How Do You Let Things Go (Mentally), Even After The Business Is Closed

Looking for advice on clearing my head of past experiences that still bother me.

My first business was an adventure and full of amazing lessons, I was able to exit sucessfully with no financial detriment. However there are numerous events that happened that I still dwell on these days which give me anxiety and knots in my stomach … how do I shake these feelings?

Long story short, I sold a majority stake in my business to an investor, although I was running the day-to-day, he would step in occasionally and make or over-rule decisions. On several occasions, I got very vocal about believing the path or choice was wrong (for a variety of reasons) and I was overlooked or over ruled. As I had suspected and voiced, the decisions turned out to be disasters, now by no means can I say that any one of these led to the closing of the business, but they still irk me beyond belief because I wasn’t able to change the outcome and to some extent, it makes me feel like a failure in those instances.

I know the responses will most likely say “Get over it, you got overruled, move on!” Look I get it, that’s the rational expectation, but entrepreneurs aren’t rational and I’ve been struggling with these thoughts for a few years now. So, I’m just seeing if anyone else went through similar experiences and figured out a good way to move on. I feel hampered by these thoughts and I feel like they are holding me back from a new venture.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Irrational Head Case

  • Wannabe entrepreneur here so no advice. My regrets are the startups that offered me positions that I didn’t take that went on to do really well. I still kick myself on those since its more than once.

    • Let me elaborate further. I didn’t join those startups because I wanted to focus on my own thing. Well my thing never took off and I’m broke and my friends have the big houses and kids and I’m renting and single.

  • I think many of us share similar experiences, first suggestion is to give yourself nine months to get over it. Second suggestion, start/increase your physical fitness routine to help burn the stress/anger out of you. Third, start capturing the good lessons while they are still in your head and build on those.

  • I worked for a startup for some years, had a successful exit but lost a good future package and was released a few days before christmas with 1 days notice after 5 years. It pains me how the new company treated me.

    what has helped?

    Fitness – I have lost 10kg in weight and taken 6 months off.

    Take the positives from what you did – started a company – not everyone can say they have done that. Managed to raise funds with investors – again shows you have some nice sales skills.

    Failed – so you will learn from those mistakes and not let it happen again and are better positioned for your next venture.

    Maybe look at being an employee for a company just for some security perspective – for sure you will be a better employee from what you have learnt.

    I hope you lose those negative thoughts soon and get to refocus your energy onto more positive thoughts. Even the best fail Steve Jobs – look how crap itunes and iphoto are.

    • EXCELLENT reply…this is exactly the way I managed my ‘exit’ from a company I co-founded and was acquired.

      Other than the above, my suggestion is to mentor, mentor, mentor everyone that you find interesting. Get involved with your local accelerator/incubator, if there’s a college nearby, become an adjunct professor or, start up something that is totally focused on others.

      You’re caught in the ‘why me’ paradigm and I’ve found the best way to get past that is to focus on helping others.

      As an FYI, I think you’re in a very normal place; ‘what could have been if those knuckleheads had only listened to me’…Good luck!

      • From Author:

        Thanks for the replies! I have been working in corporate for almost 4 years since leaving the business but it officially shut it’s doors this past Dec 31st, so I guess that is why some thoughts have boiled back up.

        Funny thing about the incubator, I was back at my colleges incubator where I started (and quickly shut down) a second company and had a blast talking with all of the current people in the incubator. I would love to mentor and find a mentor myself. I’m not the best at networking so that makes it harder and of course in corporate it’s hard to follow a passion when it’s being dictated by someone else agreeable or not.

        I also love the idea of putting thoughts on paper and then burning it…might try that this weekend!

        I’m taking a long weekend to focus on writing my new business plan and focusing on the good things (and bourbon) and try to refocus and prioritize.

        Thanks again, cheers!

  • Here is what you do….

    Put this on a poster: “My first business was an adventure and full of amazing lessons, I was able to exit successfully with no financial detriment.”

    Put this in a rolling paper with a “safe-to-smoke ink”:

    1. I sold my passion.

    2. Someone made love to my passion with different moves than what I think my passion would have liked.

    3. If I had my passion back, I would screw it right.

    4. The next time I sell my passion, I will avoid trying to hold the hips of its new suitor while in action, and instead I will think about how wonderful it was to be its first lover.

    5. I sold my passion.

    Then roll that joint up, throw it in the fire, eat a snickers, and start loving your next passion hard (you never know, some of those new moves may be fun.)

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