Several months ago, I hung the closing sign on a small landscaping business that I ran for several years. Even though it was just a side business, this was one of the most agonizing things that I had ever done. It's no easy thing to walk away from something that you've poured your endless night/weekend hours into. Since businesses across the country appears to be folding left and right, I believe that many people might be going through what I went through. That said, those suffering from failed businesses needs to accept the harsh reality of the loss and move on to the next venture. Here are some of the steps that I took to cope with it and re-gain my spirits in a relatively quick amount of time.
#1 Maintain a Structured Routine
Sitting around all day and moping about the loss only makes it worse. Instead, continue doing the things that brings order and structure into your life. For me, that meant running and hiking on the weekends, and reading technical books and manuals on week nights.
#2 Deal with problems one at a time
When a small business closes, there are usually a whole host of odds and ends which needs to be taken care off. Such minutiae includes equipment/materials to dispose of, debts to unwind, long customer relationships to ramp down. A great way of dealing with it all is to simply focus on 1 mundane task at a time. Do not think long term, instead simply do each task at hand as efficiently as possible. By applying a narrow focus on things, I was able to get through most of these things quickly and manage to avoid depressing thoughts.
#3 Attend Networking activities and Professional Groups
Some people, when faced with setbacks, voluntarily undergoes a stint of hermit-hood. Having a lot of time to yourself is often not the best approach to take. Being cooped up will only make you repeatedly think about things that you could've, would've or should've done. Instead, I chose to start networking almost immediately. This can be done via helpful sites such as meetup.com. Attending professional discussions or entrepreneurial meetups can go far to instill a positive attitude in one's temperament. And just by staying positive you have already won half the battle. More importantly however, meetups can expose us to new ideas and opportunities that we might not have been aware off. I'm starting a new small business right now based on insights gleaned from one such Meetup.
#4 Spend more time with friends and family
Because your business went bust, you might have some more free time on your hands. Try spending some more time with your family and friends. More time with those whom we care about tend to instill a positive attitude within people.
#5 Start a new venture as soon as possible
Few things will kick a guy out of a rut like starting a new business right after the failure of an old one. You don't have to invest a huge amount of money to do so, start small(preferably on a shoe string budget) and just let it evolve. I started my new business almost immediately after I had taken care of the last remaining errands of the old one. This very act of creation gets one's mind working and thinking positive thoughts. Moreover, the experience of why you failed the last time will still be fresh in your mind, so this new business venture may well have a much better chance of success.