December 15, 2023

Failing Isn’t Falling: It’s Learning to Fly

As a founder, it’s a given - failure stings. It’s not just a bump in the road; it’s a rock in your shoe that’s hard to shake off. You've read the books, heard the advice - failure is a part of the journey, a stepping stone to success. But when you're knee-deep in it, those words feel hollow. They don't soothe the ache of disappointment or the anxiety of what comes next.

In the land of entrepreneurship, failure is a rite of passage. In fact, it's a badge of honor. Investors in the U.S. practically demand a few notches of failure on your belt before they even consider backing you. But let’s talk about what they don’t often discuss - the emotional rollercoaster that ensues.

It’s not just a 5% club; it's almost a universal experience for founders. You're not alone in this whirlwind of emotions - the doubts, the uncertainties, the sheer weight of responsibility.

Recently, I found myself in a conversation with a founder in the thick of it all. Five years of hard graft, a purpose-driven company finally gaining traction - yet instead of jubilation, it was met with debt struggles, disgruntled stakeholders, and the looming shadow of selling the dream they’d tirelessly built. It struck a chord. I probed, asked the tough questions, drawing from my own battles and those of fellow founders. My aim was simple, to let him know he wasn’t alone and to offer any help and support that I could.

Why am I sharing this? Because these conversations need a spotlight. The struggles, the dark moments - they’re part of the narrative. But they don’t define you.

Let me be clear - I've walked through these emotions myself. I’ve had my share of tough days, but resilience doesn’t mean immunity to the storm. This post isn’t about having all the answers; it’s about knowing you’re not navigating this labyrinth alone.

It astonishes me how often those around us turn their backs when we stumble. Leadership, staff, boards, advisors - some offer support, while others sow discord. Why? Fear, maybe. Lack of empathy, perhaps. But here’s the thing - the ones willing to lend a hand, to listen without judgment, they’re the ones worth cherishing.

In these moments, it’s the support I’ve received that shines brightest. Not everyone was a beacon; there were the Voldemorts, but there were also the unsung heroes.

Now, let’s dissect these emotions. Acknowledge them, but don’t let them consume you.

That Feeling of Terror: Lost, staring at screens, overwhelmed - sound familiar? You're not without options. Seek opinions, weigh choices, and make a decision. Action trumps stagnation.

The Black Hole of Hell: Deeper than despair, but you’re not alone. Embrace help, guidance, challenges - they’re the ladders out of this pit.

Why Are They After Me?: Cowards abound, blaming where they lack courage. Remember, when you point a finger, three point back at you.

Shame: Failure isn’t a stain; it’s a mark of courage. Learn, grow, and know that quitting isn’t defeat; sometimes, it’s wisdom.

Dragging Your Feet: The grind is real, but so is resilience. Tough days breed tougher resolve.

The Weight on Your Shoulders: Responsibility rests on you, but don’t let it crush your spirit. Use it as fuel for prudent action, not paralysis.

Failing and Feeling Worse: Failure isn’t a badge of honor, but learning from it is. Every stumble brings wisdom; every decision shapes your path.

The Flak from Shareholders: Criticism comes, but remember, the narrative changes swiftly. Stay true to your vision; they will understand.

Telling Loved Ones: Transparent honesty heals wounds. They’ll support you through this chapter and the next. They will surprise you.

Telling Yourself: Facing reality isn’t defeat; it’s courage. It’s the first step toward a new journey, armed with hard-earned wisdom.

So, my fellow founders, when you feel the weight of failure, remember - you’re not falling; you’re learning to fly. Every hurdle is a lesson, every setback a stepping stone. And when the clouds part, you'll soar higher than ever before.

This is why Dreamoro Group was founded. To provide unwavering support to founders to help them bring their dreams to life to create a better tomorrow.

We engage with H.E.A.R.TWe care about your dream.

Focused on your success.

Reach out to us today to explore how we might be able to help you.
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