7 Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Handle Failures

Failure feels painful but makes you strong.

Ahmad Ali
6 min readJan 11, 2021
Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

Failures are inevitable. And if anyone wants to stay safe for the whole life, he is insane.

And if you’re an entrepreneur, failing is compulsory because multiple internal and external factors affect you and your business at a time.

According to Embroker, after 5-years of starting a new business, 50% of entrepreneurs fail while only 25.9% surpass the 15th year.

Can you believe this? But that is the reality.

There are several reasons like economic risks, natural disasters, no market need, cash shortfall, mismanagement, etc.

The majority of entrepreneurs find it tough to deal with failures that result in anxiety, depression, and addiction.

A study on mental health conditions found that entrepreneurs have a greater chance of suffering from depression, ADHD, substance abuse, and bipolar diagnosis in comparison to other people.

It means entrepreneurs need to know in advance how to overcome this pain.

In this article, you’re going to learn about seven strategies to deal with entrepreneurship failure that help you achieve ultimate success.

So let’s dive right in.

1. Be mentally prepared before failure

The first step to handling failures is preparing your mind before you fail. You’re going to join the field of entrepreneurs then understand that hurdles and challenges come along the way.

“Entrepreneurship can be a long, difficult, dark, and lonely place. You need to be prepared emotionally and prepare those around you.” — Langalakhe Nxumalo

There is no need for making accidental plans. Just recognize in your mind that anything unfavorable can occur in the field of business at any time. And that’s it.

Don’t expect all the things to happen in the right way. If you’re not good with facing and managing through hard times, then avoid entrepreneurship. Have a strong belief that facing challenges and unpleasant events is a bridge to success.

2. Identify what makes you feel good

When you’re working in your office, you’re alone. You need to identify different things that help you stay relaxed, confident, and motivated.

That can be spending time with your family, friends, colleagues, exercise, and meditation. One study shows that people who exercise are more satisfied with their life as compared with non-exercisers.

Finding ways to get out of isolation and loneliness is a great way to think and act rationally to with failures. You get open to more opportunities to solve a particular problem.

3. Avoid reacting with emotions

It is natural for us mostly to react emotionally when something unpleasant happens. In daily life, it may be appropriate but not for entrepreneurs. Reacting emotionally only compound your problem.

“It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”


The right strategy is to adopt rational behavior. It helps you analyze the problem and generate a possible solution.

Whether the failure is small or large, take it rationally, not emotionally. If your reaction is emotional, then it will not only increase the problem but blocks your creativity.

For example, if you’re a stock market investor, the market doesn’t care whether you’re making money or not. You need to take a realistic approach to develop strategies for earning money.

4. Spend time with supportive people

You cannot succeed without the help of other people around. You want a network to share your problems with them because they can provide you a strategy.

Talk to your friends, colleagues, and mentors to discuss problems and get their opinions. They also help you stay motivated and focus on your goals.

According to the Small Business Owner Report, 53% of owners take support from their family for major business roles, 38% got financial funds/gifts from their family or friend for their business, and 35% said their friends and family helped them run a business.

But remember to avoid discussing problems with naysayers because they only disappoint you instead of helping.

5. Avoid taking failure on your mind

Take failures normally. Don’t react to them too seriously. They are part of our life. Imagine if there is no failure in this world, and you face no problem then how this world looks and feels.

Two downsides can occur when you take failures too seriously on your mind. First, you lose creativity and can go wrong with decisions that make the situation worse. Second, you give up and setbacks and become unable to achieve the end goal.

“I give myself 24 hours to mourn a failure. When something fails, I wallow in it for a day. And then I move on. I never let it stay with me for more than a day. But I give it its one day.” — Brad Feld, founder of Techstars

The solution is don’t remind past fails instead focus on the future by learning from past and present downfalls.

6. Develop the habit of accepting failures

Develop the courage to accept your failures. Avoid blaming others and take responsibility. Mostly, problems occur due to the mistakes of entrepreneurs.

“Accepting failure as a lesson is one of the most important things I have ever learned.” __Jason Saltzman

According to CB insights, 42% of startup businesses fail because of no market need, and 29% due to cash shortfall.

Entrepreneurs fall in love with their ideas and neglect other important factors in building a business. They ignore proper market research and don’t properly manage cash and related policy for accounts receivable.

Every problem has a reason behind it. Admit your failure before get raised by any other and watching the problem becoming dangerous. Discuss challenges with your management and call regular meetings to get different opinions and solutions. Present them with your financial statements to analyze each aspect of a business.

Accepting your failures doesn’t mean that you associate them too much with yourself. Just recognize and start digging into reasons to ensure they don’t repeat in the future. Stay happy and learn along the way.

7. Take failures as an opportunity or option

Seeing failures as opportunities to grow and improve makes you intelligent. Mistakes are not bad but helping you become better and robust in the future.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas A. Edison

Whenever you fail then, examine it. Find why it occurred and how to avoid its repetition. Find a way to become better and better in the future.

Sometimes failures make it clear to you that what you’re doing in business is wrong and help you pivot at the right time to become successful.

There are multiple external factors you cannot control (like economic risk and natural disasters COVID19). What you can control is inside of the business affairs like marketing, financial resources, and operations. Manage what is in your hands, and ignore irrelevant things.

Improve yourself and forget about what you invested that failure had ruined. Instead, guide your future decisions by learning through ups and downs to prevent future disasters. It helps you take concrete decisions in the future.


Entrepreneurship is a challenging field. You face tons of ups and downs that can turn you down, but this a part of a journey to building a successful business.

Stay confident during difficult times. Ultimately after difficulties comes success. Failures and mistakes provide you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and experience.

So if you want to become a breakthrough entrepreneur, you should know how to deal with pitfalls and stand out again.

Let’s have a final look at all the things we learned above.

  • Be mentally prepared before failure
  • Identify what makes you feel good
  • Avoid reacting with emotions
  • Spend time with supportive people
  • Develop the habit of accepting failures
  • Take failures as an opportunity or option

Now it’s your turn to keep these tactics in mind and apply them whether you’re new to the field of entrepreneurship or want to start one.



Ahmad Ali

A writer & dreamer. I write about business, finance, and marketing. @AhmadAl82230443