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A four-step process, honed by a Tampa entrepreneur, will help you overcome failure

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Area businesswoman Joy Randels has launched 13 technology startups and raised more than $300 million. She's bought 17 companies and sold nine.

With a background like that, Randels is a good source when it comes to learning from failures. She spoke about that topic at a recent F*ck Up Nights event, also known as FUN. Entrepreneurs share what they've learned from their biggest mistakes with budding business leaders at these events. (FUN is a worldwide program that's reached 53 countries and more than 140 cities.)

Randels was the first of four presenters at a FUN event held Jan. 14 at Tampa's Cigar City Cider & Mead. Randels says she's figured out a formula for success, but it came with trial and error. One of those errors, in particular, cost her $1.7 million.

Part of the process toward overcoming a business failure, according to Randels, is understanding the stages that follow. There are six different phases that people go through, she says. Those phases are:
1. Shock and surprise
2. Denial
3. Anger
4. Depression
5. Acceptance
6. Insight

Ultimately, gaining insight and learning from the experience is what differentiates a successful rebound story from a story of another failure. Randels has also learned that trust is crucial. It's important to tell the truth and to be careful whom you trust, she says.

In her presentation, Randels showed a slide with a quote representing her stance. The quote read: “The sh*t you heard about me might be true, but it could be as fake as that person who told you.”

To help other entrepreneurs, Randels shared a four-step process she learned from her mistakes. She shared it at the FUN event:
1. Trust but verify: Not verifying who you work with can be costly. Randels knows this first hand, because blindly trusting her former business partner cost her $1.7 million, she says. He now has five judgments against him.
2. Be authentic: Randels says you can't please everyone, which makes it crucial to avoid fibs. “If you start lying, you have to keep up with all of those lies.”
3. Don't waste time on regrets: “F*ck ups end up being the greatest rewards in the end because you learn the most from them,” Randels says.
4. Have tenacity: Fitting with the FUN theme, Randels says what matters most is coming back in the end. Says Randels: “Get on the horse and keep going.”


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