1. Cover rent, then start another business.
I’d hop into a promising business and start selling because that’s what I’m good at. The minute my rent was covered, I would start a business. It wouldn’t make much of a difference if it were a hot dog stand on the corner or a technology startup, as long as I believed wholeheartedly in the product. —Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group and Shark on Shark Tank
2. Spend three days mourning, then mount your comeback.
I’ve failed enough times in businesses that making a fresh start is familiar. I give myself three days to mourn the loss of a business or a major failure. After that, I’d make a plan to build the capital and infrastructure to execute my comeback. I set reminders multiple times a day to stay on top of executing my new plan. — Com Mirza, CEO of Mirza Holdings and “The $500 Million Man”; failed in eight companies back-to-back and today runs a nine-figure empire with over 600 employees
3. Turn disaster into opportunity.
This actually happened to me 20 years ago, so I don’t have to imagine this happening. I found myself kicked out of a company that I helped grow 300 percent. When this massive loss happened to me, I decided it was time for me to have my own business and be the master of my own fate. I never lost faith in my abilities. I focused on my ability to make things go right. I stayed positive and used a devastating event to force myself to think bigger than ever before. —Jim Mathers, CEO ofNorth American Energy Advisory, Inc.
4. Hit the brakes, change direction and speed back up.
If I were to start again, I would stop and get “in state” — be in meditation and quiet, and just focus on my desired outcome for a new venture. I’d set my goals, strategize, build a team around it, and empower them with a “why” that is greater than money or incentives. Then, attend to marketing, operations and finance — know your numbers. And remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. —Roy McDonald, founder and CEO of OneLife
5. Assess your sources of capital.
If you lost everything, you have two choices: quit on yourself or look in the mirror and answer a few serious questions. Start with: “What life capital (relationship, intellectual, physical, spiritual and financial) can I immediately access to start over?” Understand that life provides constant feedback: you’re required to review the outcome and modify your thoughts, words, and actions to create the desired result. —Craig Lack, CEO of ENERGI and creator of Performance-Based Health Plans
6. Network like crazy.
Learn who’s in your tribe. Identify your values and have a list of questions to determine if someone shares your vision. Then, spend as little as possible to attend as many events as possible to meet a diverse group of people who could help you. Even sit in the lobby without a pass — you’ll probably get one after connecting with the right people. Be fearless and talk to everyone. Get to an event by 7 a.m. and sit at the bar until 1 a.m. — just to talk to one more person. Learn how to own a room and don’t be afraid to ask for help. — Craig Handley, co-founder and CEO of ListenTrust
7. Find your why.
I lost it all three times. From experience, your mindset is everything. Take the time to reset your attitude. Losing it all is very hard, even devastating, but lingering around with a loser’s attitude makes everything harder. No pity parties! Then, identify the reason you built it all in the first place. What was the purpose? Use that as your core motivation to rebuild. All dramatic events will pass, but we must choose our direction during the aftermath: up or down. —John Hanna, author of “Way of the Wealthy“ and CEO of Fairchild Group