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My Failed Business Story – Why My Failure Was a Good Thing

Failure honestly hurts. The aftermath is frustrating, heartbreaking, and unwanted. Failure sucks. At first.


That’s how I try to see my failed business—KreatNou. We, Scott and I, tried something that we had a lot of hope for. Things didn’t work out. We had to close shop. We failed.


After we closed down the business, we had a lot of questions about next steps. What do we do now? How do we deal with this failed thing, this thing that we put so much time and effort and heart and love into? How do we overcome these feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness?


First, I’ll tell you it’s not easy. We had many hard days of frustration, questioning ourselves, anger, resentment, etc. But we found something good among the disappointment and loss: hope, new paths, and realization of our true dreams.


Kreatnou--our failed business

The Rise and Fall of KreatNou—A Failed Business

Last year, 2020, while Scott was in Afghanistan, we started a podcast all about creativity. We believe that we, all humans, are meant to create. We were born to create. It’s in our DNA. We just have to find that thing that we love, and create.


Our podcast—The Comte Creative Podcast, later renamed KreatNou (pronounced “create nou”) Podcast—talked all things creative. We had a few episodes in which the two of us talked about creativity and provided tips to staying creative. But the real meat of the podcast was interviewing other creatives. We talked to a jewelry maker, a pottery thrower, a martial artist, a graphic designer, a painter, a chef, a YouTube couple, a Twitch streamer, and even a sex therapist. We had so much fun interviewing creatives that we wanted to make the mission of spreading creativity a full-time gig.


And what better time than after Scott got home and we moved halfway across the country to a 10-acre home? We were going through so many changes, why not add a new business on top of it?


In December 2020, we decided to go all in to a new business with the mission to help others recognize and embrace their creative passions. With a strong belief and a good cause, how could we fail?


Our first product was creative yoga. I’m a certified yoga instructor who had been designing creative flows for almost a year for free for some friends. Scott and I felt this was an easy segue into launching our business because it’s something I already did.


The product tagline: Creative movement for creatives. Basically, it was yoga focused on getting people physically active to stimulate creativity. We thought it was a great product, with a strong purpose. But it didn’t sell as we hoped. And even the small following I had before we launched, those I thought for sure would join because they were already doing yoga with me, didn’t show any interest.


Our second product was a big risk. We wanted to provide a physical product that would inspire others to create. We designed a box full of items either purchased from small-business creatives or designed in collaboration with creatives. The items chosen were meant to provide a sensory experience that would put creatives in a mindset of creating. Again, we though we had a great product. Others told us how much they loved the idea and wanted to be part of future boxes. But when we launched the box, we only sold two.


The Aftermath of a Failed Business

We could blame the failure on marketing, but the stats from our marketing campaign told a different story. People were interested, just not interested enough to buy. We could blame it on timing, that we needed to wait just a little longer, for people to hit that magic three times of seeing the product to finally make a decision. Who knows? There are many possible reasons our business failed. Scott and I have been over the reasons time and time again.


The aftermath of closing a business is ugly. You have to deal with all the business stuff that you can no longer sustain, such as marketing accounts and content platforms. You have to tell your social media followers. It doesn’t matter how small or big your following is, telling your people is not fun. And there’s the debt and unsold product. Everything you thought would be sustained with successful sales now falls on you, the person with no money, no income, and no business.


Plus, there’s all the emotions and the “now what?” questions.


I cried. A LOT. I yelled at the world. I was angry with God. I was angry with myself. I felt worthless, untalented, and unloved. I felt all the feels. I hurt mentally and emotionally. And amidst all the emotions. I had to figure out next steps, ‘cause we had no source of income and money was running out fast.


moving on from a failed business

My Real Story: Moving On

The aftermath of a failed business looks dark and scary, but it has a silver lining. Even amidst all the emotions and feelings of failure, there was a spark of hope. We were forced into a place that caused us to think about what we really wanted out of life and where we truly want to go. It allowed us to make new decisions that would get us closer to our goals.


Over the past few months, I’ve realized that although I loved KreatNou and working on that project, I let it take me away from my true passion: writing. My dream since I was a little girl has been to write books, to stay at home with my babies and write, write, write lots of stories about adventures and magic and people.


With KreatNou, I spent so much focus on helping others recognize their creativity that I forgot my own.


In truth, it has taken months for me to see that, to truly see it. In effort to bring in income after my failed business, I tried a few different avenues of bringing in money. I felt the call to blog, but thought it needed to steer clear of writing about writing. So I tried a few different ideas: self love, creativity, etc. And then, through a wonderful conversation with my husband, I realized that my true passion is writing, especially story writing. Why was I avoiding it? I hadn’t worked on my stories in months.


So here I am, a writer, an author, who blogs about my author life—author lifestyle blog. And finally I’m happy with where my failed business has landed me.


(Plus, I have a little one on the way, so I’ll soon be living my dream of staying home with my baby and writing all the stories.)


Failure Is a Good Thing

The aftermath of a failed business looks dark and scary, but I believe it has a silver lining. Even amidst all the emotions and feelings of failure, there was a spark of hope, a desire to go on and grow and become more. Because of our failed business, Scott and I were forced into a place that caused us to think about what we really wanted out of life and where we truly want to go. Failing allowed us to make new decisions that would get us closer to our true dreams and goals.


We tend to look at failing a business as the end—the end of success, the end of our ability to contribute to the world in a meaningful way, the end of all our hopes and dreams. It can definitely feel like it. But failing a business is not the end. It’s not even a true fail. You only truly fail when you don’t get back up and keep going. Instead, failure is a pivot. It creates a turning point in our lives, a chance to dream and think something new. And I think a lot of times, those new things can lead to better things than we thought possible for ourselves.


What I’ve learned through this whole experience: a failed business can provide new opportunities and a new perspective, if we let it.


I failed a business. Scott and I have actually failed two (a story for another day). But through our failures, we learned to pivot and find better paths for our dreams, our careers, and our family.

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