up big time” consumed me.

But the turning point was realizing that while I had indeed made a mistake, I wasn’t the mistake. Changing my mindset from “I’m a failure” to “I failed, and that’s okay” was transformative. It allowed me to think critically about the situation, learn from it, and start planning the path to rectification.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Navigating Through Failures

Every entrepreneur will face setbacks, big or small. The essential thing is how you navigate through them. I believe these key points are vital in the journey:

  • Failures are Part of the Journey: As entrepreneurs, we’re constantly challenging the norm and pushing boundaries. It’s naive to believe this comes without the risk of failure.
  • Owning the Mistake: Avoid the urge to blame others. Accepting responsibility is the first step to recovery.
  • Mindset Shift: The way we think about failures determines how we move past them. Changing your perspective from “I am a failure” to “I experienced failure” can make all the difference.
  • Continued Resilience: Despite my setbacks, I’ve never thought about quitting. That persistence and belief in oneself are crucial.
  • Reflect and Learn: Only by reflecting on our failures can we ensure they serve as valuable learning experiences for the future.

Next Steps and Reflections

In the next episode, I’ll delve deeper into the root causes of my misaligned decision, the insights gained, and the actionable steps forward.

However, as we close this chapter, I invite you to reflect on this: When you experience failure, what thoughts arise? How does failure feel to you? Remember, by understanding our own perception of failure, we’re better equipped to face it head-on.

Join the discussion and share your reflections, whether it’s in the comments below or within our Financial Coaches Unite community on Facebook. We grow stronger as a community when we share, learn, and uplift one another.