Brandon Boynton is a current student at IUPUI and serial entrepreneur. This is the final post in a series about the lessons he’s learned as a startup founder.
By Brandon Boynton, CEO, Vemity
8. Catastrophic failure is not that big of a deal.
After putting a lot of time — and a lot of money — into my startup, I started to fear failure more and more. I started to think of the company’s success as life or death: “If the company fails, my dreams will be dead, and I’ll be back at square one.” I was so afraid of failure that it haunted me in my nightmares.
Again, this was a motivator to never stop working, but it also caused far more stress and anxiety than I needed. It ultimately led to me feeling burned out and not enjoying the life of a startup founder as much as I should have.
The truth is, if the company went under as a whole, I would be OK. I’d be out some cash, but the few years of work taught me incredibly valuable lessons. Worst-case scenario, I’d take a job somewhere else to stabilize financially while I considered my options.
Putting that much pressure on myself was a mistake. I should have spent far less time dwelling on the potential for failure.
There are countless other lessons that I have learned from my failures in just the past few years of my life, but these are some of the most notable.
More important than anything else stated here: Always reflect on your decisions and actions. In the case of failure, ask yourself what you learned from this experience and how you could have done better.
I am by no means an expert, nor do I draw upon decades of experience. But it is my sincerest hope that by sharing what I have learned through success, failure and subsequent reflection, I might be able to offer insight and clarity to others pursuing similar goals.