Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

Failure can be pretty devastating but it’s part of business. What trick do you use to stay productive on those dark days?

1. Keep a Thank Bank

Martina WelkeI started keeping an email folder labeled “Thank Bank” in the early days after starting our business to keep all the supportive messages, positive comments and thoughtful introductions I received. On the really hard days, I go back through the folder to be reminded of all the people who believe in what we’re building, and it never fails to motivate me to forge ahead.

- Martina Welke, Zealyst

 

2. Play With Positive People

Kelly AzevedoIt’s easy to get down in the dumps and attract all those people who knew “that would never work” and like to wallow in your misery. Instead, consciously seek out the positive people you can work with who will lift you up after a failure. These people don’t necessarily have to be entrepreneurs, but it helps when others know what you’re dealing with and can provide perspective.

- Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

 

3. Practice Meditation

Robert-J.-MooreMeditation is a great way to gain perspective by putting emotional distance between you and the stressful things in your life. It’s a great complement to the lows you experience on the bad days.

- Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics

 

 

4. Take a Step Back

peter mintonGo for a walk and breathe some fresh air, grab lunch or drinks with some friends, call your family, play with your kids, whatever works for you to refocus and gain some perspective. Remember why (and for whom) you are working so hard, take that deep breath and attack that next challenge.

- Peter Minton, Minton Law Group, P.C.

 

 

5. Try Music and Napping

Michael BrunyI use a playlist I call “Get It Going.” I also leverage naps as a reset button. When I get up, it’s a brand-new start.

- Michael Bruny, The New Art of Conference Networking

 

 

6. Focus on Getting Back Up

David EhrenbergI have faith in myself and in what I’m creating. And I remember that everyone who swings big misses sometimes — failure doesn’t matter, just the ability to get back up and go for it again. In the Bay Area, there is no stigma attached to failure. Here, people are allowed to fail because there’s a belief that in an environment where failure is allowed, there is the ability to create something new.

- David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services

 

7. Use Failure as Motivation

Bryan SilvermanWe use failures and naysayers as our motivation to continue to push. With each failure, we know that we are able to learn, and we are that much closer to the next success. Our fellow employees, due to our company culture, help foster that motivational mindset with one another as well.

- Bryan Silverman, Star Toilet Paper

 

 

8. Look at the Past

Wade FosterSimply looking at a graph of our results over the past year will show the remarkable progress we’ve made. On bad days, we’re still a thousand times better than we were on day one.

- Wade Foster, Zapier

 

 

9. Keep Your Perspective

Jeremy HitchcockPerspective is the silver lining in the dark cloud of failure. Entrepreneurs are usually successful because they have both a willingness to serve and a love for solving problems. If there’s a problem in 2013, it means that the problem is hard. Realizing things don’t happen overnight and remembering why you’re working so hard to begin with are the best ways to get through even the darkest of days.

- Jeremy Hitchcock, Dyn

10. Focus on Action

Elizabeth SaundersYou can’t guarantee success, but you can decide what actions you will take each day to move yourself and your business forward. When I need to increase my motivation and productivity, I come up with a series of actions to take. Then, I focus on completing those and celebrating what I can control (actions) without worrying about what I can’t control (results).

- Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

 

11. Learn From Failure

Ziver BirgAlways remember that experience is the result of failing and learning from that failure. As long as you’re learning from failure, you’re growing and improving. Always remember this, and smile in the face of failure. Positive energy is contagious. If you’re positive, chances are your team will also be positive. It’s hard not to feel great in a super positive environment like that.

- Ziver Birg, ZIVELO

 

12. Leave and Start Fresh Tomorrow

Andrew AngusOn the darkest of days, I don’t use a trick to stay productive. It just won’t work. There are times when you have to realize that no matter how bad things are, you are in no shape to fix them, and you are only going to make them worse — so I leave. I get a massage, get a good night’s sleep and start again the next day. You need to end the pain quickly and start fresh.

- Andrew Angus, Switch Video

 

13. Realize Time Brings Perspective

Michael CostiganBeing effective at doing what you do is much more important than always being productive. If you experience a failure, even if it’s a massive failure and you decide to take the rest of the day off to unwind and do something you find happiness in, it’s okay! Sometimes, we think that we always need to be reacting to problems; we spin our wheels and don’t always realize that time brings perspective.

- Michael Costigan, Youth Leadership Specialist

 

Each individual has a unique tolerance level for how much physical and emotional stress they can endure before something starts to give: How to Avoid Burn Out: 10 Symptoms of Severe Stress

Featured photo credit: Milky Way Galaxy, Amazing Stars in Night Sky via Shutterstock

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook