Bouncing Back From Failure

Beginning again when your first entrepreneurial endeavor goes under.

Candice Helfand-Rogers By Candice Helfand-Rogers

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a project in which we are exploring women’s relationship with moneyYou can read the first installment of this series here.

Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

It’s an old adage that carries with it a great deal of truth. Failure can be devastating, but it is not the end of one’s story. However, the “try, try again” part is far easier said than done, as one female entrepreneur we spoke with can tell you.

Her story highlights the difficulties inherent in trying to start over, and the perseverance it requires to see subsequent entrepreneurial attempts through — especially after losing so much.

Jessica Greenhood, the owner of Affordable Coin Shop LLC in Orlando, Fla., bought into her family’s business in 2001. However, she experienced a significant professional — and personal — setback several years ago that would forever alter the trajectory of her career.

“In 2012, both of my parents got sick. This pretty much killed the family business, and I had to close it down at the end of that year,” she told us.

There are many business owners who know what Greenhood is going through — according to Statistics Brain and Small Business Trends, 25 percent of businesses close their doors within the first year of operations (for myriad reasons). And that failure rate doubles by the fourth year of existence.

Now, Greenhood is trying to begin again as an entrepreneur. However, she is experiencing difficulty with securing the capital her business needs to get off the ground.

Related: Making the Next Move a Success

“I must admit, I was scared about restarting a business with no funds,” she said. “It has been difficult, and there were times where I felt like I was crazy for trying.”

Her sentiments on her second attempt are not surprising, especially as a female entrepreneur — studies indicate that many women are discouraged from taking second chances after faltering initially. In fact, according to a study conducted by Babson College and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, women are significantly more afraid of failure than men, Reuters reported.

And Greenwood made no attempt to sugarcoat the fact that her experience has been frustrating — to say the least.

“Since restarting with a new business name, there have been many hardships to overcome. I’ve tried OnDeck, but due to lack of history, was denied. I’ve tried crowdfunding, but [received] no response. With the economy being rough it’s not easy to get a loan, but I’m going to keep trying,” she continued. “The worse case scenario will be having to sell off some inventory.”

Related: Kenyan Entrepreneur: Dust Off Failure to Embrace Success

But despite her hardships, Greenhood refuses to give up.

She told us, “I could continue constantly second-guessing myself, but if I did that, nothing would get done. You just have to keep creating systems to get your business running and learn from your mistakes.”

And “try, try again” she should — the world of female entrepreneurship is, after all, populated by many women who have proven that starting over may just be the ticket to success. If you doubt that, simply ask designer Vera Wang and media professionals Arianna Huffington and Oprah Winfrey for their thoughts on starting over after experiencing a professional (or personal) failure.

Related: Arianna Huffington’s Lessons for Entrepreneurs

For all posts from this project, please click here.

Posted: July 24, 2014

Candice Helfand-RogersBouncing Back From Failure