I recently discovered Mark Suster's Both Sides of the Table through a post on Fred Wilson's always excellent blog and I've been devouring the content. It's really insightful and interesting. The latest post about about What Entrepreneurs Could Learn from Chamillionaire echoes the lessons that many indie devs are in the process of learning right now, lessons about self-marketing and going where your audience is, grass-roots DIY getting-the-word-out. I'd like to highlight one point, which is scary, but I think very valuable: that failure makes you confident.
If you can do it, and survive the hard times, survive to do it again, you'll never be afraid of that situation again. I've heard this time and again from my entrepreneur friends. It's so scary to face failure and its immediate consequences, which could be shuttering your company, living broke for a while, owing money, not being able to make payroll -- whatever it is, it's definitely Not Good. But what you learn out of that can't be taught in class, and maybe what's more important, anything that comes after the darkest time of your business will feel like it's not as big of a deal.
I haven't had the experience of failing in a start-up environment yet, although I've failed many times. It's still scary to contemplate but I've been broke and I've had dreams crushed and I've had to get a job after my own thing didn't work out. All those experiences have given me some confidence that I can survive, somehow.
So, if you think you're facing failure right now, try to deal with it as best you can and try to look at the other side when you will emerge having let go of some of that fear. Stronger, faster, better.