How To Handle Failure in Business… then use it to succeed!

As someone who has started and ran 12 home businesses over the past 25 years, this blog post comes from experience.

Because when you start a business you will inevitably come across many stumbling blocks and obstacles.

It just comes with the territory, so to speak.

How To Handle Fear

While each little failure or stumbling block can temporarily derail some people, for others it can emotionally crush them. A little failure can defeat some people, so-much-so, that they feel as if they’re hopeless and they’re not good enough, and consequently they end up giving up all together.

But this definitely doesn’t need to be the case.

So in this article we’re going to look at how you can handle your failures and obstacles, and even use them to motivate you to succeed.

Now, before I get into the meat of this article I can tell you that it’s written by someone who has ‘failed’ so many times it’s embarrassing.

You can read about my home business ventures here.

And for a long time I took these failures to heart and thought that I was hopeless and destined not to succeed in running a successful home business.

All these ‘failures’ took a toll on my emotions and my mental health – I had many down days.

But… I have tenacity.

I absolutely did not want to go back to a job. Deep down I knew wholeheartedly that I could succeed in running a home business, and in more recent years, succeed in running an online business.

I just had to find the right home business and a marketing strategy that suited me too.

And these were mainly part of my many failures ie. choosing the wrong type of home business and the wrong online marketing systems for me.

Related Reading: The Five Worst Mistakes You Can Make

So I just want you to know that this article is written from personal experience.

What Is Failure in Business?

Some people call them failures but I don’t see them that way, not now anyway.

To me, a failure is when something didn’t go to plan and then you give up altogether.

By giving up you failed.

Your business can only fail when you throw in the towel and don’t pursue it anymore.

When you do this, you make your business failure a permanent situation.

So unless you’re ready to fail big time by giving up on your dream home business altogether, then you need to look at failure in a different way.

It’s Not Failure, It’s an Obstacle

Instead, look at these ‘mini failures’ as obstacles. When you do this, you’ll put yourself in a much better frame of mind to cope with that particular situation, overcome it, and then move on.

Because an obstacle isn’t a permanent situation. An obstacle is when something blocks, hinders or prevents the success you had planned for, but instead of giving up, you simply find another way to do things.

Examples of obstacles in business:

  • A lack of start-up funds or capital.
  • A lack of clients or customers.
  • Not having the right marketing system(s) in place.
  • A lack of traffic to your website or blog.

So as you can see, these are definitely not failures.

Just because you don’t have enough clients; it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. You simply need to find an effective marketing system to get your dream clients.

Even then, you might choose the wrong type of marketing system in the first place.

Again, this isn’t a failure.

You’ve tried one marketing technique which didn’t work out, so you simply go and find another marketing technique.

You can also encounter non-tangible obstacles such as:

  • A lack of imagination, which can hinder your advancement.
  • Lack of motivation to keep going.
  • Inexperience.
  • Dealing with a new lifestyle pattern.
  • Lack of confidence to push forward.

So here, you would simply deal with each one as soon as you realize you have that particular obstacle.

Lack of imagination → Hire a coach or ask questions in Facebook groups.

Lack of experience →  Read blog posts, business books & online courses.

Lack of confidence → Do little actionable ‘wins’ each day.

So the key is to first identify the obstacle which is preventing you from moving forward and then know how to deal with those obstacles.

Action Steps To Handle Objections

Think of failure as a learning opportunity. You didn’t fail—you learned something valuable!

After you experience a setback in your business, take the time to evaluate what went wrong and how you can avoid from repeating this again.

Don’t Blame Yourself

We’re all human and everyone makes mistakes, especially when starting a new business.

The next time something goes wrong in your business, ask yourself these questions:

What Happened?

How exactly did this task/project fail?

  • Evaluate what went wrong, then
  • How can you take steps to avoid that happening again in the future?

Deal With Your Emotions

You need to deal with and physically go through the emotions that this failure has left you with.

  • If you want to cry, then cry.
  • If you want to sulk for two days, then go ahead.

It’s important to learn how to deal with the low emotions as well as the high ones.

Because when you can deal with the low emotions and then still push forward, then that is the formula for success!

Related Reading:

What Have I learned from This?

Once you’ve had time to evaluate what went wrong, or why something didn’t work out as planned, and then dealt with your emotions, now it’s time to reflect and learn from that experience.

By remembering that failure, use it as a redirection towards a new avenue of success. Find a new pathway to get the outcome that you need.

To turn your seemingly failing business around, you simply find other ways to do things.

Not that I’m condoning this, but there’s more ways to skin a cat (where did that phrase come from anyway!)

There’s always more ways to run a business.

You’ll be turning your “failures” into valuable opportunities in no time!

You want to get comfortable with your business mini failures and obstacles by developing strategies to deal with them.

Related Reading: The Obstacle is The Way

You never know whether that failure will inspire your work in the future.

Keep Revising Your Business Plan

When you start a new business you must create a business plan – you do have a business plan, don’t you?

So when you first brainstormed, planned and mapped out your business plan, that was only the first draft.

Once your business plan is all mapped out, it acts as your roadmap to success.

The Home Business Roadmap is actually one big business planning exercise!

But as you’ve just found out, not everything on your business plan will run smoothly and go as planned.

Therefore it’s essential that you update and revise your business plan on a regular basis to reflect the changes you made in response to the obstacles you’ve encountered.

For example, you should have a section in your business plan where you can document your obstacles and failures.

Task/Project Description & Outcome of Failure
Facebook groups marketing system

May 2022 – August 2022

I was getting plenty of leads but no sales.

I need to refine my sales funnel/follow-up system.


I will look into other marketing systems to sell my products.

Then anytime in the future you can look at this sheet and instantly see what you’ve done and why it didn’t work at that specific time. Because remember, online platforms are constantly changing* so you could go back to that same platform / system and it may work out for you a year or so later down the line.

*Online platforms change constantly due to tweaking their algorithms & business models.

Have Tenacity and Never Give Up

I know how difficult it is to stay motivated and to keep pushing forward when faced with all sorts of obstacles. This is why you need to be tenacious.

Tenacity means being very determined and very persistent in what you are doing to get the outcome you want.

The best way I know how to become tenacious in making a success of your home business is to find out your WHY.

  • Why do you really want to start a home business?
  • Why is it so important for you to succeed?

You’ll know when you’ve identified your ‘why’ because you’ll experience an emotion when saying it out loud.


Now you know that you will fail at some things and will have to jump over obstacles, and you now know how to handle them, it’s time to take a look at the 7 daily habits of women who succeed in business.

Because when you have these two strategies in place:

  • Know how to handle mini-failures and obstacles.
  • Understand and implement the main habits of success.

… then you’ll be one strong and powerful force to be reckoned with.