Your business failed. Now what?

Your business failed. Now what?

For the next several months we won’t just be mourning people, we’ll be mourning our businesses. 

It sounds ridiculous to compare a business to a person, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be difficult and painful for those that have to start over.

What that looks like is hard to tell. Some of us might pivot while others will have to declare bankruptcy. Whatever the outcome, we need to remember that there is hope.

Losing a business isn’t something new

It’s even happened to very successful entrepreneurs. Here’s a short list of some that have overcome rejection and failure.


R.H. Macy

He opened four dry good stores. All of them failed. Despite these difficulties, he didn’t stop. In 1858 he opened a store in New York City and the rest is history.



Colonel Sanders

At 65-years-old and with just a $105 social security check, he set out to sell his franchise idea to restaurants around the country. They rejected him 1009 times before a restaurant finally agreed to try out his crazy idea

“One has to remember that every failure can be a stepping stone to something better.” – Colonel Sanders


Milton Hershey

His first two businesses failed after several years. Undaunted he returned to his hometown where he began experimenting with different candies and chocolates. It was the beginning of an empire that would make him a millionaire.

“I failed three times because I had not taken the time to get all the facts. After that I learned my lesson well.” – Milton Hershey


Kathryn Minshew

Created a woman’s networking platform. When a division in the team lead to the companies failure, Kathryn didn’t lose her focus. She created The Muse, a huge networking site with over 75 million users. 

“When we were first starting The Muse and getting it off the ground, I pitched 150 investors in a row, of which 148 said no.” – Kathryn Minshew


Henry Ford

His first two car companies were unsuccessful and left him penniless. It was difficult, but Henry didn’t give up. He founded the Ford Motor Company next, using the assembly line to manufacture cars, and became one of the richest men in the world.

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

Eye of the Storm

It’s hard to see past our circumstances. We might feel that this is the end. I’m sure all the people on this list believed that at some point too. Eventually, they dusted themselves off and got past their failures by focusing on what they could do. 

Shifting Focus

What are the problems you see out there? How can you solve them? Don’t let your circumstances make you believe you are a failure or distract you from the problems that exist all around us.

You are not a failure! You’re a problem solver.

BTW: If you know of any stories of female entrepreneurs who closed their businesses and then started a successful company, please post it in the comments below! 

It makes me realize there is a problem when someone searches on google and finds most failed women leaders are actresses, singers, and entertainment personalities.

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Jim Miesner

Jim Miesner is a writer, videographer, and small business owner in Rochester, NY. He's passionate about empowering small business owners and anyone looking to start a side hustle.

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