"You're an entrepreneur now and always will be, so pick yourself up."
You put everything into your startup - your money, other people's money, time, effort and so much energy and positivity into it.
You bootstrapped. You went hungry. You begged and borrowed. You did everything you needed to make your startup a success.
But here you are. Your startup didn't fly.
Your family and friends warned you this would happen.
"It's not going to work," they said.
"Just don't leave your day job," you were warned.
"That's a nice idea but surely someone in Silicon Valley is working on something similar," they continued.
Now, you have to face the doomsayers as they look at you with their heads slightly tilted gazing at you with that 'I told you so' glare.
They were right.
Or were they?
Firstly, congratulations on achieving what you did. It may not feel like it but you achieved a lot. You went exploring. You showed curiousity, tenacity and bravery. You broke away from the mob and created your own path. Well done trailblazer!
But just like a great explorer or researcher, sometimes and after considerable effort, you hit a dead end. Throughout your startup journey though you learnt so much and you won't realise how much you learnt until the heightened emotions you're currently feeling subside. It's perfectly normal to feel like this.
So now, what are you going to do about it? What next? Are you going to sit there feeling sorry for yourself forever? Will you banish yourself to a land far, far away like Luke Skywalker [see Star Wars - Episode 7]?
You have a choice. You learnt so much, gained experience and countless insights that you should and should take into another project or at least create a platform so you can help others.
You've already shown you've got the spirit and the spunk - now, get back on it. Own your learnings, join a startup, consult with one or launch your own blog to share what you know.
The worst thing you can do is: nothing.
You're an entrepreneur now and always will be, so pick yourself up and wear your startup f###up like a badge of honour and seize the next opportunity.
Innovator. Disruptor. Skywalker. Entrepreneurship, startups and political campaigns are my thing. I'm the founder of 1derground and a StartUp Grind Ambassador. Politics is a passion, working with the Greens on Local, State and Federal Elections - I also campaigned for Hillary in the USA.
A former journalist, I transitioned to a leadership role at a multinational pharmaceutical company, before becoming a corporate rebel and joining the startup community. I was Head of Sales & Innovation for Brand Collective in Australia and New Zealand with a mission to disrupt retail.
Now I'm COO at MarineTraffic - helping transform shipping + I'm also spearheading my own consultancy helping individuals, startups and corporates disrupt. Find me somewhere between US + Europe + Australia, speaking at conferences and events.