The Art of Starting Over

starting overHow many times have you started over? It could be a business that went south or a health issue that resurfaced, or a relationship/marriage that ended. Everyone’s been through something. You go through a loss. You feel like a failure. Basically, it sucks!

I’ve never seen so much starting over as I have the past few years. I’ve never started over so much myself as I have the past few years. As an entrepreneur you are always starting over. It’s just part of the process. But it’s never been so deep and so difficult for so long before. Dusting yourself off and getting back into the game is what an entrepreneur does. In fact, I would say this is the most important quality you need if you’re going to be an an entrepreneur. Tenacity.

I read through the five stages of grief, put together by Dr. Kubler-Ross, and realized anyone going through some kind of loss and starting over, has a similar pattern:

  • Denial – the stage when you reject something even when you know it’s true, because it’s too uncomfortable otherwise
  • Anger – rage at whatever caused the loss
  • Bargaining – the “I’ll do anything, for any amount of money, and sweep your floor too” stage (the worst!)
  • Depression – an overwhelming feeling of doom and gloom that things will never go back to normal
  • Acceptance – when you begin to face the reality that you’re in a new normal

The deeper the start over, the longer it takes to get back on track. A few weeks or months is one thing, but years of climbing out is pretty unbearable. If you want some inspiration, read Extraordinary Comebacks by John Sarnett.

Failure is a topic I’m going to talk about a lot in this blog. Because if you’re not comfortable failing, you should probably not attempt to become an entrepreneur. You’ll fail more times than you’ll succeed. The trick is to learn something from it each time you do. And don’t repeat the same mistakes again.

If you’ve ever gone rock climbing, it can be exciting and scary. You’re scaling the rocks, getting higher and higher, pumped with adrenaline. You resist the urge to look down… but you do anyway. And that’s when it hits you that there’s no turning back. You have to keep going.

The people who succeed are the ones that are capable of starting over time and time again and never lose their spirit of determination.


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