Nobody wants their story to include a “I lost a business” chapter. And yet, it’s a part of mine. Over the years, rather than hide and pretend it didn’t happen, I’ve come to embrace and appreciate it. Without that experience I wouldn’t be a success today.
Not that it was an easy thing to overcome. Far from it. Without going into too much detail here, simply put: A former business partnership went sour. As a result, I lost my business in its entirety, my livelihood, and for a while, all of my confidence and self-belief.
Here’s what I learned from business failure.
1. Community quality trumps quantity
When I first lost my business I didn’t have a massive database of tens of thousands of leads to fall back on. But I did have my clients. They were my support system. They helped me through the tough times, referred business to me and encouraged me to get back on the horse and try again. My clients are so much more than numbers to me. They are people I have relationships with … and those relationships saved me. It’s part of the reason I am dedicated to showing up for my community on a regular basis and truly getting to know them.
2. Entrepreneurship is a mindset
When I started my business again I thought it would be easy. After all, I had six years of business experience under my belt. I knew what I was doing. I had all the business strategies. And yet, it wasn’t easy. It was actually more difficult than last time.
This time round I had mindset issues I needed to address. I felt like I had failed. So it wasn’t just my business that needed to be re-built, I needed to improve my thoughts and build myself up again. I had to look at what success really meant to me. I had to let go of limiting beliefs that threatened to hold me back. In order to get back on track I had to take more risks. Which was scary at the time, but was absolutely necessary. And that’s when my business really stated to take off.
3. Surround yourself with the right people
After I lost my business I knew I couldn’t pretend everything was all right when it wasn’t. So I wasn’t scared to ask for help. In fact, I set up a support group for local women in business, which ended up being an absolute godsend. It was a place where we could be completely honest with each other and get the support we needed. Being in that group really propelled me forwards. I wasn’t scared to invest in help either – I hired a coach and started working with a branding expert. I knew I couldn’t do it all alone, so I got the help I needed.
4. Be yourself
So often in business we’re told that we need to be professional. To present a certain image. But instead of trying to fit a certain ideal, I realized that just being myself was the best thing I could do. When I stopped to think about what I wanted the vision of my new business to be, I realized I wanted to be able to just be myself, fully. So I resolved to stop hiding my spiritual side or anything else that might not fit the image of the perfect business coach. This realization helped me get crystal clear on my new business strategy and offerings.
5. It’s okay to fail
Yes, I failed. But it’s ok. I got up, dusted myself down and carried on. I didn’t let that failure define me. And my current business is so much better because of it. Now I can be myself fully. And that has helped me to attract so many soulmate clients, that this business is way more successful than my previous business ever was. That failure was a small price to pay in the long run.
Lenka Lutonska is a business and mindset strategist for women coaches and change-makers. She is one of the UK’s leading NLP Trainers, an international speaker and the creator of the Energetic Selling Method™. She trains world-class coaches using her signature Energetic Selling Method™ principles to help women grow their businesses to multiple-six figures and beyond, with grace. Originally from Slovakia, she came to the UK at 19 and worked her way up from cleaning tables in McDonald’s to running a hugely successful business that changes countless lives. Get her free resources here.