Failure Happens. How to Move On.


We (I) talk a lot about success here; what it is, and how to get it, but a key component to success in the business world is also failure. Failure for entrepreneurs is inevitable – if you're always trying new things that is. Buzzwords and phrases like “fail early, fail often” float around business circles, and entrepreneurs use previous failures as badges of honor, but ultimately, it's not something we REALLY ever talk about. At least not the deep-down, dirty, ugly feelings that accompany failure when it's happening.

Obviously, failure looks different to different people, and it also very much depends on what your definition of success is (for YOU), but most of the time, you'll know it when you see it. You'll start to feel drained, like what you're doing just isn't working, you're un-fulfilled, and you don't look forward to what you're doing anymore. How quickly you acknowledge your own failure is key; the faster you recognize it, the faster you can get back up and start again.

We're afraid of failure, and it's scary to think that something we've worked so hard on can just end, but it WILL happen. The key is that you're prepared to learn from it and move on to something else. And just to note here, failure doesn't have to be crashing and burning and losing everything (although it certainly can) – it also means trying a new strategy only to have it not work out, or invest in a new tool and never really learning how to use it. Failures come in all sizes; it looks different for everyone, but the good entrepreneurs, the ultimate successes get up and move on FASTER & SMARTER.

Here's how:


Do a complete 180; try something different than what you just tried. If you're testing out a niche that's just not catching on, go with a completely different niche.

Start over

Sometimes you have to just start all over again from scratch. If your first blog failed (it's up to you to determine what that means…blogs can fail because you stop posting to them, or you lose interest. Or they can fail when the content is no longer interesting or enticing and traffic starts to decline), start a different one. Figure out what went wrong and start over fresh with new ideas and inspiration.


Maybe you just need a re-brand? a new blog name or url that's more descriptive? new graphics, new blog design? Aesthetics are important to readers, and good content can only go so far if the name and design is incongruous with the message of the blog. Try going minimal. Or A new blog theme.


Just shift focus a little bit. If you tried to implement a new blog series and it didn't “take” or no one seemed interested, change the focus of the series to something else. Make it more useful, more interesting, more intriguing. Sometimes just a very small change will get you back on track and lead to great success. Analyze what went wrong and figure out how to fix it.


Sometimes you just have to let the blog/business die. This is the hardest thing to recognize and ultimately do, but a lot of the time, it's the best thing you can do. Trying to keep something alive that is just not working, and more importantly draining the life out of you, is not worth it. Let your old blog die and move on to something else. (I've done's hard, but worth it!) *try all the other things first, before you end it…you never know, you may be able to save your blog/business just by making some small changes!

How have you moved on from failure?

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15 Responses

  1. Filipa

    Start overs are kinda my thing. Every time I fail something, I try to do everything from the beginning so I wouldn’t do the same mistakes again. It usually works for me.

    Great article and very useful tips!

    Filipa from

  2. TlvBirdie

    Few months ago I’ve decided to change direction, to sharpen my niche but not to quit. And I also decided not to start from the scratch, but to let my readers move on with me, let them see me growing. Let the blog die is not for me, cause it’s not the blog, it’s about the person behind…

    So I did a re-branding, and changed my niche, and refocused, but under the roof of the blog that exists. Within 3 months I’ve gained much more than I did within 2 years of blogging. I got more concentrated on what I really like, what interests me and it pays off. From “hobby” with 1-3 blog posts a month, it has grown into consistent brand, and feels like I am only in the beginning.

    Take a look –

  3. Tunisia Harris

    I relate so much to this, not just with my blog but with life in general. On the blog side, I’ve only had mine for 9 months and I’ve been ready to give up twice! The most recent was this week. I’m learning to just observe my faults and rework them to fit what I want better. Pretty much everything in this article.
    Great piece, Grechen.

    P.S. I believe there’s a mishap at the end of the “Pivot” section.

  4. Sabina @Oceanblue Style

    Great topic. Can totally relate not only to blogging but life in general. I tend to brush failure off and focus on different direction.. Thats how I got my scholarship for grad school in CA. My blog? Focussing what I am really passionate about: fashion, CA and European Style. Keeping up the good work and avoid comparing my blog to others. Otherwise you get distracted, start doubting yourself and start changing this and that until it all becomes a blurr. My blog is like no other and one of a kind communicating my personal style experience. Usually works for me. Love your advice. Thank you. Sabina @Oceanblue Style

  5. Anastasia

    It’s what I have been thinking! I used to work really hard on my blog (actually my blog require some extra job to do as I have it in two languages). But recent I feel I start loosing the interest or better say – the strength – to keep up with it. I decided to slow down with posts but I have such a dramatic decline on traffic due to this…….At times I think of a new niche.


  6. ahhhsoneo

    this is so timely. I just made the transition from blogger to self-hosted wordpress and my readership has dropped off. I wasn’t expecting that at all and I feel that I’m being forced to start over and that I have failed. It’s been hard to motivate myself to keep going, but I’ve been on the grind, reminding myself of why I started blogging to begin with. I know my readership will pick up again, but I can’t help but feel that I have failed:( But thank you for the motivation, I’m trying to focus more on working with brands and collaborations with other bloggers, etc. Wish me luck!

  7. Michelle

    Entrepreneurs know that hind sight is always 20/20. The road to success is littered with backward glances and life lessons. Each lesson gets us one step closer to success, that is if you don’t allow them to stop you.
    View each challenge/mistake/situation as a step in the process of succeeding and you will succeed.
    Our clothing helps encourage you to stay on your path of self improvement and increased happiness. We would love to share our concept with anyone who is interested.
    Good Luck

  8. Candace

    I had one of those weeks where I felt stuck. I kept building, and building the blog but then felt like “ok now what?” After I shed a few tears I decided the best thing to do, and the key to not burning or fading out, is to just be completely genuine. Feeling so much better. Somethings failure isn’t failure, it’s a change in direction or growth.


  9. Robin Bunyi

    “Figure out what went wrong and start over fresh with new ideas and inspiration” – this struck me as I usually cling to things I’ve created even though I knew very well I’ve spent a lot of time with them for nothing, if you know what I mean. Yeah, sometimes I just not need to move on. Thanks for showing that path that I just don’t have to tread anymore.