Once I wrote a post titled After Your First Big Success, What’s Next? The comment thread was powerful and fascinating, as was the direct email feedback I got, including the following note:

“I think it would be interesting to hear your perspective on how an entrepreneur should approach ‘what’s next’ after coming off a failed business. How should one manage their own emotions and their own perspectives post failure? It’s easy to play the blame game and it’s easy to be extremely hard on ourselves. There have to be constructive ways to move forward rather than destructive ways that could lead to lack of confidence, or depression.”

 
Having failed at a lot of things, I’m completely comfortable tackling this. But let me establish my bonafides first.

My first company, Martingale Software, failed. (We returned $7,000 of the $10,000 we raised.) My second company, DataVision Technologies, failed. I didn’t have success until my third company, Feld Technologies. While my first angel investment was a success, I resigned as the chairman after the VCs came in and left the board after the CEO was replaced. In the late 1990s, what looked like my biggest success at the time went public, peaked at an almost $3 billion market cap, and then went bankrupt three years after the IPO. And the second VC fund I was part of, which raised $660 million in 1999, was a complete disaster.

As the cliche goes, I learned a lot from these failures.

I’ve had many more. I remember firing my first employee, which I viewed as a failure on my part, not hers. I remember the first CEO I fired and staying up all night prior to doing it because I was so nervous and miserable about the decision I’d made to back him. I remember the first company I funded as a VC that failed and struggling to figure out how to shut it down after everyone else fled from the scene. I remember the first time someone threatened to sue me for doing a bad job for them. (They didn’t.) I remember the first time I was sued for something I didn’t do. (I eventually won.) I can keep going, but you get the idea.

There is no right answer or magic salve for getting past failure. If you are going to be an entrepreneur, you are going to experience it a lot. It’s just part of the gig. Tweet This Quote

What’s next is simple. It’s whatever you do next. In some cases this will be easy–you’ll already be on to the next thing before the previous thing you were working on failed. In many cases it won’t be easy–you’ll be wallowing in the quicksand of the failure well after the other bodies have been sucked below the surface.

How you deal with your own emotions, and perspectives, is an entirely different matter.

I love the approach of Jeremy Bloom, the CEO of Integrate (we are investors) whom I have immense respect and adoration for. In 2006, at the Winter Olympics, he was the best freestyle mogul skier in the world. On his last run, he was expected to take gold. Halfway down, he missed a turn and placed sixth. As Jeremy told me, he gave himself 24 hours to be angry, depressed, upset, furious, frustrated, confused, and despondent. I imagine him in his room in the Olympic Village systematically destroying all the furniture. One minute after 24 hours, he was on to the next thing, with the failure solidly in his rear view mirror.

Now, 24 hours is a short amount of time. I’ve often carried my failures around for longer, but never much longer than a couple of days. I separate how I feel from failure from how I feel about life and what I’m doing. Interestingly, for me, failure isn’t the thing that gets me depressed, it’s boredom combined with exhaustion. But that took me a long time to figure out.

Talking to people about your failures is helpful, rather than holding them inside. I talk to Amy (my beloved) about them. I talk to my partners about them. I talk to my close friends about them. I don’t ignore the failure or try to bottle it up somewhere. Rather, I set it free, as quickly as I can.

Talking to people about your failures is helpful, rather than holding them inside. Tweet This Quote

In our book Do More Faster, we have a chapter on the wonderful story of the failure of EventVue. After it failed, some of Rob and Josh’s friends from the Boulder Startup Community had a wake for EventVue. We celebrated its life, buried it, and moved on. I loved this idea and have done it a few other times for failed companies. It’s important to remember that even in death you can celebrate the wonderful things that happened during life.

But ultimately, you have to know yourself. There is no right answer or magic salve for getting past failure. If you are going to be an entrepreneur, you are going to experience it a lot. It’s just part of the gig. Start by understanding that, and bye asking yourself what you are really afraid of. And, after you fail at something, let yourself experience whatever you want to experience, remembering that it’s just another small part of the journey through life. And then go on to whatever is next, in whatever time you are ready for it.


This article published in 2014. It has been reposted to inspire further conversation.

About the author

Brad Feld

Brad Feld

Brad is a co-founder and Managing Director of Foundry Group and has been an early stage tech investor and entrepreneur since 1987. He also co-founded Mobius Venture Capital, Intensity Ventures, and TechStars.
Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, co-chair of Startup Colorado, and on the board of UP Global.

  • Will Butler

    Damn good post. I love the concept of start-up wakes. Rather than glamorizing failure, it’s a celebration of a life that was, of good times had, and lessons learned.

  • heyehd

    At the risk of sounding cliche… It’s only truly a failure if you learned nothing from it. Or as a wise mentor told me once – “The first time it’s a learning experience, the second time it’s a mistake”.

  • Jakob Cohen

    The idea of only being depressed for a few short days after a failure is genius, but needs to be clarified. When we are hit by an arrow, it hurts. There’s no denying the pain that this arrow will cause you. However, after the shock value and surface pain subsides, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and move on or feel the pain from the “second arrow,” self-imposed suffering. It is natural and appropriate for humans to feel pain and sadness after failure, but we control our response to that pain. Once we move beyond that pain we can more objectively observe our failures and learn what went wrong and what we can improve on in the future.

  • Julia Kramer-Golinkoff

    This article hit upon amazing points. The concept of allowing ones emotions to flow uncontrollably for a certain amount of time is an incredible idea in theory, but abandoning and controlling the emotions and feelings associated with failure is harder than it sounds. I believe the article could have gone into more depth and better directed readers on how to accomplish its recommended strategies.

  • ryanhaberer

    I like the way he looks at failure. Honestly, the idea of starting a business and it failing would totally crush me. I don’t know how this guy managed to get back up on his feet and try time after time. He deserves a ton of credit for his passion and determination. The biggest question I have is what happens when you do fail and you don’t have any other ideas of businesses to start? How do you recover from that? Not necessarily only emotionally, but how do you recover financially especially if you owe a ton of money to people you know you can’t pay back? I would be interested to hear what his suggestions would be.

  • hirthjp18

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article. Talk about someone who does not give up. No matter what you were on to the next great project. Its hard to look at failure as a learning experience because of all the negative emotions we feel. As an athlete I was taught to take failure and learn something from it. There is always something you can learn. I really enjoyed the story about the skier and that is a tactic I will try in the future.

  • MajdaNaf

    It’s interesting to see how the perception of failure is shifting in the entrepreneurial scene, and that’s for the best! As would Seth Godin phrase it: “if you’re not failing, you’re not trying”. We currently see failure being celebrated instead of admonished, which helps unleash ideas and frees entrepreneurs from the constant fear of failure.
    I liked the point about moving on quickly, but not without taking the time to analyze what went wrong, and learn from our mistake. Otherwise, we would never grow. Roger Federer, on of the greatest tennis players of his era, mentioned how failure used to hit him really hard when he was young (to the point of crying after some losses, and taking weeks to recover), but with time, he learned that failure is part of the process, and taught himself to move on as quickly as possible and reflect later on on the reasons why that happened. I think we can all apply that in our daily lives.

  • Amanda Wood

    This article was very real. I liked the connections you made with your failures and how you have learned about yourself. I, myself cannot say I am scared of failing. I have lived my life failing at about 40% of things I do, but I am okay with it. The only thing I am scared at failing at is not making it anywhere after college. Now, the thing to consider is the idea. I know I will not make it through the rest of my life without bumps in the road, but I want to know its going to be worth it for me finishing school. Its hard to believe but failure DOES make you stronger if you let it.

  • Glassborow

    Thank you for this great article! I myself am definitely one of those people that try to avoid failure at all costs, I hate the thought of losing or not doing something to my best ability, I’m most definitely a perfectionist. I love how you included Jeremy Bloom’s method of dealing with failure, it’s a great way for letting your frustration and anger out but then don’t carry it with you for days on end. Its healthy to let it out and not bottle it up but also you need to ensure you don’t let it ruin your life and improving in it. You have to see mistakes and failures as bumps in your life, you get over them eventually and move forward. You just have to be able to prepare yourself emotionally to be able to deal with it. What would you say was your worst failure in your life?

  • Matthew Manley-Browne

    Thank you!
    I believe this is important for everyone because no one’s perfect and those who believe that they are, have a much harder time accepting failure. In college, students usually spend tons of time studying for exams but sometimes dont always get the grade they had hoped for. Instead of being motivated to do better on the next exam they spend time dwelling on how they could of failed. Its okay to experience disappointment but not so much that it hinders all of your future attempts to do better. What technique would you recommend to avoid dwelling on the failed situation for so long?

  • Trista Radloff

    I love this article! It’s so very true that after failures we end up changing our world view about ourselves and failures. I like that you mentioned that it is important to separate your failure from your perspective of the world. You move on and you grow. I think that a 24 hour rebound rate is extremely quick! After a failure I am usually humilated, embarassed, frustrated, and sad that I wasn’t able to accomplish what I wanted. It ususally takes me a lot of time before I rebound back. It usually takes something to raise my confidence, before I do.

  • yencheskcj27

    I agree with Trista. The mistakes we make often change our view of ourselves and our surroundings. I also like the idea of setting a time frame of how long to be angry and discouraged (I’d definitely say more than 24 hours). We need to remember that we often learn more from our mistakes than our successes and that we should not be afraid to fail because we have failed in the past. And for those of us who are perfectionists and are terrified of making a mistake we must remember “If you can’t make a mistake, you can’t make anything.”

  • karinaz10

    A lot of good advice can be taken away from this article. A couple of my favorites include: “It’s important to remember that even in death you can celebrate the wonderful things that happened during life.” and “Ultimately, you have to know yourself.” Failures are not completely negative. You have to realize and acknowledge them, but don’t dwell, move on. Failure is a part of life and it’s how you handle it that defines its severity.

  • evillarr6

    This is a great article. Failures, while sometimes difficult to accept at the time, can be so helpful in the long run. They show you which solutions are incorrect so that you can find the right ones.

  • Carly Konkol

    I love this article. Life is full of successes and failures. The more you learn from these failures, the more successes you will reach. As a college student, failures come fairly often. Not every course I take is a strength of mine and with that, there are bound to be ups and downs. I am a strong believer, although cliche, that everything happens for a reason. Every little thing leads you to something bigger, including both the positive and negative things. Accepting failures, as hard as it is, can lead you to what was supposed to happen and you will be happier, stronger and more successful!

  • hmcavey

    Thank you for your advice! It’s wonderful how accessible credible and valuable advice is here. Failure is a part of life. Failures come in the form of exams, friendships, businesses, marriages, diets, relationships, economies, etc. but failure is only as permanent as you allow it. It’s like we actually believe wallowing in pity and shame will bring later feelings of encouragement or opportunity. By working through failures you can build your character and skill-set for the next venture.

  • James

    Failure has been changed into such a negative word when in reality most people will fail before the succeeded in any aspect of life. Like you said they are learning curves. I have a question though, were you completely starting from scratch for each company or were they all some how related?

  • Skowronssj06

    I love the 24 hour rule. Because when I fail something whether it’s something for work or school I tend to always remind myself of it when the next thing comes around. But I should give myself 24 hours to be mad and blame myself then after then forget it- it’s in the past and move on to the next thing with a positive mind set.

  • mankobj22

    I too love the idea of the 24 hour rule and I think that everyone should try to use it more often. Its a simple coping mechanism but I think there is so much value to it. A person will be so much more effective in the future if they can learn how to forget a failure and quickly move on from it. There is no need to dwell.

  • JeremyWahl

    we all fail at something. and it wont be a while until i dont fail at something again. the 24 hour rule is awesome. i tend to hang on to my anger until i explode and bring up everything i did wrong before. i am for sure adopting the 24 hour rule and give myself 24 hours to unleash but the next day i have to focus on something new and hopefully positive. whats ever happened happened and move on.

  • Natasha Tynczuk

    This article is great! I love the 24 hour rule, and I frequently use it myself. It is often times hard to get over particular failures, but most people don’t realize that it is now in the past and there is nothing you can do to change it, so there is no point dwelling on it. The 24 hour rule is a good, healthy way to handle your failures.

  • ReneeKirch19

    I was very interested in this article. I liked how you were able to open up about your own personal failures, so thank you for sharing. I think failures are something that most people don’t like to open up about, because they feel ashamed of embarrassed. Everybody fails at one point in their life, failing is inevitable. I agree with you when you said that it is important to open up and share our failures with others, personally, that has always made me feel better. Do you have any other advice for dealing with personal failures in a healthy way?

  • knapprl17

    After the 24 hours how do you keep yourself from still looking back on the failure? I have tried to do similar techniques as this but I continue to always go back to the failure of a situation.

  • Alex Prailes

    I love this, because I think people think failure is such a terrible thing. It’s very hard for people to look at failure as a good thing. Failure can be difficult, but in the end you are able to look back and see what you did wrong or where you can improve. Failure allows yourself to have that space for improvement. It allows you to be the best you can be instead of settling for being “good enough”.

  • Zintia Martinez

    something I have learned throughout these months is “be ready to fail tons of times”, “consider failing as another opportunity”, “keep going”, It is hard to do it but that is the only way one can find out if that “what if” is possible. We become experts by learning on our mistakes. I have not met anyone successful that has been successful it entire life. I thing the more successful people in the world are the ones that have learn most from their mistakes and the key is to keep going.

  • d_millyy

    Love your comment. It’s like saying that failure is natural and you really don’t find who you are unless you fail. I love the quote “to try and lose is not to fail, to not try at all is to fail”, I think that sums up this article very well. Do you think people who are athletes and had to deal with losses may be better at dealing with failure than non athletes?

  • d_millyy

    Thank you for your comment and opening up about your fear. It’s a very common fear in college students who are soon to graduate but remember, not getting a job right away is not failing. Failing is not trying to get a job. As long as you are trying and gaining experience you are never a failure. My advice would be to try out for many different jobs. If you found a job after college and worked there for years and hated it, would you consider yourself a failure?

  • hmcavey

    I think me being an athlete throughout my life has given me a different perspective on failure and how to approach it and make failure constructive. As hard as it is to accept failures I do believe it’s possible to create a good outcome.

  • Adam

    Great post! I believe everyone lets failure bring them down too hard. Sure failure is a disheartening thing but I like how you decide to free your concerns with others rather than bottle them up. From experience when bottling things up for too long its a disaster waiting to happen. I think failure is something you can learn and grow from.

  • Shaquille Boswell-Downey

    Once you fail something inside you rejects that feeling. Nobody wants to be a failure so they come back harder than ever because they refuse to fail. It also the fear of rejection from society. Everyone wants to be a part of the-in-crowd and they would do anything to keep their image in tact.

  • earose14

    Failure is never easy for anyone. Being an althete all my life and losing the few times that we did feels like failure. It feels like you didnt do good enough and makes you feel horrible. Failure has that gut feeling that makes people take awhile before they can get over it. Failure shouldnt bring people down but should help them learn from it. Never let your feelings build up over time because its just going to be that much worse when you let them out. Move on from failure and learn from it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Chris Williams

    In my opinion, you can’t really succeed until you fail. What’s most important that you need to admit that it’s ok to fail sometimes, and that failing is a key part to success.

  • Chris Williams

    It’s really important to know that it’s alright to fail sometimes. It’s very important to know this when it comes to success.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I agree with everything you say in this article! Thanks for sharing, you make some very good points. Specifically I love the point about giving yourself a specific amount of time to feel angry, depressed, or whatever to get over your failure, but to then move on from it and keep the future in your sights. This is extremely important in overcoming any obstacles in life, as I have experienced many before as well, just maybe not so extreme. Another thing you say is to talk to people after failure, which in my personal opinion helps, but again, you do have to know yourself and how you handle those situations. Lastly, you do say you have to know yourself in order to handle failure successfully, but a question I have is, how do you get to know yourself? Do you believe it happens more through failures you experience, or more through success? Thanks again!

  • Cossioj14

    Before anyone ever had success, they had some failure. Failure is something everyone experiences and if anyone tells you they haven’t they’re lying. And you’re right, everyone deals with failure differently and its something you have to figure out for yourself, but the biggest thing is to learn and move forward from your failures.

  • Tom Ashmus

    I think it is important for people to fail, without failure there is no success. And as to the question of what to do after failure? You get right back up and try again, no matter what, you can never give up. You always have to keep pushing and moving forward.

  • Tom Ashmus

    I agree that no one likes to fail, but I think that some people accept failure as part of life. Granted, it is, but some people see failure as the inevidable, they think there is nothing they can do to prevent it, but they are in fact wrong. You just have to keep moving on.

  • Caleb Franklin

    Thanks for the article. I like the point about talking to someone about your failure. Often we are embarrassed by our failure and don’t want to share it with anybody so we hide it away and let it burn us from the inside. I think that once you share with somebody it helps you realize that it wasn’t the end of the world and you can easily get back on your feet to make something else happen.

  • shackletka05

    Thank you for sharing! I truly enjoyed this article. I enjoyed the mindset you have involving failure. You do not see it as something that paralyzes you or keeps you from trying new things but instead you push past them and move forward. I believe that you learn the most from failing than to always be succeeding depending on how you choose to respond to it. It is inspiring and creates a huge message to people in the same position who have seen you fail but I feel that gives them hope toward getting up and keeping going.

  • ali Alamri

    I believe the word “Success after failing” because failing will lead to work harder and reduce mistakes

  • Katelyn Vaughn

    I agree with your comment. I think that failure can make you a stronger and wiser person. When you make mistakes you learn from those experiences and you can be a mentor for others by telling them what you have learned from those past failures. I use to beat myself up from my past mistakes and failures but now I have realized that without those mistakes, I would be a different person. Without making a mistake once in a while, I think that you could become naive.

  • Katelyn Vaughn

    This is such short comment but it is SO valid and I agree with it 100 percent. I also believe in the phrase “Success after failing”. Without making mistakes how do you learn from them? Everyone makes mistakes but if you’re constantly trying to be a perfectionist, how will you be able to relate to other individuals?

  • GSonDUBS

    I love this article, very encouraging. I am just now in the process of making my prototype, so I’m only in my startup phase. It has been smooth sailing so far, but from reading every successful entrepreneur experience, failure is just a corner away. In ways, I am scared of my first failure, but at the same time, I can’t wait to see what my first failure is going to be…. “I am not failing, then I’m not trying hard enough.”

  • JeremyWahl

    this is a very encouraging article. it is cliche but you do learn from your failures. i have failed a lot in my life and have had many talks with people. i learned that you cant take failure personally and sometimes you have to cut your losses and move on to something better.

  • Skalahe13

    I think often people are ashamed of failure and then don’t ever talk about it. I think to really learn from failure people need to talk about it. I like that this article talks about celebrating failure and then letting it go. To me that seems to be something that works well. You wont appreciate success as much if you haven’t felt failure.

  • Erin

    I think this is a great article. So many people fail once and decide to give up, but you should never do that. Failing is a great lesson and can help you learn many new things. And how you handle failure can tell a lot about you. You can’t dwell on the past and the failures that you’ve had, instead you should look forward and think of how you can do it better. Its hard to be successful without failing a couple times first. I think the 24 hour rule is great. Giving yourself a time limit in which you allow yourself to be upset and angry but after that time you must look forward and use your failure as an opportunity.

  • catec18

    Time heals all wounds. That’s the cliche phrase that comes to mind when I read this post. But this post also reiterates the truth to it. Failure is going to be hard, and it is going to get you down, but that is ok. To invalidate your feelings of failure can be damaging and make them stick around longer. So validate them, feel them, talk about them with others, do what you need to do, and then get over them and move on. What comes after failure is the same thing that came before it. The willingness to try. If you aren’t willing to try, it’s true you may not fail, but there is also no way you will succeed.

  • kellydieball

    failing is tough, so how do you recover?

  • kellydieball

    i love this also!

  • kellydieball

    thank you for sharing this is great!!

  • Jessica Peardon

    My family and friends are a huge support system. They pick me up when I fail. Also, I focus my attention elsewhere. I read or craft. I also try do even better next time. We must learn from our failures.

  • Faisal AH

    I really like this article you will never success until you fail.

  • Alex Marski

    Great point! some people do take failure different ways but the ones who don’t get let down and turned away from ideas from failing at it are the ones who will succeed in what they want. everyone fails at some point its how you handle the failure that matters.

  • Alex Marski

    Failure is the biggest part of success! great comment I agree completely with you. there isn’t a way of finding out what you need to change if you don’t fail first in order to improve it!

  • Alex Marski

    I can relate with your experience as being an athlete as well! you can take failure and learn from it in a positive way. there is always something to improve from being an athlete or not.

  • Alex Marski

    I agree that no one likes to fail but do you think that some people fail and never go back because they are embarrassed of the “In crowd.”

  • Samantha Lavenau

    With growing up, everyone will experience failure. Time heals all, and if you have a support system behind you, it will be easier to get through. When something goes wrong in my life, I seek help from my friends and family, and they help me through it because no one wants to go through a tough time alone!

  • Thumbs_up

    The important is to never give up. I agree that the feelings can be the worst on the failure moment. How to deal with the idea of failure? Yes, no magic answer. Talk with someone who you trust is always a good stress release. Sometimes looks like does not matter what we do, everything goes wrong. Could be weird, but is good to know that it is a common felling. Just keep going.

  • Austin Jones

    you are so right, Im only 20 and i feel like ive experienced so much failure! what seemed like the end of the world at the time is nothing now. time truly does heal everything. if you ever need help you know im always here for you Sam! you dont have to suffer alone baby girl 🙂

  • ClaytonEI08

    Failure is inevitable. Everyone fails at something, even Bill Gates. Most of us tend to forget this. Instead of standing back up after we’ve taken a hit, we choose to sit around and feel bad for ourselves. This is the exact mentality that keeps a failure, a failure. Winners on the other hand, know how to go through failure, learn from failure, and turn the pain of failure into the motivation to succeed. You’re never a failure until you stop trying.

  • milkienr18

    I like the idea of giving yourself a time period to be mad at yourself. I think its important to give yourself time to work through your issues, but not long enough to let it destroy you. I also think that it is important to talk about your failures with your family and friends because those are the people that can help bring you up when you are down. Plus keeping all of your emotions bottled up won’t help solve things. Finally I like how the article said to bury your failures. I think it kind of symbolize that its over and to celebrate it for what it was and let yourself move on.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I would agree with you. I always beat myself up when I feel like things don’t go right. It helps to have a supportive wife and supportive family/friends that are there to encourage me. I’m pretty good at moving forward with my life and accepting things that are out of my control. It’s always important not to get discouraged. I’ve always been told that if I don’t like how things are going in my life, it’s important to take control and change. I can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. I know that I will fail again in the future, so it’s important to learn from my mistakes and move onward.

  • Julia

    I agree that it is important to allow yourself time to fix issues in your life. I was struggling as a young adult a few years ago. I didn’t have my priorities straight and I was in school for something I wasn’t even interested in. I took a year off of school and I believe it was one of the best educational decisions I’ve made for myself. It’s crazy how much you can fix and realize in a year of just focusing on yourself.

  • stangleram13

    I agree with all of what you said thank you. I like that point you made about talking with Family and Friends. Have you been in this place? thank you for posting this.

  • stangleram13

    I thank it is hard to recover. I think it is lough but have to think on the bright side of thing. think you for post this question. I really think I should take my own advice.

  • stangleram13

    Thank you for posting this you and the author of the article make really good point. I agree with you. Thank you

  • stangleram13

    You bring up a good point also you have to fail to succeed. I forgot of this say. Thank you for sharing. You got to admit it.

  • stangleram13

    Very good point on you come back harder than ever. I like that saying. I also believe that everyone wants to be in the in-crowed. Thank you for the insight.

  • stangleram13

    I agree that everyone lets failure bring them down too hard. I know I do that to sometime. That the frustration and not let let them be bottle them up. Thank you for posting this. I also think that you can grow in to a better person when you stumbled a little in life.

  • stangleram13

    I also the point on the 24 hour rule. I have not try it but I going to try it now maybe. I like the point you make on the dwelling on it. I not going to change it. Thank you for posting.

  • stangleram13

    I agree with you on we all fail sometime. I know it is common sense but it true. I also hang on to my anger also. You make some good points like hopefully being positive. Thank you for posting.

  • Nathan Tessar

    I like this article Mr. Feld but I have one question for you. Wouldn’t giving yourself a time period to be mad at yourself wreck your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself?

  • Sara_Kay0316

    I agree with this. Often times I relate this type of thing to school related items. For example, if I get stressed out my psychology professor always says the following: “Let the stress overwhelm you for 2 minutes, then resume back and focus in on what needs to be done”.

  • flaschbm09

    I feel like a lot of people do that. They automatically go into college even when they have no idea what they want to do because that’s just what you do. I’m very much a believer that you should do things that you are passionate about and want to do. Why waste thousands of dollars on something that you’re just going to go through the motions with. You should want to be there if you’re going to spend that amount of time and money.

  • afallon14

    I really agree with you! I can get mad at myself but I never let it go on for too long where it starts to affect my everyday life. I have been in situations where it has almost destroyed me but I realized it and brought myself back to life and where I knew I was suppose to be. Friends and family help a lot with not keeping emotions bottled up because it only leads to more problems in the end.

  • Bjackson5

    This shouldn’t be taken as being “mad at yourself” but reinforcing the understanding of a one’s true peak performance. Striving to be the success an individual has for itself is more than natural, and has a lot to do with how the Earth thrives off of the sun’s energy. The Earth itself strives to be in its perfect homeostasis and equilibrium by creating life-sustainable atmospheres. This is what makes life on Earth s different. The understanding that life will bring obstacles is what makes nature natural.

  • barema28

    Nobody likes to fail. It isn’t easy to do, and it isn’t easy to bounce back from. Talking about it, and giving yourself only a certain amount of time to be mad about it is awesome. Those are two great tips because those are two things I really struggle with. When I fail I feel too vulnerable to talk about it and I stay upset with myself when I should be using that as motivation to be successful the next time and learn from it!

  • McKenzie Foster

    I totally agree with you! Especially with getting upset, it shows that you care about your work! Failing is okay. Failing multiple times is really okay!! You are going to fail before you succeed and it will be all well worth it. Once you get past the failing I agree with the article as well, bury it and let it go. Don’t let it be a burden. Move on and continue to succeed

  • Farrukh

    This was an illuminating post. I’ve had a few small entrepreneurial ventures, a couple have failed and one is teetering along at the moment. I would be real curious to learn what Brad thinks about impending failure because it can really bring you down and become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. You feel as if failure is approaching so your decision making starts to make it a reality instead of a possibility or probability. How can you snap yourself out it and turn the ship around in the right direction? Trust me, being positive and inspiring others with such a mindset, especially existing or potential investors, to trust you – when you’re questioning yourself – is quite daunting.

    As for the post itself, Brad does give great suggestions especially about not bottling up failures so talk about them, vent, and get feedback. Otherwise, failure can well up inside like an about to explode volcano and if it bursts, watch out! The concept of a wake is also very interesting and I imagine cathartic. I have to try that whenever the time comes because it will at some point. It is so true that even failed ventures have so many great stories, wonderful moments, and mini successes along the way that deserve acknowledgment and gratitude. I do wonder how you would figuratively bury a dead venture. Would everyone gather around the screen and cancel the company registration or file dissolution papers online? How about having a ceremony when signing the last tax return? Or perhaps documenting the last vendor or investor payment with a photo op? Just writing this feels therapeutic so Brad is onto something.

    Finally, the best advice was simply to put a time limit on the mourning period and then get yourself busy with the next thing. It doesn’t matter what it is or how long it takes to get off the ground. Just get busy doing what it is you do.